The future of the Vimeantip Cinema, which re-opened on Feb 24 after extensive renovation
by its Korean owners, is in doubt due to mixed public reaction to the venture.
Phonmpenhois flocked to the movies in their hundreds on May Day, yet success of the reopened Vimeantip Cinema is in doubt.
Since its re-opening the 800 seat Vimeantip has recorded a daily average of between
100-600 moviegoers, depending on the film being shown.
"After three months and four movies, we cannot say whether the cinema has been
a success or not," said Taing Chan Ponloeu, Vimeantip's Assistant Manager.
Ponloeu says that of the French, Khmer, Thai and Hong Kong films screened to date,
Khmer films have proven most popular with audiences, attracting upwards of 1,000
people a day.
The original Vimeantip closed in the early nineties, attributed to the rampant marketing
of cheap bootleg video movies that Ministry of Culture (MoC) officials also blame
for the demise of the Kingdom's indigenous film production industry.
"We need to have laws to protect artists and copyright," said Som Sokhun,
Director of the MoC's Cinema and Diffusion Culture Department regarding the challenges
facing Vimeantip and aspiring Cambodian filmmakers. "Currently we don't have
adequate laws to protect film production [and copyright]."
Vimeantip's Korean owners, G&N Entertainment, opened the cinema as part of a
30-year cinema investment contract that includes plans for theater openings in Sihanoukville,
Siem Reap and Battambang as well as assistance in Khmer film development in co-operation
with the MoC.