For archive (Updated on January 26, 2019)
Before the advent of DVDs and Video Streaming, one has to rely on the Silver Screen.
In our younger days, there were fifteen (or so) cinemas in Rangoon.
- President (Thamada)
- Palladium (Pa Pa Win)
- Globe (Gon)
- Royal (Taw Win)
- Carlton (Yuzana)
- Light house
- Excelsior (Waziya)
- Shwe Gon
- Kar Htay,
- Shwe Mann
- Tabin Shwe Htee
President had Loge seats for five kyats. Most cinemas have Dress Circle seats for K3.50. The other seats sell for 75 pyas (for the front most seats), K1.50 (90 pyas with a valid UTC card) for the middle row seats and K2.50 for the back row seats.
New shows usually start on Fridays (around noon). The attendees for the “First Day First Show” usually indicate the popularity of a new movie.
The movie “Hna ma let shawt nay le dawt” was one exception. Some believe U Khin Maung Yin (A60) was somewhat ahead of the time.
Before the main feature, there were often news (e.g. by Rank Organization) and trailers (of forthcoming movies). Since some movies were shown in multiple cinemas, the starting times of the main feature were staggered (to allow the physical sharing of the movie reels across adjacent or close cinemas).
“Ten Commandments”, “Ben Hur” and “The Longest Day” are some hits for the Big Screen. Cinema-scope, Todd AO productions are some of the then novel features.
“Imitation of Life”, “Madam X” are appreciated by drama lovers.
Norman Wisdom and Jerry Lewis provided slap stick comedy.
“Dracula”, “Frankenstein” and “Psycho” provided suspense.
There were also musicals (some adapted from Broadway) such as “South Pacific”, “Sound of Music” and “My Fair Lady”.
There were other genres :
- Science fiction
Most movie lengths are between 8000 to 12000 feet. Longer films require the change of viewing times (e.g. less shows per day).
The movies need approval from the Censor Board.
Academy awards were given to eligible Burmese/Myanmar movies, directors, and actors.
The cinemas were nationalized.
The film gave way to digital media.
With the advent of TV, DVDs and the Internet, the former cinema goers changed their viewing habits.
A few years back, only a limited number of movies were produced.
Some movie stars and enthusiasts are trying to build cinemas (some of them mega-cinemas) to revive the memories of the Silver Screen (and its improvements).