Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation
Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

April 2023

Army Kinema Corporation?

By |2023-04-05T16:21:30+08:00April 9th, 2023|Categories: history, Memories, movies|

This booklet published for the use of military personnel only in May 1967 contains movies that will be screened in numerous military cinemas for example The Leowen in Terendak Camp, New Globe, and Globe. This booklet also has all the information on the day and the time of the movie and the British Forces Broadcasting Service’s English programmes for April. It also contains advertisements for Benson & Hedges cigarettes and Asahi Pentax cameras.



February 2023

July 2022

Coming to a theatre near you!

By |2022-07-25T15:23:41+08:00July 25th, 2022|Categories: childhood, history, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies, tourism|

The month of August is usually known as “bulan Merdeka” (Merdeka/Independence Month). But did you also know that the earliest cinematograph first came to Ipoh in August 1906?

Initially the cinematograph market was monopolized by one company, the Matsuo Japanese Cinematograph Company, who used to hold nightly shows in a tent for 7-weeks running, moving from city to city. The following year however, he had competition in the form of 3 other cinematograph companies, each employing different novelties to attract crowds. (read more here)

April 2022

October 2020

…more haunting tales…

By |2020-10-14T16:21:52+08:00October 14th, 2020|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies|

In keeping up with the Halloween theme, here’s a familiar landmark that may have had its fair share of spooky tales…

Somewhat triangular in shape the Odeon is adjacent to St Michael’s Catholic graveyard and like the post-war Rex Theatre, rumours that it is haunted abound. One popular rumour is that if you ever take off your shoes inside, you will never find them when the light comes on — even if nobody has sat in front, behind or next to you. Although the theatre was air conditioned, management would occasionally conserve energy by opening the doors on the side facing the graveyard creating a rather spooky feeling. The Theatre seated 850 on its main floor and in the balcony.


March 2020

‘Men in War’

By |2020-03-06T15:44:22+08:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, movies|

Lieutenant Benson’s platoon finds itself isolated in enemy-held territory after a retreat. Soon they are joined by Sergeant Montana, whose overriding concern is caring for his catatonic colonel. Benson and Montana can’t stand each other, but together they must get the survivors to Hill 465, where they hope the division is waiting. It’s a long, harrowing march, fraught with all the dangers the elusive enemy can summon. Starring Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray and Robert Keith.

It’s alright if you’ve not seen this movie. What we’d like to know is…can you recognise WHERE this large billboard may have been? 😉

February 2020

Movie Night…

By |2020-02-14T14:16:10+08:00February 14th, 2020|Categories: Memories, movies|

This page was taken from the souvenir programme for the opening of the Ruby Theatre. As shown, the advertisement promotes a movie from Paramount Productions. 

Were you one of those who watched romantic movies on Valentine’s Day, preferably with your significant other? Perhaps you still do…?

August 2019

The year was 1957…

By |2019-08-26T16:00:32+08:00August 26th, 2019|Categories: Events, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies|

…when Lido Theatre had its grand opening. Thanks to Hong Soon Keong, we have here a photograph taken outside the cinema before the opening. It shows the Band of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment of Taiping by the kind permission of the Commanding Officer, Lt Col S G Doulson performing outside the Lido Theatre.

May 2019

13th May 1948

By |2019-05-16T09:02:51+08:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: childhood, history, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies|

On this date, in 1948, the movie “The Boy with Green Hair” played at Ruby in Ipoh. Anyone watched this movie? Did Peter’s hair turn back to its original colour?


UPDATE: The year is in fact 1949, not 1948 as stated. 13th May back in 1948 was a Thursday, not a Friday; hence, with reference to the above movie poster the year should be 1949 instead.

March 2019

Let’s talk about movies

By |2019-03-29T16:02:34+08:00March 29th, 2019|Categories: Memories, movies|

This is a souvenir programme from 1938 – the year Ruby Theatre was opened. What’s so special about the Ruby Theatre? Well besides being built by Lau Ek Ching, it was also known as Ipoh’s Ultra Modern Talkie Palace! What’s a ‘talkie’ ? A film with sound, of course 😉

As Wikipedia states: “The primary steps in the commercialization of sound cinema were taken in the mid- to late 1920s. At first, the sound films which included synchronized dialogue, known as “talking pictures”, or “talkies”, were exclusively shorts. The earliest feature-length movies with recorded sound included only music and effects. The first feature film originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927. A major hit, it was made with Vitaphone, which was at the time the leading brand of sound-on-disc technology. Sound-on-film, however, would soon become the standard for talking pictures. By the early 1930s, the talkies were a global phenomenon….

Talkies aside, do you remember when films shifted from black-and-white to colour? And for the (even) younger folks, do you remember when Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) was first used in films?

Circus in Town?

By |2019-03-27T16:50:11+08:00March 27th, 2019|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Memories, movies|

Well….not quite. But forget the circus for a while; do you remember the days when advertising was done via vehicles? Like this photograph below (from Hong Soon Kheong):

Do you remember those decorated vans, which advertised movies at the local cinemas?

