On Saturday the 22nd of June 2019 at the head office of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, a 312 seater hall was officially launched with stakeholders of the creative arts industry such actors and film makers, present at the brief ceremony. The main purpose of the event was to outdoor the facility to Ghanaian film makers as the A.M.A intends giving prolific film makers the opportunity to sell their works to a wider audience in Accra. The Executive Assistant from the Office of the Mayor of Accra, Emmanuel Clottey, said that though the ‘Omanye Aba’ Hall is a multi – purpose facility, it would definitely contribute a great deal to the growth of cinema in Ghana. The cinema was given the official name ‘SNAP Cinema’. There were also goodwill messages as well as words of caution from some of the stakeholders present.
In recent times, the Ghanaian movie industry has seen a more fruitful era as compared to previous times. This may be due to the new and growing audience with the desire and economic ability to watch and pay to see films and have been identified by some Ghanaian film makers. However, complaints about the lack of adequate venues to show locally produced movies is what has been blamed for the huge revenue loss from the film industry in Ghana. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (A.M.A) has therefore taking up the challenge by providing a conducive and relaxing centre at favourable terms in profit sharing between Ghanaian film makers and the management of the facility.
The Executive Assistant from the Office of the Mayor of Accra, Emmanuel Clottey, invited the audience to make frequent use of the facility and said that it would contribute positively to cinema in Ghana. “It is my honour to welcome all of us here to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly City Hall; may it be the beginning of many others to happen. We are hoping that this place will not be only used for the cinema. We had a few local and international conferences here like the ‘World Arts Day’ which was celebrated right here. So when we welcome you here, we want you to realize that it is a multipurpose facility and we are expecting to be seeing you over and over again. I believe this will also be the beginning of bringing more light into the Ghanaian cinema”, he said.
Ghanaian acting pioneer, David Dontoh, applauded the initiative before officially declaring the ‘Omanye Aba’ Hall launched. “On behalf of all practitioners and stakeholders of the industry, the managers of the cities, venues and places around our towns for events like this, I wish that we have more and more of this but for now we have the Accra City Hall which is starting SNAP Cinema viewing. Cinema theatre is one huge area of theatre that you can always rely on”, he said.
Comedian ‘Kalybos’ also called for the replication of such facilities around Ghana and advised the A.M.A to be firm on maintenance to ensure the patronage of the new cinema hall. “I would plead with the authorities in charge of the facilities to ensure proper maintenance of the place because maintenance is another key issue. I believe this is just the beginning and now that we have new regions, I hope this facility can also be developed in the other regions in Ghana”, he said.
The manager of the ‘Omanye Aba’ Hall, Akua Marfo Dosu, assured the audience of a mutual relationship when they are approached. She added that her company, ‘Listening Bureau’, adheres to the high standards of property management of international bodies and so the new hall will receive only the best care. She stated that management was working on a gold package for the first 50 film makers that would register with them to use the facility in future.
After the launch, a ‘questions and answers’ commence for the audience to enquire more about the facility. And as part of the management, film maker Socrates Safo answered some of the questions during the brief but interactive session.
Some of the invited guests at the event were actress Rabby Bray, Nana Yaa, acting pioneer Akofa Asiedu, Kobi Rana and others. The new facility, ‘Omanye Aba’ Hall, is located within the A.M.A head office and has a car park for 300 vehicles. The A.M.A head office also houses other halls open for public hiring namely the ‘Naa Deidei Omaadro’ Chamber with 60 seating capacity in round table set – up and 120 in theatre style, and the ‘Moi Adjiri – Blankson’ chamber and ‘Oko Vanderpuije’ chamber each with a seating capacity of 20. The facilities are managed by a private property management company called ‘listening Bureau’ Property Management.
By Patience Owusu – Ansah