Former war zone to get 'cineplex'

A shopping and entertainment complex that Sri Lanka's Cargills plans to build in the former northern war zone of Jaffna will have three cinemas with seating for a total of 1,200 people.

"Jaffna has much potential - it is a new market," Cargills (Ceylon) managing director Imtiaz Wahid told LBO.

"There aren't many retail complexes in Jaffna so there is a need for a shopping and entertainment complex."

The northern Jaffna peninsula is undergoing a remarkable transformation after the end of the 30-year ethnic war in 2009, with many banks having set up branches and several hotels planned.

Money from members of the minority Tamil community who migrated during the war is also pouring in.

Cargills (Ceylon), which runs Sri Lanka's biggest supermarket chain under the 'Food City' brand, announced this week it will invest 500 million rupees to build a shopping and entertainment complex on Hospital Road in the heart of Jaffna town.

Wahid said the building, for which the ground breaking ceremony was on September 15, 2011, will be ready in 16 months.

It will have a Cargills supermarket and 20-25 other shops, a food court and 'cineplex', a movie theatre complex with three screens with a total seating capacity of 1,200 people, he said.

Cargills parent firm, CT Holdings, formerly known as the Ceylon Theatres group, will manage the Jaffna theatres.


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