Along via dei Romagnoli, just on the outskirts of Ostia, is Cineland multiplex. This is a great example of how to reuse a machine workshop, making it a space dedicated to cinema, culture and leisure.
This multiplex has 14 cinemas for a total number of 2860 seats. It counts 2200 parking spaces inside a total area of 80.000 square metres. It opened in 1999 when the convertion of Meccanica Romana factory ended. The project was signed by the architect Pietro Barbieri.
Originally it was a mechanical factory designed and established between 1927 – 1929. The project was Pio Perrone, an engineer of the Ansaldo Group, on behalf of STIMA (an Italian company for tractors and agricultural machines). In 1938 Perrone bought it and proposed to Mussolini to reconvert the factory into a steel company in order to stregthen war production. So in 1941 STIMA becomes SAR (Roman Steel Company).
In 1943, after the Cassibile Armistice, the Germans occupied the factory and when they let they mined the plant to destroy it, but fortunately they didn’t have time to make it explode.
In 1952 Breda Meccanica Romana, which already owned a Steel factory dedicated to weapon production, Breda Village in Torre Gaia, bought the plant in Ostia to produce machines and replacement parts for the Roma – Lido trains.
After financial difficulties, the factory shuts down in 1973 and it is sold to today’s owners Ci.Me Grandi Impianti Srl owned by Giuseppe Ciotoli and Giuseppe Merluzzi.
Cineland was inaugurated after 12 years on September 15th 1999 (acquisition and restructuring) cost about 26 billion liras, about 13 million euros.
The multiplex complex
In Cineland’s foyer you can find a very big sweets shop, a hot dog corner, a bar, while on the huge video wall you can see all the trailers and info for the clients. Apart from the cinema halls, there is a food hall with a bar, a pizzeria, a lounge area, Old Wild West steakhouse, a tobacconist, a video shop, a personalized print shop and a burraco hall. Along with all this there is an enourmous ‘Timecity’ game hall, with virtual reality games, 14 lane bowling alley, a party area, snooker tables and a unique slot machine area.