“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 😉
Shaw Employees Welfare Association
Wah On Theatre
Famous Names – Run Run Shaw
We pay tribute to Run Run Shaw, of the famed Shaw Brothers, who passed away in Hong Kong yesterday.
The Shaw Organisation began in 1924, with operations in Singapore screening their own brand of silent movies. Frustrated by local distributors, they set up their own cinema, “The Empire”, to screen their movies. Led by brothers Run Run and Runme Shaw, they began to branch out into Malaysia building new cinemas and operating a mobile cinema for rural areas. However, it was only with the advent of sound that movies began to really launch themselves – by 1933 the Shaw’s had produced the Cantonese opera film ‘Normal Dragon’ which proved a breakthrough for them in both Singapore and Hong Kong. [more can be found at – http://www.hkcinema.co.uk/Articles/shawbronews.html ]
I’m sure many movie-lovers out there remember these famous brothers and their contribution to the cinematic industry. I was not born in that era, but from what I’ve read (and heard) the Shaw Brothers always had interesting ways of advertising the up-and-coming movies. (see sample below)
Fancy a pint?
Not that I’m suggesting anything (from the title), but this picture may just tickle the interest of some of our fans. We’ve had some mention about certain cinemas having an open bar, where patrons hung out before the show or during the intermission.
Take a closer look at this one…
Know where this is place is? Well, YOU tell us!
Special thanks to John McAuley for this one.
The Cowan Street/Brewster Road Landmark
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.
‘Sing Kong’ (Star Cinema), Ipoh
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?
Did You Watch a Movie at Mayfair?
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.
Have You Ever….
A Unique Wedding Photograph!
Fancy having your wedding picture taken in front of a cinema hall! That’s what these people seem to have done 🙂
Notice the sign above the entrance which says ‘Malayan Talkies’. To what we know, the former Sun Cinema was the first in Ipoh to screen ‘talkies’ (movies with sound) – which was way back in 1929. On the far right, there is a poster advertising the movie ‘South of Pago Pago’, which was released in the US in July 1940….and that would mean that the movie only made it to our shores towards the end of that year or in the early half of 1941.
Now that we’ve roughly established the year this picture was taken. what we’d like to know is: WHICH cinema this is and WHERE it is?
A special thanks to Charlie Choong for this picture 😉
3 Friends at the Grand Theatre
The quality of the picture may not be that good….but I’m pretty sure that the building in the far right is the back portion of the Grand Theatre (which once stood at Brewster Road and Cowan Street).
Of course many of us remember that the Grand Theatre was also part of Jubilee Park; with that in mind….I’m taking a wild guess as to the date of this picture – perhaps 1930/1931? Keeping in mind that the Shaw Brothers began Jubilee Park around 1932, hence I feel that this picture was before the Jubilee Park was built.
Anyone with other theories? Perhaps someone out there could tell us MORE!
The Rex Theatre Kampar Wishes You Gong Xi Fa Cai
What’s Happened to Lido?
This picture was sent to us by Ruth Rollit, the daughter of the Danish architect B M Iversen.
Familiar? No? This is what the interior of the Lido Cinema looks like today – as you can see, it’s not longer a cinema. Lido has now been converted into Florex Restaurant.
In this picture, the raised level shown was where the bar used to be. Has much of the interior changed? I noticed that the original floor tiles are still there. What about the rest of the place?
Ipoh’s ‘Tall Tower’!
This cinema was built in the 1930s, adjacent to a Christian graveyard – rumour has it that if you took off your shoes inside, you might not find them again when the lights come on! The picture shown here was taken in 1971, after the cinema was renovated.
I’m sure most of you know this Brewster Road cinema! Wonder what’s become of it now? After the fire in 2007, it seems to have just ‘stood still’……..
And Now One for the Cinema Buffs
This is Ipoh’s Cathay Theatre which still stands to day, but no longer as a cinema having been overtaken by Metroplexes and the like. It was once a beautiful single-screen theatre, built in Cockman Street in late 1956 and opened on August 31, 1957 with the movie, ‘The King and I’, telling the fictitious romantic story of Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam. At that time the 3rd Class seats (front rows downstairs) cost 60cents per ticket, while 2nd Class further back cost around $1.20. 1st Class upstairs (mainly for Europeans or VIPs) cost $2.
However, this picture above is a little strange for there is still waste ground opposite the theatre, but the posters are all torn, yet it must still have been a working theatre as it is advertising Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in the Paramount Picture “Pardners” which dates it as not long after the opening in 1957/58. Does anyone have any ideas as to when the buildings opposite were built?
Photographer Risks Life and Limb in Ipoh
Well he would be in danger if he was to try and take the same photograph today as he was standing in the centre of the Birch Bridge in Brewster Road, but of course in 1952 life was different in Ipoh, Brewster Road took two-way traffic and as you can see the road is almost empty. Compare that to today if you will.
But as you can see, despite the fact that the photograph has suffered with age, there were so many trees, big trees not some miniatures, overtrimmed, dusty and dry that we are so used to today. Also, some of today’s buildings have not yet been built and the Odeon Theatre stands out in the distance.
Incidentally, the Odeon Theatre in Ipoh seated 850 on its main floor and in the balcony and was built in the 1930’s. Triangular in shape it is adjacent to St Michael’s Cemetery and like the Rex Theatre, Ipoh, rumours of ghostly happenings, spooks and terrifying visions abound. One popular rumour was that if you ever took off your shoes inside, you would never find them when the light came on – even if nobody had sat in front, behind or next to you.
The theatre closed in 1986 and several nightclubs have tried to make a success of it but either because of bad ‘feng shui’ or the ghosts, they have all failed. Today it stands as a marker of failure and ready for demolition unless some serious entrepreneur is prepared to try and change the building’s luck.