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Galleria's Freeport Location Resumes 'Usual Business'

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

Galleria Cinemas' Freeport location will return to "business as usual" today, its attorney confirmed to Tribune Business yesterday, indicating that the issues behind its temporary closure have been resolved.

"All of the issues which led to the temporary closure of Galleria Freeport have been resolved. Management is getting everything ready for reopening this Friday. Fifteen employees will be able to return back to work and, as of Friday, it will be business as usual," Galleria Cinemas' attorney and former Marco City MP, Greg Moss, said.

Mr Moss last week affirmed the company's intention to remain in Freeport, and indicated to Tribune Business that this week "or shortly thereafter" it had expected to resolve the issues that caused a temporary closure of the East Mall Drive outlet.

He added that those issues were of an "economic dimension" and, while not elaborating on the exact details, acknowledged that due to the sluggish Grand Bahama economy, the cinema operator had to make some reorganisation decisions.

Galleria late last month closed its JFK Drive location permanently, with its president, Chris Mortimer, telling this newspaper that the decision was driven by economic and industry conditions and would impact five jobs at most. He added that the company would focus on "retooling" its main Mall at Marathon site.

The Galleria president also acknowledged the development of an IMAX cinema off Gladstone Road, but did not indicate it was a factor in the JFK Drive location closure.

The JFK Drive cinema opened in 1999 under RND Holdings. Galleria acquired its cinema operations in 2004 after its competitor ran into financial difficulties created by multi-million dollar losses and an excessive debt burden. RND Holdings retained ownership of the cinema's real estate, but Jerome Fitzgerald, former minister of education, ultimately sold his majority ownership to the A.F. Holdings (Colina) group.

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