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Sep 29, 2011

Rex Cinema Then and Now

Then: Rex Theatre at MacKenzie Road c 1948. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Walking down memory lane in Selegie Road today, I took this opportunity to blog on "Rex Cinema Then and Now".

Both "Rex Theatre" and "Rex Cinema" mentioned in the old and new photos refers to the same place. From the latest photo on the blog, it is shown as "Rex Cinemas".

It doesn't matter. Its the same building 60 years ago then and now is the same "Rex" for screening movies at this place.

Now: Rex Cinemas on 29 Sep 2011

Now: Rex Cinemas on 29 Sep 2011

Then: The coffee shop and restaurant opposite Rex Theatre in 1971. Source: National Archives of Singapore

Then: The queue at Rex Theatre c 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Then: The queue at Rex Theatre c 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Here's a "Spot the Difference" quiz on this blog:

1. The film-goers to queue for cinema tickets.

2. What is "New Sensurround"?

3. Why you will "FEEL" the "Earthquake"?

4. What is "70MM" as advertised on the banner?

5. What is "black market" for the sales of cinema tickets?

Then: The queue at Rex Theatre c 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Then: The queue at Rex Theatre c 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Then: The queue at Rex Theatre c 1975. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Then: The "roti prata" stall at backlane beside Rex Theatre c 1971. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

"On a little street in Singapore" Group on Facebook created by Jerome Lim, I posted here on 25 Mar, 2011.

The Indian stall at the corner of this coffee shop was one of the best "chapati" stall in Singapore, not forgetting the "chendoh" push-cart stall with undiluted coconut milk and concentrated "gula Melaka" at the backlane of Rex Cinema.

Now: The backlane beside Rex Cinemas (Mackenzie Road) on 29 Sep 2011. The hawker push-carts for chendol, mee goreng, satay, Indian rojak, roti prata and other food stalls have disappeared.

Now: The backlane beside Rex Cinemas (Rochor Canal Road) on 29 Sep 2011. Another view of an empty and unblocked backlane now.

Now: The Rex Cinemas facing Rochor Canal Road on 29 Sep 2011.

Now: The Rex Cinemas carpark facing Rochor Canal Road on 29 Sep 2011.

I hope nostalgia bloggers and readers enjoy this blog of Singapore memories as much as I posted it.

Thanks to National Archives of Singapore and the many contributors for the old photos to share here, without which our "memory aids" are not made possible.

As the "Singapore Memory Ambassador", I used to lament about the lack of old photographs of my childhood days to help the stories of Singapore memories. Simply I did not own a simple camera until I earned my first pay cheque in my 1970s.

Everyone has a brain but not everyone has a camera in those early days. Thank God I own one too, albeit shrinking a smaller brain now as my age grows older; and memories no longer as sharp as I was younger. Just at 63 years old yesterday.

On the "memory aids" of Internet, Google, so many like-minded bloggers and special interest groups of Facebook and social media channels, there are many helpful friends I have learnt.

Every person's memomories in one's lifetime is priceless. Memories and various "memory-aids" of individuals are not for sale, loan or lease.

There are many people who lock their private memories and stored in their functioning brains throughout their lives and not a world uttered publicly to tell the world. When they die, their memories die with them. Me too!

Obviously, I share only selective memories as blog to express only of interest and worthwhile and if not else, for myself.

During my young days in Bukit Ho Swee, I spent most evenings at the community centre.

I was a few years older than most teenagers then and had many young friends. I was kinda a "gin na tau" (childish leader) at the community centre to tell stories I had learnt in school. We are teachers and learners all at the same time, to and from other people at the same time; to acquire knowledge from my teachers.

Children like stories, just like me. I guess I was a story-teller in my past life, like those days my father told me about story-tellers along the Singapore River in the 1950s to the workers in the evening.

Then: Story teller at the Singapore River in the 1950s.

If I were to be a story-teller today, its a vanished trade and I would be out of business at Singapore Memory Project , where you can read so many interesting Singapore memories which the Memory Corps contributors to share with us. Please join me to tell "grandfather" or "great grandfather" stories or those to be told through the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Its a fun family-bonding activities for everyone.

I understand that there were no lady story-tellers in public in the olden days.  However, nowadays, great grandmother and grandmother story-tellers have very good and captivating stories to share with us.

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11 Comments:

Blogger ....... said...

If I could recollect, REX was the first tier cinema for SHAW in those days. Watching film show in REX was quite expensive and could cost up to $2.50 and $3, possibly because of the 70mm wide screen projection.

In comparison, the third tier cinemas like Orient in China Town would only cost $1 to $1.50.

September 30, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Hi Navalant, thank you for adding your knowledge and information to Rex Cinema with answers to the quiz on this blog.

I remember there was another wide screen projection known as "Cinemaramascope" special screen effect in Sky Cinema and a few selected theatres, including Rex Cinema. Never heard of this since then.

October 1, 2011 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger FL said...

I have fond memory of the old Rex Cinemas. I watched the "Earthquake" at Rex, I think, in mid-70. It had sensurround system. You could feel the rumbling at your seats as if there's an earthquake in the cinemas hall !! It's a good experience, too.

October 2, 2011 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger FL said...

I have fond memory of the old Rex Cinemas. I watched the Earthquake at Rex, I think, in mid-70. It had sensurround system. You could feel the rumbling at your seats as if there's an earthquake in the cinemas hall !! It's a good experience, too.

October 2, 2011 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger lim said...

Ahh, Rex cinema, a place I went to quite a few times in my youth, and still passed by it on a few occasions. Did Chang Kee curry pok started its business in a coffee shop nearby?

October 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Andy Young* said...

I remember going there to watch a few movies. One was 'The Lone Ranger' and can even remember the actor's name, Clayton Moore.

Hi yo Silver, away!

October 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

I have seen many movies here. But I only remember Earthquake with Sensurround.

October 5, 2011 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thanks to FL, Andy and Chun See for sharing your memories and experience for watching movies at Rex Theatre so many years ago. I think the "sensurround" and "cinemaramascope" filming technology is now outdated. The younger generations will not have a chance to know the movie watching experience in the 1960s of their parents and grandparents...just as the experiences of our great, great grandparents to watch black and white silent movies in the 1900s.

October 6, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Mr Lim, you're right. The best curry-puff at the coffee shop opposite Rex Theatre was well-known. The "Old Chang Kee" curry-puff was claimed to be the same traditional recipe from one of the original stall. OCK brand name today with many outlets and franchise to roaring business all over Singapore.

October 6, 2011 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger Ipohgal said...

Hi James,

I noticed the similarities of Rex Cinema both in Singapore and Ipoh. Is the one in Singapore also designed by the same architect Berthel Michael Iversen from Denmark? He designed most of the cinemas in Ipoh.

October 7, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you Ipohgal.

I did a search on Google and found relevant information from ipohWorld here to share with us.

October 7, 2011 at 5:28 PM  

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