Cinema Room

The cinemas in Penang were truly a democratic space, presenting films and music in various languages and dialects.Malay movies carried Malay music and rhythms, films from Hong Kong promoted Mandopop, Tamil and Hindustani hits arrived via movies from India, while Hollywood and British films brought the latest Western pop hits.

For a time, musicians actually played live in the cinemas as a ‘pre-screening’ event, and in the 1960s, films inspired many ‘imitator’ competitions (“sing like Connie Francis, or Elvis”) and helped introduce new dance crazes.

Experience the magic of going to the movies back in the day!