As capitol cinema turns dumping site for scrap vehicles


...Kenema residents complain  

August 27, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi in Kenema

Residents of the eastern city of Kenema have raised concern over what they refer to as the ‘deteriorating status’ of one of the oldest entertainment centres in the township, thus calling for swift action to be taken by the Kenema City Council.

What used to be the sole standard cinema and entertainment centre, strategically located in the heart of Kenema, is now in a derelict state.

This development has created mixed feelings among residents of the township who have for decades enjoyed services provided at the facility.

Capitol cinema, which is located on Hangha Road in Kenema, is about to be transformed to a juice factory by a group of Lebanese businessmen, the Hashim Brothers, who own the property.

Before its transformation into a juice factory, the building had been closed to the public with social activities put on hold, because the owners say noise from revelers was creating inconvenience to guests at the Capitol Hotel, which is very close to the cinema hall.

The centre used to host a bevy of activities for the people of Kenema and the entire district. Businessmen, diamond and gold miners and dealers, government officials, youths and local farmers with interest in watching movies, attending discos and drama shows, frequented the popular capitol every Saturdays and Sundays to spend quality time.

“Though it is claimed that the facility is owned by some Lebanese business people yet it is our concern that capitol used to provide services not only for residents but passersby. Since the closure of the entertainment centre and its subsequent transformation into another entity, the facility has been used as dumping sit for old vehicles, thus creating an ugly scene at the centre of the city,” said Mohamed Kannah of 17 Musa Street in Kenema.

The Hashim Brothers though have not explained the type of factory they intend to construct in the main city centre, but confirmed the building has been closed to film shows and now in the process of being transformed into “another business venture”.

Jusu Kallon also noted that the management of Capitol should come out with a statement as he had been reliably informed that the building was to be transformed into a juice factory.

“These are some of the challenges faced by the people of Kenema, development is very slow and a good number of our people are not asking necessary questions,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Kenema, Joseph S. Keifala, told our reporter that many businesses in the city, including the management of capitol, owe his council huge amount as tax arrears.

“A lot of institutions have to pay to the council. We have encouraged them to pay but there are still difficulties,” he said.