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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Renowned Vintage Movie Theatres in Asia for Old Souls - Some Asian movie theatres are secret TARDISes!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Renowned Vintage Movie Theatres in Asia for Old Souls - Some Asian movie theatres are secret TARDISes!

In the 60's, Dr Who could time-travel in a blue British police call box -his TARDIS. In present-day Asia, certain movie theatres have become TARDISes, offering yesteryear cinema experiences. 📽🎞


The Lido, Bangkok (Thailand)

The Lido, Bangkok (Thailand)

By Wisekwai (Own work) [GFDL , CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in Siam Square, The Lido is one of the city's oldest vintage movie theatres that feature art-house movies. Built in 1968 in a move towards industrializing Bangkok, The Lido originally comprised of a single movie screen and a 1000 seats.

Twenty years ago, when the original theatre sustained heavy damages due to a fire, it was rebuilt as a three-screen Cineplex. Despite this refurbishing, if you are a 50's, 60's or a 70's enthusiast (especially architecture-wise), you will still find The Lido to be your kind of place since the 50's to the 70' s marked the golden years in movie theatres in Thailand.

Luxury theatres like The Lido, like the elite Thai palaces, represent not only Bangkok's architectural legacy but also its industrial and economic development over the years in true Thai fashion. 📽🎞


Scala Cinema, Bangkok (Thailand)

Scala Cinema, Bangkok (Thailand)

By Pantip user:Kampongpiratevee GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Situated in the same building complex as The Lido, the Scala cinema is uniquely remembered by its patrons for its beautiful 20th century Art Deco design. Famous as a must-visit Bangkok architectural landmark, the Scala is also widely referred to as a retro theatre-going experience.

This is largely owing to its single screen. The Scala is often frequented by 1920s, 30s and 40s aficionados as its considered by many as offering a more modest, yesteryear movie going experience compared to the more new and sophisticated movie theatres surrounding the area.

My Entertainment Hub offers you more information about the Scala cinema; ranging from what movie nibbles they have on offer, to the type of seating available and what types of movies are usually screened at this single screen theatre. 📽🎞


Grand Cinema, Shanghai (China)

Locally known as 'Da Guangming', the Grand Cinema, Shanghai; is an impressive establishment with scores of marble floors and grand staircases.

It is what is popularly categorized as an old-school, stand-alone specimen of oriental architecture. The theatre was built in 1928 by the Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec. There is no denying that the venue is colossal, with seating designed to accommodate approximately 1794 members of the audience at one given show time.

These numerous seats spread across 6 halls, including a monumental, two-tiered main hall. The Grand Cinema Shanghai also consists of one VIP viewing room with 25 seats. The theatre delivers both 3D and 4K quality movie-viewing experiences, but not IMAX.

Sweet popcorn is available for snacking and nibbling during screenings. 🍿


Metro INOX Cinema, Mumbai (India)

Metro INOX Cinema, Mumbai (India)

Photo By Leonora Enking from West Sussex, England (Metro Cinema scaffolding) CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1938, in its journey from the 1930's to the 21st century, this Mumbai movie theatre has witnessed many eras of change.

It was in 2017 that this movie theatre was named as the Metro INOX, up until 2016 it was known as the Metro Big Cinema, before that as Metro Adlabs and initially as Metro Cinema.

The cinema was established by the Hollywood studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and designed by the New York architect Thomas W. Lamb. The interior of the movie theatre was all decorated in shades of red and pink.

Despite its ravishing Art Deco, soon the theatre couldn't withstand the multiplex invasion and found it difficult to fill up its 1,491 seats. After a large-scale retrofitting, the cinema now boasts some of Mumbai's six largest multiplex screens.

The cinema today is both spacious and beautiful, with decorative murals, plush drapery, sparkling chandeliers and Italian marble floors.


Coliseum Theatre, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Coliseum Theatre, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

By User:Two hundred percent (None) CC BY-SA 2.5, GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1920, this Art Deco cinema, with its balcony could originally seat 900 people. Except for a break during the country's Japanese occupation during World War II, it is the longest running cinema hall in the country. In 2012, the Lotus Five Star Cinema took over the Coliseum theatre, rebranding it as LFS Coliseum Cineplex with two screens, consisting of 474 seats.

Today Coliseum's main income generators are Bollywood and Tollywood movies.