Then & Now – Movie Posters

By |2019-03-18T17:14:12+08:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, movies|

Continuing our ‘Then & Now’ series, here we have a comparison of two movie posters. Both were action/adventure films from different years. On the left (courtesy of Edwin Seibel) is a 1957 poster for Moby Dick; on the right is none other then the poster for Avengers Assemble. Anyone know how movie posters were made back then…before computers and graphic-designing software?

‘Reel’ life

By |2019-03-12T16:07:52+08:00March 13th, 2019|Categories: Identify Photographs, movies|Tags: , , |

16 mm refers to the width of the film; other common film gauges include 8 and 35mm. It is generally used for non-theatrical (e.g., industrial, educational) film-making, or for low-budget motion pictures. It also existed as a popular amateur or home movie-making format for several decades, alongside 8mm film and later Super 8 film.” – Wikipedia

Have you ever seen or held such a reel? Tried to feed it through a projector? I’m sure someone out there can share a tale or two about this film reel 😉

“The Greatest Show on Earth”

By |2019-03-14T20:02:59+08:00March 11th, 2019|Categories: childhood, Memories, movies|

courtesy of: Mohd Taib, Ipoh

This play opened in 1938. Some of you may be too young to recall this…or were not even born yet. Then, there was a 1952 film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. A similar production came out in 2017 (titled “The Greatest Showman”), which also revolved around the famed duo Barnum & Bailey.

For the movie-buffs out there, can you identify the poster shown above? Was it for the 1938 play…or the 1952 movie?

February 2019

December 2018

April 2018

July 2017

June 2017

June 2015

March 2015

August 2014

Going Back in Time!

By |2014-08-06T15:56:56+08:00August 6th, 2014|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies, Restoration|Tags: |


This is not an “artist’s impression”…it is the real thing 😉 This is indeed the Ruby Cinema – all done up for a recent advertisement by Petronas. For those of you who didn’t know, this is what the Ruby Cinema used to look like once upon a time. Also take note of the old movie posters along the side of the building.

January 2014

September 2013

July 2013

Vendors Outside the Cinema

By |2013-07-24T15:09:51+08:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: childhood, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies, People, tourism|Tags: , , , |

john macauley005a

We thank John McAuley – who was once part of the British Military serving in Malaya, back in the 1950s – for this photograph. Yes, folks it’s none other than the Majestic Cinema :). Although it doesn’t show up clearly, but if you zoom in you can actually see some vendors just outside the entrance of the cinema. Anyone remember them? What did they sell?

May 2013

Do you know your movies?

By |2013-05-20T11:40:42+08:00May 20th, 2013|Categories: childhood, Memories, movies|Tags: , |

john macauley005e

We’ve had posts where we’ve asked you to guess the street/event/person/ etc. This time, we’d like you to guess the movie 😉

Yes, take a good look at the advertisement on the outside of the cinema – do YOU know this movie? If you do, don’t be shy about leaving us a comment or two. Better yet, if you’ve seen it do tell us about your favourite scene in the movie.

A special thanks going out to John McAuley – the donor of this photograph.

April 2013

The Cowan Street/Brewster Road Landmark

By |2013-04-19T09:15:30+08:00April 19th, 2013|Categories: childhood, history, Memories, movies, Natural Heritage, Restoration, tourism|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


This is none other than the Grand Theater & Jubilee Park – before the Shaw Brothers renovated it. From the clues in the picture, some of you may be able to roughly guess the year this was taken. What was YOUR early memory of this famous landmark? Were you a patron of the Cabaret? Did you frequent the amusement park? Or, were you one of the many movie-goers?

We thank Edwin Seibel for this picture.

March 2013

Do You Remember…

By |2013-03-22T15:55:58+08:00March 22nd, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies, Natural Heritage, Restoration|Tags: , , |


…what the Isis Theatre looked like? My generation have most likely never heard of this cinema hall. We’re more familiar with it’s ‘new’ name – Rex! Yes, for those of you who don’t already know, Isis was renamed Rex when the Shaw Brothers renovated it 😉

February 2013

One Sunny Day…

By |2013-02-18T14:58:44+08:00February 18th, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, movies, tourism|


We received this from Stephanie Keenan. She thinks this was taken around 1962/63. She also pointed out the banner hung across the street (where the words appear in reverse). Apparently, the banner is said to be advertising a film. Can anyone tell us what’s written on the banner?

Does anyone recognise the street? Could this be somewhere in Ipoh?

December 2012

Cinema Classic?

By |2012-12-17T16:58:09+08:00December 17th, 2012|Categories: childhood, history, ipoh, Memories, movies|Tags: , , , , |

Before the present wonder of CGI of today’s movies, there was the ‘Anamorphic Camera Lens’. The first movie shot with this lens is said to be Broken Lance (see poster above).

Anyone seen the movie? While is was no Lord of the Rings or Avatar, I’m sure it had its special features which left the audience in awe 🙂 If you’ve seen the movie, do tell us about it!

