Olden days cinemas


This is probably one of the few olden days cinemas that survived in this age. The Odeon cinema located along Penang Road. It shows mostly Bollywood movies.

Back in those days before we have Tanjung, GSC and etc, each cinema had a character of its own. We had Gala, Capitol, Cathay, Odeon, Rex, (Penangites, help me to recall please!) and many other smaller cinemas. There were cinemas showing only Chinese movies, Tamil and Hindustani movies and local Malay movies.

For e.g. at Rex, there was a nice laksa stall there and usually, people will have a bowl of laksa before going into the threatre. Ice cold drinks were sold in packets. There were pickled lime juice, sugar cane, lychee syrup etc. Certainly no coke then.

Snacks were kacang putih, pickled fruits and even rojaks (horrors, the smell!). Odeon had one of the nicest roti bakwa where they sell buns with barbequed meat.


Nowadays, all the cinemas have the same standard fare of popcorn, coke and hotdogs. So little varieties, right?

Another thing I remembered about old cinemas is the ticketing queue. There is a line for males and another line for females. Usually, the line for males will be very long. I remembered my ‘then’ boyfriend (now husband) would walked alone to some female and charmed her into getting tickets for him. It saved the time of queueing.

On the other hand, if I was in the queue and someone wanted me to help them to buy tickets, I would bluffed that I had too many tickets to buy already and rejected them. How bad of me!

Oh yes, there were also black-market tickets for good movies. Some touts would buy tickets in advance and sell them at a higher price.

Ahhh…those were the days.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

12 thoughts on “Olden days cinemas

    Wu Ching

    (September 30, 2005 - 3:53 pm)

    aiyah, don’t dwell on the past lah, move on now, not healthy u know.


    (September 30, 2005 - 4:01 pm)

    I never knew they had seperate queues for tickets. Don’t forget the kuaci which people will throw all over the place so when you walk to your seat, it all goes crunch crunch.


    (September 30, 2005 - 4:47 pm)

    wuching – having memories is precious la. each person must have some or else he/she will be like a book without words.

    boo – ya, the cap helang brand.


    (September 30, 2005 - 6:16 pm)


    I read 5Xmom but did not know about this site. Thank you very very much *wipes tears from eyes* for this site. My beautiful beautiful island. How I miss you.

    Used to makan the laksa then see the pua meh tiao at Rex (the one at Burmah Road. Right after, straight to Gurney Drive for the illegal races. Then back to Burmah Road between Jahudi Road and Lorong Selamat for the Wan Tan Mee. Is it still there?

    Don’t tell me if it isn’t. It’ll break my heart. !@#$%^&&&^% to Klang Valley.


    (September 30, 2005 - 11:47 pm)

    there’s federal.. opposite komtar one i remember before they demolish it


    (October 1, 2005 - 1:45 am)

    wahhh so nostalgic leh


    (October 1, 2005 - 8:48 am)

    Federal is near “The Padang”. Padang Burung or something. Is Choong Nam Cinema in Ayer Itam still there?


    (October 1, 2005 - 12:45 pm)

    Hin – Yes, the Padang. On the fringe of the padang, got nice wantan mee at Johor Road. Choong Nam is there but it is some church or something now. But there is a row of hawkers there at night with lots of varieties of nice food.

    babe – Haha, indeed.

    Rodney – The one is either Capitol, Royal or Paramount (info from my husband ‘cos I had forgotten too). Got nice laksa and fishball soup. Wonder where they have gone.

    Hin – I really not sure which wantan mee at Jalan Yahudi and Lorong Selamat la. But tell you what, if I go out at night, I will check it out for you? If got, I eat on your behalf also? 🙂


    (October 1, 2005 - 2:48 pm)

    Hey, i remember there was a really old cinema near a temple (can’t remember the road name). I went there with a classmate in 1992 to watch a chinese movie. what’s so “interesting” about this cinema was that, we had to put up our feet throughout the whole show because there were rats (!) running around us! eewww!!

    I miss the roti bakwa the most! 🙂


    (October 1, 2005 - 11:19 pm)

    capitol was near komtar, after the demolition, the site was gazetted for metro, until today still parking lot… last movie i saw there was robin hood prince of thieves.

    my parents were movie buffs, so i grew up going to almost every movie around… shall never forget when Superman winks at me & only me 🙂 at the end of the 1st superman…

    rex lasted longer, used to go there alone every saturday during college day— the only cinema that shows english movie then, but i freaked out after one day when i turned up a bit early and there was this crazy looking lady who was waving at every man that pass by & making offer in hokkien & pointing her 2 finger – wander if it was RM20 or RM2??? 🙂 Some lanchia apek did finally patronized her…. Never when back after that…

    Cathay was the last to go… my last movie there was 13th warrior – saw that with my other half….

    ahah! dalit… but that mostly catered for the maly movie-buff


    (July 4, 2006 - 6:58 pm)

    There is one movie theatre on Penang Street, opposite Chowrasta Market. Is it still around?


    (July 4, 2006 - 7:28 pm)

    anasalwa – Cathay. All the theatre dah tutup lah. Now Cathay has been turned into Mydin Minimarket. Only Odean is left.

Comments are closed.