The building of the new Embassy hotel in Valletta will not spell the end of the cinema theatres housed within the complex.
This was stated by a company spokesperson after news that works on the four-star hotel will start in January generated concerns about the future of the popular film theatres.
However, the cinemas will be integrated within the new project and relocated to the lower levels of the complex.
The decision was taken based on encouraging figures that put paid to the perception that cinemas are on their way out.
“During the past four years, we experienced consecutive increases in attendance figures, with 2018 being the best in a decade. A visit to the cinemas is more than just watching a film – it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, enjoy some relaxing time away from the normal routine and experience Valletta before and after watching a film at the theatre,” the spokesperson said.
New hotel expected to be the largest in Valletta
Apart from the new hotel, which is expected to be the largest in Valletta, the building will include commercial spaces with direct entrance from the street and a bingo hall.
The building will retain its current structure and height, with the same façade design, apart from the introduction of some windows.
“The project will have minimal impact on the current operations, as the previous entertainment and commercial areas will only be slightly reduced in size while the hotel will be an addition to the existing building.”
The hotel will have its entrance on Strait Street and will include 81 rooms spread over six floors, together with a pool and breakfast area at roof level, and a central courtyard.
“The company is investing funds and resources to create a modern environment to meet the demands of a vibrant city like Valletta. The project will also create new employment opportunities in the hospitality and entertainment industry,” the spokesperson said.
The building comes with its fair share of history. It was used as a hotel in the 19th century, until it was partially destroyed during a World War II air raid. It then opened as a cinema in the 1950s and in 1999 it was re-built as a shopping and cinema complex.
The new project is scheduled to be completed in 2019 and marks one of the biggest investments by a private entity in the capital in recent years.
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