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MBABANE – Entertainment options are growing for the Eswatini citizenry.  A new cinema has been in the pipeline in the hub of Eswatini, Manzini, where developments are already in their final stages.
According to the owner of the newly-established movie theatre, Johan Botha, it is 90 per cent towards completion.

The entertainment theatre will be situated at the newly-built Lifestyle Centre, which is situated opposite The George Hotel, along Ngwane Street and will be named Julio’s Cinelux.
News of the cinema broke out on social media on Tuesday morning, where users of Facebook and Twitter went into a frenzy which sparked a new #ManziniVs Mbabane Twitter war (twar).

People started reminiscing about the different cinemas that the country has had in the past, including The Movie Zone cinema, which is based in Ezulwini and was established in 2010.
There have been at least six other cinemas in the country dating as far back to the 1970s, which include; The Theatre Club, which was established in the 1960s, Dreamland in Mbabane, Giulio’s, which was based in Manzini in the 90s, Cinelux, which was attributed to by renowned Eswatini born, British actor Richard E. Grant as one of his favourite, Movie Zone, which existed in Manzini in the 90s as well as Maxies which was established in both Mbabane and Manzini simultaneously in the 90s.


Speaking to the Entertainment Desk, Botha said the developer of the area had recognised the opportunity to open a movie theatre in Manzini, which is the business hub of Eswatini.
“The cinema complex will have four auditoriums with screens each seating about 100 people, and two of the cinemas will be able to screen 3D films,” he said.

He revealed that the cinema would be equipped with the latest projection and sound technology available.
He further added that the cinema would be run and managed privately and was not part of any other cinema groups.
Worth noting, cinemas remain closed in the country throughout the duration of the lockdown, which has been put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Botha said this was a misfortune because plans for opening were weeks before restrictions were put in place, but were however stalled by the pandemic.

however, dates would be communicated soon after the government lifts restrictions prohibiting cinemas to operate. 
He also revealed that this venture would serve as a good initiative to also curb unemployment in the city of Manzini as all staff would be from there.
The Manzini Municipal Council Public Relations Officer, Mathokoza Thwala preferred not to comment on the developments as he said they were yet to consult with the property owners.


Meanwhile, the property owners, who are the Mansoor family from the Buy n Save Group, confirmed the existence of the cinema but referred the publication to Botha, who they highlighted was the right person to talk to.
Meanwhile the Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture (ENAC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stanley Dlamini, said they were not aware of such developments, however, they welcomed them with open arms because this would help in serving one of their mandates, which was to create a professional podium for artists to showcase their talent.

Dlamini also revealed that the council would appreciate partnering with the establishment.
While some users of the social media platforms mocked the kind of content that would be aired at the cinema, most of them welcomed the news gladly.

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