Updated : August 5, 2019
Before the advent of DVDs and Video Streaming, one has to rely on the Silver Screen.
In our younger days, the cinemas in Rangoon include :
- President (Thamada)
- Palladium (Pa Pa Win)
- Globe (Gon)
- Royal (Taw Win)
- Carlton (Yuzana)
- Light house (Nay Pyi Daw)
- Excelsior (Waziya)
- Shwe Gon
- Shwe Mann
- Sun Thiri
- Tabin Shwe Htee
- Ma Yo San
- Bayint Naung
- Kar Htay
Cost of cinema tickets
- President had Loge seats for five kyats
- Most cinemas have Dress Circle seats for K3.50.
- Back row seats cost K2.50.
- Middle row seats cost K1.50. UTC members get a discount rate of 90 pyas.
- Front row sets sell for 75 pyas.
- The screening times were 12:30 PM, 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM.
- When a movie was offered 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).
- New shows usually started on Fridays at 12:30 PM.
- The attendees for the “First Day First Show” usually indicated 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, Modern Artist) was ahead of the time.
- Before the main feature, there were news (e.g. by Rank Organization), cartoons and trailers (of forthcoming movies).
Some well-known movies
- Historical (e.g. Ten Commandments, Ben Hur)
- Action (e.g. The Longest Day, The Guns of Navarone)
- Drama (e.g. Imitation of Life, Madam X)
- Suspense (e.g. Dracula, Psycho)
- Musical (e.g. South Pacific, Sound of Music)
- Comedy (e.g. movies by Jerry Lewis and Norman Wisdom)
- Science Fiction (e.g. Time Machine)
- Travelog (e.g. Around the world in eighty days)
- Cinema-scope, Todd AO productions were some of the then novel features.
- Most movie lengths were between 8000 to 12000 feet. Longer films required the change of viewing times (e.g. less shows per day).
- The movies needed approval from the Censor Board.
- Academy awards were given to eligible Burmese/Myanmar movies, directors, actors, …
- The cinemas were nationalized were nationalized a few years after the Coup d’etat.
- With the advent of TV, DVDs and the Internet, the former cinema goers around the world changed their viewing habits.
- A few years back, only a limited number of movies were produced in Myanmar.
- Some Myanmar 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).