An iconic Valletta building which once entertained thousands as the Coliseum cinema before it was transformed into a shopping mall in the 1980s has changed hands.

The VBL Group, which describes itself as the largest single private property owner in the capital, acquired the Coliseum complex from Pace Brothers PLC for an undisclosed sum.

Named after the famous Coliseum Theatre in London, the building offers access from both Zachary Street and Republic Street.

VBL Group chairman Andrei Imbroll said the venue was “crying out for a new concept”.

“Its perfect location in the heart of Valletta’s high end retail district and its size made it an ideal  target for the VBL Group to repeat the success story of Strait Street’s regeneration at ‘The Gut’,” Dr Imbroll said.

‘The Gut’ is a real estate project which VBL unveiled in late 2016 to give a stretch at the lower end of Strait Street a new lease of life with new bars and concept restaurants.

VBL Group’s plans for the Coliseum complex remain under wraps, with Dr Imbroll saying plans would be disclosed “at the opportune time”.

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