That's a wrap: Iconic Cathay Cineplex at Handy Road to close on June 26

Moviegoers who frequent The Cathay to catch the latest flicks in town, read on.

Cathay Cineplexes announced today (June 17) that it will be ceasing operations at its Handy Road outlet after its last screening on June 26.

“The cinema’s closure was a business decision,” said Group CEO for mm2 Asia Chang Long Jong, who added that as the years went by, the “retail traffic demographics have changed”.

Cathay Cineplexes “have had to evaluate the commercial viability of operating two cinemas in the Orchard shopping belt within 1.5km of each other and within 300m of another multiplex,” he explained.

Chang also expressed his gratitude to the cinema patrons, studio partners and suppliers who have supported the business till now.

But he assured that it’ll be business as usual at Cathay Cineplexes’ seven other outlets in Singapore.

The cinema exhibition business remains a key part of the group’s overall business strategy, he said, adding that it is “actively exploring new cinema innovations that incorporate concepts for live house, esports, as well as other offerings and locations”.

The Covid-19 pandemic affected movie production and releases, and many cinemas — including Cathay Cineplexes — were closed for several months before reopening at reduced capacities.

But as Singapore relaxed Covid-19 measures in recent months, business for Cathay Cineplexes started to pick up significantly.

This January, a spokesperson told AsiaOne that despite the limited seating capacity, box office takings from Spider-Man: No Way Home came very close to what Avengers: Endgame brought in pre-pandemic.

The Cathay, established in 1939 by Cathay Organisation and founder Dato Loke Wan Tho, is a distinct landmark.

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It was the first air-conditioned cinema in Singapore and is now a protected national monument that is known for its linear Art-Deco design.