Down the Ma­jes­tic mem­ory lane

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY IM­RAN HILMY

GE­ORGE TOWN: It was a trip down mem­ory lane af­ter the re­fur­bished Ma­jes­tic The­atre screened sil­ver screen clas­sics of yesteryears over the week­end.

Choong Teng Mie, 85, said catch­ing a movie at the build­ing nes­tled be­tween Jalan Khoo Sian Ewe and Jalan Phee Choon brought back a flood of memories.

He said he used to spend a lot of time in his younger days at the the­atre.

“This was the place my wife and I dated be­fore we got mar­ried,” he grinned when met at the screen­ing of kung-fu clas­sic 36th Cham­ber of Shaolin and was ac­com­pa­nied by his wife Teoh Ah Bee, 84.

The Khoo Sian Ewe Hall housed the cinema af­ter the build­ing was con­structed in 1929 by the epony­mous phi­lan­thropist then.

The cinema in­dus­try suf­fered a de­cline with the ad­vent of shop­ping com­plexes re­sult­ing in stand­alone cine­mas, like Ma­jes­tic, clos­ing down in the early 1980s and 1990s.

Pre­mium bou­tique prop­erty de­vel­oper and man­age­ment com­pany 1919 Global took over the prop­erty and re­fur­bished the 15,319sq ft space for use as a movie the­atre and for per­form­ing arts and pub­lic events.

Sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Josephine Leong said the movie screen­ings are sched­uled for the third week­end of each month from Novem­ber un­til Jan­uary 2017.

She said the screen­ings paid trib­ute to the rich Malaysian cin­e­matic her­itage and was a way to link the past to the present.

“The re­sponse so far has been good, the first day (Nov 19) saw more than 200 per­sons at­tend­ing,” she told theSun.

Another trav­eller along mem­ory lane was Tang Chai Oh, 77, who said he could not be­lieve it when told the cinema had re­opened and had to see it for him­self.

“I was here ev­ery week to watch my favourite shows, the tick­ets then were only 40 cents,” he said.

Tang said he and a friend were reg­u­lar pa­trons un­til the cinema screened its fi­nal show in the 1980s but his friend had passed on a few years ago.

“I al­ways re­mem­ber him when I pass this build­ing, if he was still alive I am sure we will still meet up to catch a good movie,” the pen­sioner said.

MASRY CHE ANI/ THESUN

Left: The newlook Ma­jes­tic has re­opened af­ter be­ing aban­doned for more than 20 years. Be­low: Leong with a pro­mo­tional ban­ner.

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