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OCIC starts theatre venture


Construction continues at OCIC’s theatre and film centre on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island yesterday.

Photo by: Sovan Philong

I am very happy. If we can have a lot of theatres ... it will push the film sector to improve, and our business will get better.

OVERSEAS Cambodia Investment Corp is investing more than US$3 million to build a new theatre and film centre on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island – a move that could boost the Kingdom’s struggling entertainment sector.

The theatre would be the latest development for the satellite city on Koh Pich, which is set to see an ice skating rink and market open in time for this year’s Water Festival as part of a wider $200 million development.

Touch Samnang, project manager and architect of the Diamond Island development project, said the 3,000-seat theatre would be completed by April next year.

“Around 35 to 40 percent of our construction has been done” he said.

Prak Chan Long, general manager of Diamond Island convention and exhibition centre, said yesterday that the planned venue would be used for concerts, plays and film shows.

“Hopefully we will get a lot of clients to come here because we have a good location, and the theatre will be bigger than others,” he said.

Potential competitors welcomed the plan yesterday as a potential boost for the film sector, which some say has hit difficult times.

Keo Thy, manager of Cinema Lux Theatre on Phnom Penh’s Norodom Boulevard, said yesterday: “I am very happy. If we have a lot of theatres in Cambodia, it will push the film sector to improve, and our business will get better.”

According to one producer, the sector is currently struggling to the extent that some businesses are putting the production of films for cinema on hold.

“I’m going to stop film production for the next five months because Cambodia’s film sector and the film market are in a serious downturn,” said Korm Chanthy, managing director of FCI production, yesterday.

FCI production, he said, would continue to make films for television audiences.

The Diamond Theatre Centre is being built on two hectares of land on Koh Pich, which is located on the Tonle Bassac river in Chamkarmon district, Phnom Penh.

The Diamond Island project was originally slated for completion by 2016 at the earliest, when it was granted approval by the government in 2006.

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