September 2012

August 2012

‘Sing Kong’ (Star Cinema), Ipoh

By |2012-08-08T10:30:48+08:00August 8th, 2012|Categories: history, ipoh, Memories, movies|Tags: , |

Keith Nelson, an ex British National serviceman stationed in Ipoh (1959-1960), sent us some pictures of Ipoh recently. Today, we’re featuring the Star Cinema.

For those who don’t know, this cinema was built below the road access (and in an ex graveyard!) sometime in the late 50s. The Star Cinema was a single-screen cinema and could house up to 1150 movie-lovers. It started off screening English films and then progressed to Chinese films later. To what we know, a fire broke out around 1970.

By late 1989 the cinema closed and a nightclub opened instead. The premise closed for good in the late 1990s and is currently ‘playing house’ to rats. It is said that the former cinema is now up for sale.

On another note,  we noticed some similarities between the Star Cinema and other cinema halls designed by Iversen……could this building be an Iversen design too?

July 2012

‘Lights, Camera, Action’!

By |2012-07-27T11:56:12+08:00July 27th, 2012|Categories: celebrities, childhood, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, movies, People, tourism|Tags: , , , , |

This is Mano, with part of the cast from the movie ‘Anna and the King’. (Mano played ‘Moonshi’ in the movie)

This picture was taken on location, back in 1999, and we were wondering: WHERE are the ‘Royal Children’ now? Recognise any of them? Or maybe you recognise yourself here?

We’d love to hear from you!

‘Magic’ Dragons?

By |2012-07-26T11:55:59+08:00July 26th, 2012|Categories: history, Memories, movies, Natural Heritage|Tags: , |

In a previous blog about the Rex Cinema, our fans talked about dragons. Thanks to the helpful staff at the former cinema, we managed to take these pictures (see below).

These were taken from the balcony (now full of mattresses) of the former Rex Cinema. As you can see, the right hand dragon is ‘suffering’ due to the leak in the roof above it – if left unattended to, this beautiful wall-art will be ruined 🙁

The lighting made it difficult to photograph, but somehow we managed. I’m sure there are some professionals out there who (with the proper camera and equipment) could do a better job – we’d be greatful for some better shots of these dragons, which we’d love to feature on our database.

IpohBornKid Remembers…..

By |2012-07-19T13:11:41+08:00July 19th, 2012|Categories: childhood, history, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies|

We thank IpohBornKid for the above picture. In his email to us, he mentioned that this picture was from Brian Cole of Bath Spa (UK). The picture belonged to the Cole family patriarch who served as a British Army personnel (in Ipoh) in the early 1950s.

The movie being advertised (see the board outside the main entrance) is none other than the Tony Curtis movie ‘The Black Shield’. While a lot has been said about the Rex Cinema (and the other cinema halls in Ipoh), IpohBornKid drew our attention to the Omnibus Service within the city:

The Ipoh Red Omnibus displaying Menglembu-Pasir Puteh or Menglembu-Pasir Pinji route, took movie goers to the front door.  The bus route travelled from Menglembu (via Lahat Road) to Kidd Bus Station passing Ipoh ACS.  From that, it  headed toward the old Ipoh fountain, cut across Belfield Street into Leech Street,  right into Hugh Low Street, then right to Rex Theatre.  It then wound its way through Majestic Theatre (Dai Wah), and finally turned right into Jalan Pasir Puteh to its final destination.  Cost of travel from Menglembu to Rex is 15 cents.

May 2012

Did You Watch a Movie at Mayfair?

By |2012-05-07T12:18:08+08:00May 7th, 2012|Categories: history, ipoh, movies|Tags: , , , |

Y K Choong sent us this photo in October last year and it went on the the pile called “Must do site visit”.

Well this morning I actually got out to Jalan Theatre in Pasir Pinji to find that nobody 25 years old or less appeared to have ever heard of the place. However an aged Chinese gentleman in a little wooden shack pointed out the large square indoor badminton court building that stands on the theatre site today. This was opened in 2004.

So, with apologies to Choong, here is his photo of what I think was the concrete projection room of the otherwise wooden theatre.

Does anyone remember anything about the Mayfar Theatre which I understood from this morning’s conversation showed Chinese movies.

January 2012

September 2011

Where Did the Cinema Go?

By |2011-09-09T16:39:42+08:00September 9th, 2011|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, movies|

We’ve had comments about the (sadly) forgotten cinema at Kampong Simee….here’s a recent picture of the building (see picture below).

Anyone know WHEN this place closed down? What is it used as now? Perhaps some of you out there could share with us some of the better memories of this place……

July 2011

Rex, Ipoh – Movie Advertisement

By |2011-07-22T13:53:54+08:00July 22nd, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, movies|Tags: , , , |

Yes, it was WAY BACK in 1957…..when we saw Gregory Peck play the role of Captain Ahab!

They don’t make movie posters like they used to…..same can be said for the ‘cinema-experience’ that made cinema halls like Rex, Ruby, Lido, etc. favourite haunts.

The poster we have here is from Edwin Siebel.

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