Uncategorized

Cinema

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)
  • Myoma
  • Shwe Gon
  • Shwe Mann
  • Sun Thiri
  • Tabin Shwe Htee
  • Wizaya
  • Ma Yo San
  • Bayint Naung
  • Ritz
  • Regent
  • 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.

Typical schedule

  • 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)

Some Observations

  • 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).

Categories: Uncategorized

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