ABOUT & CONTACT, Principal
ABOUT & CONTACT
Find us at Principal San Nicolas, Stuyvesantstraat # 20, San Nicolas, Aruba
Phone +297 523 6844
- Thursday from 16:30 to 22:00
- Friday from 16:30 to 23:00
- Saturday from 14:30 to 23:00
- Sunday from 13:30 to 22:00
The day Eddy de Veer traded his wedding-gift pianola for Nadi Henriquez' motion-picture projection equipment is the day the movies became a thriving business in Aruba. It also marks the birth of the modern day E. De Veer chain theatres
The enterprise De Veer slapped 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 helped 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, opening of new theaters followed. 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. 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 Curacao 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 into 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 2019, where the company that has grown to become known as MetaCorp is proud to announce the reopening of Principal Theater in San Nicolas and will soon not only celebrate 100 years in 2020, but will also open doors of a brand new IMAX theater. Today, we are proud to offer entertainment in two top of the line movie complexes for Aruba. Our Renaissance location is a six-viewing room theater, where two auditoriums are VIP. Each auditorium consists of comfortable chairs, enough leg room, big screens and a 7.1 Dolby surround system. Our San Nicolas location offers three-viewing room theaters with stadium style seating with one row of VIP seats, big screens and 7.1 Dolby surround system.