New cinema opens in Lagos


A new cinema has recently opened its doors in Lagos, Nigeria. Named Poplar
Cinema, the new venue will be dedicated to the screening of Christian-themed
content for a family-oriented market.

Research into the history of cinema in Nigeria and especially in Lagos, indicates that
it goes way back into the colonial days. It began as a business in 1903 flourished
since then until the mid-1990s. During that period Lagos alone had more than 40
cinema houses. These gave the public the opportunity to view a variety of films,
both foreign and local. Indeed the combined efforts of the government and the
church encouraged the development of cinema in Lagos in the first two decades of
the twentieth century. Cinema houses attracted all classes of viewers.

Today the situation is quite different. In contrast to about 734 screens in South
Africa for its population of about 50 million people, Nigeria has only 30 screens
throughout the country to serve a population of more than 180 million. Lagos alone,
with its population of 18 million, would require more cinema screens than are
currently distributed across the country. Compare this with 6000 screens in the USA
and 10 000 in India.

An understanding of these needs is what motivated Poplar founders Israel and
Oluwafolakemi Abayomi to set up their cinema. “Our thoughts went in the direction
of filling the gap by providing centres that not only meet the entertainment needs of
both adults and children but also provide a place for the renewal of the spirit soul
and body of every partaker,’ says Israel.

“Poplar Cinema is a niche cut to provide well packaged narrative films for all
categories of people, as a means of bringing back cinema culture in a more
constructive manner to inform, educate, entertain and communicate principles of
good and moral lifestyle through the work of seasoned professional film producers
as a way of participating in, promoting and preserving Africa’s God-given heritage,
thereby providing salt and light to a very dark and unsavory world. We have a
kingdom culture to promote,’ Israel continues.

The Abayomis envision Poplar Cinemas offering diverse business opportunities for
investors and partners around Africa. They are looking to establish the Poplar
Cinema brand in major cities of Africa through franchise licensing, targeting
corporate and private organisations such as hotels, shopping malls, holiday resorts,
community halls, tertiary institutions and airlines. “Already we have exclusive
partnership agreements with award-winning African, American and European movie
producers with contents ranging from drama, comedy, adventure, romance,
animation and documentaries that cut across cultural background,’ Israel concludes.

The official opening of Poplar Cinema is coming up on 21 August 2015. Currently,
the cinema will be running on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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