Bd De La Liberté
Ave King Akwa,
Bd du Prèsident Ahmadou Ahidjo
Ave de L'independence,
Cameroon theater peaked in the 1980s with famous movie theaters like Cinema Le Wouri taking front stage.
Cameroon cinema served both as a movie theater and as live concert halls.
This gave Cinema Le Wouri the title "The Temple of Culture".
Cameroon theaters are dying rapidly. The movie theater industry in Cameroon is a clear example of foreign investors being out of touch with realities on the ground. Take the case of Douala cinemas for instance. Most, if not all of the theaters were own by France based foreign investors who screened / selected the movies to place basically micro-managing the business.
This worked out fine in the 1970 to late 1980s when DVD , Television sets and TV stations where almost non existent in Cameroon. Watching a movie only meant going to the movie theater and thus Cameroonians were forced to pay whatever price was asked of them.
With the introduction of technology: numerous TV stations showing the popular Nigerian movies, the influx of computers enabling DVD movie piracy, and cheap local movie houses - the cinema arena of Cameroon has drastically changed.
Foreign investors failed to adjust to the reality - movie theaters stubbornly stock to western movies, kept their prices at the same high levels even higher in some cases. Local Cameroonians running these theaters had to answer to their foreign investors which explains their reluctance to go feature anything other that the movies handed down to them.
These had led to the closure of almost all of Cameroon's movie theaters.
Most writers are quick to point to the fact that movie theaters in Cameroon is dead, especially so with the closure of the renowned Cinema Le Wouri in Akwa Douala.
I beg to differ. While it may be true that western style cinemas halls may never survive in Cameroon, it is worth noting that countless local movie houses are flourishing in Cameroon.
The advantage with such grass root entrepreneurs is that they provide employment to the jobless, they answer to the demands of the local clients, and they are very dynamic, adapting quacking to the reality on the ground. Note having to answer to someone who is not on the ground to see how his decisions affect business is a great blessings to these entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, there exist great culture and ethical issues with these form of cinema theater business. They are not regulated by the state their movies are not screened by any authority; some feature adult material while not restricting admissions; most pirate the movies they feature hence movie / film makers never get the revenue they deserve for their hard work.
Addressing these issues and putting an appropriate framework in place will create accountability and greatly enhance the movie industry in Cameroon.