Virgin Megastore, the British multimedia firm, will open its first store in the Middle East here next June, Virgin-France president Jean-Noel Reinhart said Thursday. The store will be officially inaugurated by Virgin owner, British billionaire Richard Branson, Reinhart told a press conference.
It will open in the art-deco Opera Building, a former music hall built in the 1930s under the French mandate and currently under renovation, he said. The downtown Beirut building, which was badly damaged during the country's 1975-1990 civil war, had been one of the most prestigious music halls in the Middle East.
The Megastore, over an area of 2,800 square meters similar in size to the Virgin-Megastore in Paris' Champs-Elysees, will mostly display CDs, 30 percent of which will be of Arabic music. There will also be DVDs, CD-ROMs, books, two restaurants and a stage for theatrical performances and concerts.
Jihad Murr, a Virgin partner in Lebanon and owner of Lebanon's MTV television channel, put the cost of the project at five million dollars, in addition to the one million dollars invested by the owners in restoring the building. — (AFP, Beirut)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)