Madras Cinema

Kuala Lumpur

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The Madras Cinema located in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown (Madras Lane) was one of the earliest movie house in Kuala Lumpur with huge screen and wooden seats. It was ran by Shaw Brothers and shown mainly Chinese movies despite its name.

The Madras was located a few blocks away from Rex cinema. It was a place for Shaw Brothers to handout Chinese New Year goodies to senior citizens every Lunar New Year.

The Madras was said to be haunted — one of the seats was occupied by a supernatural being and no matter how full the cinema was, ticket to that particular seat (In Malaysia, all cinemas have reserved seatings) will not be sold to patrons !

The cinema was burnt down in 1978 and Shaw never rebuilt it, and from 1979 till now, the spot where Madras cinema once stood is a parking lot.

An interesting fact is that the Rex cinema which was located few blocks away from Madras was also burnt down in the early 1970s and Shaw erected a newer Rex in 1977 and it became the most popular movie hall in Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s !

Contributed by Augustine Heng
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