Want to sit back and relax while watching a good movie? Aruba has several options available to suit your needs.
History of The Cinemas on Aruba
The day Eddy de Veer trades his wedding-gift pianola for Nadi Henriquez' motion-picture projection equipment is the day cinema becomes a thriving business in Aruba. It also marks the birth of the modern day E. De Veer chain theatres.
The enterprising De Veer slaps some lumber and bricks together to create an open-air theater in the heart of Oranjestad, in the courtyard of the ex-Hotel Colombia. His buddy Arthur Beaujon helps him rig a makeshift generator and De Veer opens for business that night, with most patrons opting to bring their own comfortable chairs from home. The year is 1920, and the movies, silent.
By 1930 the development of the movie industry was overwhelming. Sound had been added to 'movies' and Shon Eddy felt the need to move his theater to the yard of his aunt Lica's house between the Steenweg and the Nassaustraat. He decided to cover the yard this time and add chairs. Although the tickets became more expensive, people flocked to Aruba's first real film theater: Wishfully called GLORIA, its opening film was Oscar Winner "All Quiet on the Western front". In the wooden movie house, the new talkies were more popular than ever.
In San Nicolaas, where the LAGO refinery was built and where most of its workforce had settled, two new film theaters opened their doors, the Rex (later renamed Principal) and Cinelandia. In the neighboring areas, Lago Heights, and Seroe Colorado, where many of the employees of the refinery lived, theaters followed soon. Yet these new theaters could not meet with the growing demand and so in Savaneta a small theater opened, catering to the needs of the village's inhabitants, and the Dutch marines stationed there. And in Santa Cruz another theater, named Aurora opened. Due to the heavy competition, Arturo Arends sold his Rialto Theater in Oranjestad, in the Steenweg, to E. de Veer Chain Theaters. But Shon Eddy's vision was not limited to Aruba. He opened a cinema in Curaçao, at Dempel, anticipating the future expansion outside of Aruba.
Teatro Gloria was considered the top in entertainment in Aruba. There was live entertainment before shows, and during the mid-week one could get two tickets for the price of one. But film as a medium was still highly flammable in those days and January 21, 1931 passion turned to flames. The projection room caught fire - the wooden structure was completely destroyed. Not to be discouraged easily, Shon Eddy rebuilt the theater. Only a few years later, in 1935, a second fire devastated the cinema-lovers. The theater burnt down completely. Shon Eddy decided to rebuild again. But this time the wooden building was replaced with a concrete construction.
Fast forward to 1995, all other theaters have closed, but to coincide with its 75th anniversary, the company that has now grown to become known as MetaCorp was proud to announce the opening of 3 new theaters. These new cinemas provide a new generation an opportunity not previously experienced by the younger crowd in Aruba; the BIG SCREEN. It was a big success and 2 years later, 3 more theaters were added to what is now known as The Cinemas @ Renaissance. With the addition of 6 more screens in The Cinemas @ Paseo in 2007 and the always popular Drive in theatre, E. De Veer chain theatres now boasts 13 screens on which the island of Aruba can enjoy movies.
Cinemas at Renaissance Market Place
The Renaissance theater is a six viewing room theater which can provide entertainment for up to 720 visitors at once. It was build in 1995 as the first modern indoor movie theather.
Cinemas at Paseo Herencia
The Cinemas at Paseo Herencia consists of 6 viewing rooms, of which 3 have capacity for 110 visitors, one can accommodate 125 visitors, the second largest has seating capacity of 185 visitors and the largest hosts 220 visitors. In all The Cinemas at Paseo Herencia is able to accommodate a total of 860 people at the same time in its 6 modern viewing rooms. As one walks into the lobby, vibrant colors which contrast the ceiling and special light effects give the lobby a very trendy look. A sizeable investment has been made in state of the art equipment for the 6 large viewing rooms. In addition to the screens, a 'surround sound' system ensures that the visitors feel that they are part of the film they are watching.
Drive in theatre
(this theather no longer exists!) A real american style drive in theatre. Location: Near the town of Santa Cruz (from Oranjestad drive in the direction of the airport and just keep driving till you see the screen on your left).
More a real theatre in the sense of the word, mostly live acts are performed here.
Caribbean Cinemas Megaplex 8 Aruba
Caribbean Cinemas is a chain of movie theaters in Puerto Rico. It is the only major chain in Puerto Rico, after its main competitor CineVista, went bankrupt and closed all of its theaters. The chain has expanded into Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, St. Maarten St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, Aruba and Trinidad. The Plaza Las Américas and Plaza Guaynabo theaters are the only ones to have a theme, which are the Old San Juan and a marine theme, respectively.
As of February 27, 2009 Caribbean Cinemas began showing movies in Dolby 3D, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD Cinema for Sony Pictures Animation films and InTru3D for DreamWorks Animation films. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience was the first 3D film ever to be shown in Puerto Rico with Disney Digital 3-D, which at the time was only available at Plaza Las Américas. From there on it has grown immensely, and, until today, 48 theatre rooms in 26 theatres in Puerto Rico are equipped with 3D technology. The 3D technology expanded to other theaters throughout the Island with Monsters vs. Aliens. As of late July 2009, the Disney Digital 3-D technology expanded to almost over ten theaters over the Island with G-Force. As of June 20, 2010, 3D films are now screening in 26 theater halls in Puerto Rico, one in St. Marteen with Toy Story 3 and one at the Megaplex 8 in St. Lucia with Piranha 3-D. All the theaters in the rest of the islands are also 3D technology equipped.
The purpose of 3D is to achieve that the spectator can perceive the movie the same way as it occurs in real life. The brain, together with the eyes, are responsible for constructing a 3D image when two images 2D are "captured" from different points of view, this is known as visual stereoscopic. The only way for it to be seen like that is by using special polarized glasses. Different than the old 3D, the new system uses digital projection and polarization rather than color coding. Digital 3D also requieres the use of glasses to filter out the right image for each eye, then the brain puts the two separate images together and creates a beautiful 3D image that looks incredibly realistic.
Unlike RealD Cinema glasses, the ones used in all the theaters are property of Caribbean Cinemas, cannot be purchased and are equipped with an anti-theft tag similar to XpanD 3D glasses. These do not use shutter effect and do not run on batteries. In any case anyone tries to walk out with glasses in their hands a sensor will trigger off an alarm and will sound after exiting the theater room, like a security tag used to put on clothes at stores. San Patricio Plaza's theater is not equipped with these glasses, but with MasterImage. The price for 3D films are a little more higher than regular charges because part of the money is used for the cleaning and sterilization of the glasses to keep the polarized lenses free of any dirt and undesired particles for better viewing if the 3D effects. Charges for 3D films vary by theaters.