The Manager of Canal Olympia, ‘Mararaba cinema’, Mr Aminu Yahaya says that location has been the major challenge confronting the cinema in its operation.
Yahaya said this in an interview with our on Friday in Nasarawa State.
According to him, a cinema entertainment of this nature was alien to the people at Mararaba, as they are used to clubs and beer palours.
“The cinema culture is new to them, they are used to where they eat and drink. We are taking out our time to understand the environment so that we reach out to the people effectively,” he said.
He said that communication was another challenge, as they were French company.
“Their values and ethics are different from ours, you need to listen to them for up to five times before you can get things right,” he added.
The manager said that in spite of these challenges he was still impressed by the level of patronage, stressing that the patronage was a bit fair.
He said that they would soon embark on extensive publicity to create awareness adding that this would improve the number of people coming to watch films.
“We plan to do this on monthly basis to cover every angle of this location.
“We are working seriously to change the name from Canal Olympia to `Cinema’ so that people will get to know about us” he said.
He said that due to COVID-19 pandenmic, they now used half capacity of 150 to ensure adequate social distancing, adding that measure such as wearing of mask, sanitising of hands were strictly adhere to.
Meanwhile, some residents of Mararaba told NAN that they found it difficult to acknowledge the fact that Canal Olympia was a ‘cinema’, because no sign board to that effect.
According to them, the Canal Olymbia meant nothing to them in the area because they thought it was showroom or something else.
Mr Andrew Emeka, a businessman, said that Canal Olympia seemed to him like a showroom because one could hardly think that it was a cinema centre because of the name.
“I have passed there severally but to be frank with you, I never knew is a cinema.
“There is nothing one can use to identify it as cinema, the sign board does not depict such,” he said.
Another resident, Mr Cletus Angkowa, was of the opinion that the management of Canal Olympia should do the needful in order for people to know that the place was a cinema centre.
According to him, many people do not know that the place is a cinema but when awareness is created, some people that love going to cinema to watch movies will patronise them.
“I am aware that a new cinema was opened in Mararaba, but you do not expect me to go to such place because of movies when I can download the movies by myself,” he said.
Miss Angel William said that the cost of ticket was high considering the caliber of people living in that locality.
She urged the management to look into it, stressing that Mararaba residents would find it difficult to visit the place constantly with the price of N1, 000 per ticket while that of premiere was N2, 000 respectively.
“I have been there myself, it is a nice place. The only thing that will discourage people is cost of ticket especially this time where people are striving to survive.
“Reduction of ticket price and publicity will bring a massive turnout based on the fact that Mararaba is a populated area,” she said.
It was reported that Canal Olympia is the first eco-friendly theatres in Nasarawa State.
The cinema has a stage performance, open space that could take five thousand capacities when there is a show outside.
It is also the first in Nigeria and in West Africa with 300 capacity seaters.
The theatre shows Nigeria and Africa movies as well as international production released worldwide.