Cinema

Before the advent of DVDs and Video Streaming, one has to rely on the Silver Screen.

Cinemas in Rangoon

In our younger days, the cinemas in Rangoon include :

  • Bayint Naung
  • Carlton / Yuzana
  • Excelsior / Waziya
  • Globe / Gon
  • Kar Htay
  • Light house / Nay Pyi Daw
  • Ma Yo San
  • Myoma
  • President / Thamada
  • Palladium / Pa Pa Win
  • Ritz
  • Regent
  • Royal / Taw Win
  • Shwe Gon
  • Shwe Mann
  • Sun Thiri
  • Tabin Shwe Htee
  • Wizaya

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

  • 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.
  • 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).

Well-known movies

  • Action
    e.g. The Longest Day, The Guns of Navarone
  • Comedy
    e.g. Jerry Lewis, Norman Wisdom
  • Drama
    e.g. Imitation of Life, Madam X
  • Historical
    e.g. Ten Commandments, Ben Hur
  • Musical
    e.g. South Pacific, Sound of Music
  • Science Fiction
    e.g. Time Machine
  • Suspense
    e.g. Dracula, Psycho
  • Travelog
    e.g. Around the world in eighty days

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).
  • Movies needed approval from the Censor Board.
  • Academy awards were given to eligible Burmese/Myanmar movies, directors, actors, …
  • 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 building cinemas (some of them mega-cinemas) to revive the memories of the Silver Screen (and its improvements).

Categories: Uncategorized

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