Enjoying Singapore: Going to the Movies in Singapore
Going to the Movies in Singapore

What better way to escape the heat and humidity on a Sunday afternoon then to duck into one of the dozens of cinemas in Singapore? It really is no wonder that movie-going is the number one past-time here - for around $7, you get the latest Hollywood blockbuster, air-conditioning, comfortable seats (sometimes), state-of-the-art digital "surround" sound, as well as a crash course on all the latest variations of cellular phone ringing tones. Yes, going to the movies here is likely to be a vastly different experience from where you come from. Keep reading and you'll find out why...

Watching a movie, Singapore style...

  • Singapore has the highest pager and cellular phone ownership rate in the world, and it's painfully obvious in the cinemas.
  • People bring all kinds of food into the cinema...burgers, fries, crackers, nuts, popcorn, coffee... watching a movie here is more than just a visual treat.
  • The show never starts on time. When it says 9:15, it actually means the movie will start at 9:30.
  • Singaporeans are never on time. Having learnt from experience, people will straddle in 15 minutes after showtime, only to find the movie started 5 minutes earlier.
  • The pre-movie ads are something else. Where else can you find commercials, trailers, government campaigns and the "In case of emergency do not panic" reminder all at the same place?
  • Don't take the "artistic" in R(A) too seriously.
  • If you're early for the movie, take time to admire the "artwork" on the giant movie posters outside some cinemas like Capitol and Cathay. See if you can tell apart Bruce Willis from Leonardo Di Caprio.
  • Some multiplexes need better sound-proofing. Try concentrating on your serious, arty movie when dinosaurs are screaming and stomping all over the cinema next door.
  • Just for the Singaporean who tries to cram everything into their weekends, some cinemas have started screening movies at 2:30am.

Terrified yet? If you're still undaunted, read on...

Some quick facts:

Tickets cost around S$7. Some "up-market" cinemas like the Picture House charge a dollar more. The most luxuriest cinema has to be the Golden Village "Gold Class" cinema at Great World City. For $25 a ticket, you get a humongous reclining armchair, lots of room and waiters serving you fine food and drink.

Seating is assigned when you buy the ticket. Forget about last minute ticket-buying, especially for weekend shows. You're likely to end up looking at the screen at a 45 degree angle.

Orchard Cineplex was recently named by the Straits Times as the best cinema in Singapore.

Movies with adult themes are rated R(A). You have to be 21 and above to watch an R(A) movie.

Most cinemas don't allow hot drinks like coffee or tea, and some even insist you buy snacks and drinks from the cinema foyer.

Some cinemas like Lido and Orchard are actually cineplexes, housing up to 10 screens showing different movies.

Singapore has the highest movie-going rate in the world. On an average, a Singaporean goes to the movies 8 times a year.

List of popular cinemas:

  • Cathay Orchard Cineplex
    5th floor, Orchard Cineleisure
    8 Grange Rd
    Tel: 6235-1155

  • Shaw Organisation
    Bugis Junction
    4th floor, Parco Bugis Junction
    230 Victoria St
    Tel: 6337-9655

  • Lido
    5th floor Shaw House
    350 Orcahrd Rd
    Tel: 6732-4124

    Prince / Jade
    #03-00 Shaw Towers
    100 Beach Rd
    Tel: 6391-2550

  • Golden Village
    GV Marina
    #03-01 Marina Leisureplex,
    5A Raffles Ave
    Tel: 1900-912-1234

    GV Grand
    #03-39/40 Great World City,
    1 Kem Seng

    GV Plaza
    #07-01 Plaza Singapura
    68 Orcahrd Rd

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