SINGAPORE - More than six months after two people were injured when a ventilation duct collapsed at the Shaw Theatres outlet in Nex, the cinema has reopened.
A Shaw Theatres spokesman told The Straits Times on Friday (March 26) that the cinema had resumed operations on March 18, two weeks ahead of schedule after it completed rectification works to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
On Aug 30 last year, two people were taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital after a ventilation duct fell from the ceiling in Hall 6 of the cinema, which has 10 halls in total.
Following the incident, Gold Ridge, which owns and manages Nex, appointed a professional engineer to conduct investigations.
In a statement last December, the Building and Construction Authority said the collapse of the ventilation duct was due to "a significant amount of water" accumulating in the insulation material surrounding the duct.
The water accumulation was a result of "unforeseen excessive condensation over a sustained period", and its weight had overloaded the air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) dropper duct.
This overloaded the brackets supporting the ACMV duct, causing it to give way.
On Friday, lunch-time showings for Godzilla Vs Kong at the Nex outlet were about half-full. The take-up rate for shows over the weekend at all 10 halls appeared low as well.
The Nex outlet, which is currently screening movies such as Disney's Raya And The Last Dragon, has rolled out special promotions to encourage patronage.
A moviegoer, who wanted to be known only as Ms Angela, said her friend’s son was in the cinema when the ventilation duct fell in Hall 6.
“I was quite shocked something like that could happen. But there must have been checks conducted since or the cinema won’t be allowed to operate (now),” the 40-year-old accountant said.
Public servant Matthew Neo, 32, added: “Because the cinema was closed for so long, I trust they used that time to assess and fix the issue.”
In response to queries from ST, BCA said it had conducted a site check of the cinema on March 17 before it resumed its operation.
BCA has also issued an advisory to the building owners and the industry to share good practices for the design and maintenance of ACMV systems.
Shaw Theatres said its Nex outlet was reopened after “all the necessary rectification works proposed by the appointed professional engineer have been carried out and certified”.
“As added precautionary measures, temperature and moisture sensors have also been installed,” said a spokesman.
Welcoming the reopening of the cinema, a Nex spokesman said: “(We) are working closely with them to promote their upcoming movies, given that the theatre is an important entertainment venue for many of our mall shoppers.”
Since Oct 1 last year, large cinema halls with more than 300 seats have been allowed to admit up to 150 patrons in three zones of 50 patrons each.
Smaller cinema halls have been allowed to increase their capacity to 50 per cent of their original operating capacity or maintain the current limit of up to 50 patrons per hall, subject to safe management measures.
The TraceTogether app or token has been compulsory for all cinemagoers since last year as well.