There was something about the job ad that piqued Dalaica Wright’s interest.
It was 2007 and the newly opened Hollywood Theatres at Camana Bay was looking for staff. Wright didn’t need the job — she already was employed full-time — but her curiosity got the best of her and she applied anyway.
“I’m not an early sleeper,” Wright said. “It just seemed like fun because if I’m not going to bed until after 12 every night [anyway], I could make some money staying up.”
Her first shift was 7 Nov. 2007, and she’s been there ever since, longer than any other staff member.
“It means a lot to me,” said Wright, who said the job helped her send her daughters to university. “It is important [because] it is a favourite pastime for the community. We are the only cinema on island, and we provide a safe and relaxing environment where families can come and be entertained and even meet up and chat with their friends. I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
Cinema manager Corey Randolph has worked there for about 13 years in total.
“The cinema brings that entertainment aspect,” said Randolph, who helped train the staff that opened the cinema before later returning to manage it. “One of the most important things for Camana Bay is an anchor tenant that brings people in. People come in, go to dinner before a movie, go to dinner after a movie, do some shopping before and after. So it's a great business to have in a complex like this just for the mass draw effect, especially around holidays, around summertime when the big blockbuster movies are coming out.”
Both long-serving staffers have seen the space and the name — from Hollywood Theatres to Regal Cinemas to Camana Bay Cinema — change significantly over the years. The cinema opened in 2007 with six screens and a standard concession stand. Now it boasts seven screens, with three of them VIP auditoriums featuring reclining armchairs, a full-service bar, Dolby Atmos surround sound and 4k projection. The concession stand now includes items like thin-crust pizzas, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks and a selection of spirits.
“As the industry changes, we could just sit on our hands and be stagnant because we have a monopoly here, but we don't want to do that. Our vision is to have an entertainment facility that's up to par with the rest of the world and offer the same amenities that you can get everywhere else,” Randolph said.
By doing that, Randolph said, the cinema will ensure it will be around for another 15 years for Cayman to enjoy.
This article will also appear in the December/January print edition of Camana Bay Times.