Sunday, October 07, 2007

The old cinematic experience

Obviously I'm not done with my postings on Kota Kinabalu yet.

There was one night we were walking around KK, and discovered that they still have those old cinemas around!

For the benefit of those born in Malaysia after 1985 - before there were cineplexes, we go to the cinema to watch movies.

What's the difference?
  • Cinemas are stand-alone buildings consisting two storeys. Only one movie can be shown at a single time.

  • There are two type of tickets you can purchase. The one upstairs is usually more expensive because you get a better view (parallel to the screen).
  • There will usually be at most 2 ticketing booths. No such thing as reservation or online purchase.
  • The screen will be lit by coloured lights, usually covered by the curtain. People will get excited when the curtain is drawn, which means the movie is starting soon.

  • Toilets are inside the cinema itself, and located at the side (next to the exit). The entrance is usually covered by a black curtain. One will know if someone went to the toilet during the movie as there will be light and curtain movement from the toilet itself.
  • The chairs are usually harder and without the flexible armrest. No place for you to put drinks as well.
  • Movie posters are usually hand-painted. So depending on the artist, Arnold would either look damn good or damn gay.
  • There is usually some "Now Showing" or "Next Change" notice boards with movie posters and screen caps of the movies showing or to be shown in the cinema.

The cinema we went is currently managed by GSC. However it has every characteristics of a cinema, down right to the painted posters (I only remembered Ratatouille featuring a very fat Remy).

We checked out the schedule and found only Rush Hour 3 is the most suitable time for us. Tickets cost RM8 for the ones upstairs (downstairs cost only RM6). Of course we bought the more expensive tickets (RM8 only wor!!).

The cinema was how I remember it when I was a kid. As we sat down, memories of people eating kuaci and littering the shells all over the floor start flashing back again. Lucky no one around us was eating kuaci during the movie.

When the first commercial was aired, we just laughed.

It was in a slide show format, just like the old times.

No colour, no action, no sound.

Just like someone was projecting slides on the OHP - No smoking, Turn off handphone, Silence please... I think there was some phone number for the plumber as well. Not sure if the other people thought we were crazy or not because we could not stop laughing. Maybe they think we never been to the cinema before!

There weren't many trailers and commercials anyway (excluding the lengthy merdeka ones) and soon we got to watch Rush Hour 3.

When the movie ended, the cinema folks didn't even give chance for the end credits to roll. The minute the end credits started appearing on the screen, then suddenly it was bright lights, no more screening and people leaving the cinema. I wonder what happened to those movies with crazy credits such as X-men (Professor Xavier appeared briefly after the credits ended), did GSC deprive the audience of such a chance?

Anyway, I was amused with the experience, but it certainly triggered memories of the old days. The last movie I recall watching in a cinema was Speed (Keanu Reeves!!!). All of us were glad we took this opportunity because I don't think there's such experience anymore in KL...

My only regret is not taking photos of those slide show commercials!

No comments: