Another luxury mall is slated to open in the Alissar area of Metn in spring 2016, Lebanese developer SIDCOM announced Monday.
Centerfalls shopping mall will offer 72,000 square meters of retail space and will include the region’s first designer outlets with discounted prices on luxury brands between 30 percent and 70 percent, according to a news release announcing the plans Monday.
Centerfalls may even rival the Gulf’s enormous luxury malls, as SIDCOM is boasting the largest range of restaurants and personal services “ever seen in a mall.”
Lebanon’s largest cinema opened Wednesday evening in Beirut Souks, bringing moviegoers back to Downtown for the first time since war razed the thriving picture scene in the heart of Beirut.
The three-flour, 12,000 square meter complex houses 2,200 seats across 14 auditoriums – 12 regular cinemas and two Gold Plus VIP theaters. Two auditoriums house supersize screens 18.5 meters wide.
CinemaCity at the Souks was a $25 million joint project between Solidere, Atassi and Mario Haddad, owner of Empire.
The new cinema is the region’s largest, Atassi said.
The area around Downtown’s Martyrs’ Square used to house half-a-dozen movie theaters, including iconic buildings such as the Rivoli, located in what is now a dusty parking lot, and the Opera Cinema, a historic facade that today houses Virgin Megastore. A few skeletons still remain of Downtown’s entertainment hub, like the theater near Riad al-Solh and the Egg, the bullet-ridden, dome-shaped carcass of a modernist, 1,000-seat cinema built in the 1960s.
Solidere put considerable effort into the structure of the new theater and sought to make the complex an iconic addition to the Souks. The giant copper building is lined on two sides with LED screens that will play moving images. The electronic facade will act as decor rather than advertising space, Atassi assured.
During Beirut’s reconstruction in the ’90s, cinemas reopened around the capital and its suburbs that were for the most part embedded in shopping malls. Today, there are around 16 cinemas across the country, less than half of them freestanding theaters.
During the heydays of Beirut’s theaters, matinees were popular fare as the venues drew in early foot traffic from Downtown and university students playing hooky.
The opening was long-awaited. Plans for a Souk theater and restaurant complex began in 2004, and it has been under construction since 2010. CinemaCity advertised its opening date earlier this month, but then postponed the soft opening until Thursday – though movies played Wednesday.