A Story About Cinema

Picture courtesy from : Why Stop Time

“Hurry up! We only have an hour left! Quickly get into the car!”

“Yes! I do not want to miss out the opening part of the movie! “

“Ma! Can I have groundnuts and ice-cream later?”

Sudden glimpses of a lovable scene have come into a play in my mind of my father and his siblings screaming around at home before visiting to the cinema as promised by my grandparents. My granny have storied to me that they only watch the latest midnight shows where mostly held at 12 a.m and they usually purchase the entire role of the middle-class seats for the family in addition of my grandpa’s employees.  She told me that my father and his sibling were consider as lucky and fortunate children that could enjoy the middle class seats movie as in the 1950’s economy where not all Malaysians can afford to enjoy the privilege of watching a movie.

Back then, going to a cinema is not as spontaneous as today where essentially only the well-to-do class of family and adults can only enjoy the treat of going for movies. There are specifically different classes of seats prices from the first-class (RM 1.80), middle-class (RM1.20) and third-class (RM 0.60) mainly located at different obvious zones.  Thus, today’s cinemas were casually visits by all where you can normally experience full house on a weekday if there were a new release of movies. If today we were to watch a movie, the prices are all standardized to either normal price of RM 9 to 11 except for weekends the price will be slightly expensive of RM 13 to 16 where the dissimilarities of price only depends on different cinemas and also for the couple seat and Gold Class screening.

Then, I was told that they usually visits cinemas like Coliseum set in Jalan Tunku Abdual Rahman, where it located near to my family’s house back then. In the 1950- 1960’s, there are only several counts of cinemas in Malaysia however in the revolution of 20 to 30 years of time, we can find voluminous of cinemas located everywhere in the country. For instance, cinemas now can be found in mostly all big shopping malls in in all places conveniently and also mostly at all decent timing. Back formerly, show times were limited because of the countable cinema halls where in contrast you can easily attend to a movie where movie show times were frequently play constantly a day in a hall.

Wooden chairs, concrete floor, stand fans and the kind of blurry resolution of pixelates motion projects on the wall were consider a place for a luxury life back then in a cinema. While today’s cinema space have improved so much to provide such soft cozy cushioned chairs with cooling air conditioned, carpeted flooring and walls that can gives a better and incredible sound effects during the movie and probably will give you a heart attack when the dinosaurs was about to jump out from the screen because you’re watching a 3-D movie. Thus, last year TGV Cinema also has launched the first bean bag seated cinema where it called as ‘Beanieplex’, where it is a concept where it delivers the best comfortable and relax place to indulge a movie. Plus, cinemas now are much cleaner compare to the cinemas back then where people said that people litter and spit anywhere in the cinema and worst that smoking were permissible back then.

Nevertheless, I believe in today’s speedy technology, cinemas are able to deliver unexpected wonders as we could imagine now. The revolutionary of cinemas have changed radically compare to cinemas back then and as me, I am definitely looking forward for more unbelievable technologies to be set in cinemas.

Here are some online blogs and links referred to the old cinemas in Malaysia:

The Chinese Cinema, Malaysia

Cinemas of Old Had Their Own Identity & Architectural Design

One Day Like This, The Ipoh Cinema 

(P/S: As noticed that the architectural of a cinema has changed in time too, back then a cinema were located in a independent shop lot while cinemas nowadays is set in the shopping mall itself where we can  hardly find a cinema place in a shop lot anymore. )



  1. This was really interesting to read. I never imagined a cinema experience so different to my own. The time of the screening, the different prices based on wealth status and wooden chairs – all very foreign ideas to me. Definitely goes to show how lucky we are and how this experience has changed and developed over time.

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