Archive for June 22nd, 2012











This is how Majestic Cinema on Chamberlain Road in Ipoh looked in the early days.












The cinema had closed down in 1998 and it became a furniture store until this week when demolishing work started. Picture taken in early 2011.



Two days ago, a new reader of this blog by the name of M.P. cillin, alerted me that the old and abandoned Majestic Cinema on Chamberlain Road in Ipoh had been partly demolished that morning. A check with other blogs from Ipoh confirmed this tragedy. It was truly a sad day for the people of Ipoh.

This cinema was built-in the 1940s in the “Art Deco” style. Like Lido, Cathay, Rex and Odeon, it was designed by the famous Danish architect, BM Iversen. His daughter Ruth Iversen still made occasional visits back to Ipoh to visit her father’s designs. So, can you imagine how heart-broken she must be to learn of this latest vandalism? I think the people of Ipoh had let her down badly. Poor Ruth lamented that one day she will have no more reason to visit Ipoh again. One can only feel her pain and anguish.

Most of the cinemas in Ipoh were closed down in the 1990s and some were converted to furniture stores. Rex is one of them. Lido was turned into a Chinese dim sum restaurant. Cathay was rented out to a departmental store.

It is sad to see these buildings going away one by one. In their heydays, people flocked to these cinema halls to catch their favorite movies. It was a place for families and courting couples to spend their evenings together, munching on snacks while watching their idols in action.

Then came video tapes and later CDs. Today, we can just watch a movie at home without having to step out of the door again. The downside of course is that more and more cinemas closed down. And they were left abandoned.

I have seen Majestic Cinema turned into a store selling cheap shoes and school uniforms and later furniture for a couple of years before that fateful morning of 20th June when the hammer brought it down into bricks and stones. I read in the Ipoh echo that the owner had yet to get permission from the local council but he went ahead with the demolition anyway.

Perhaps the lure of money was too great for him. Greed knows no bound. In Malaysia, money comes first. Heritage does not have a place in this country. I wonder what will come out later from this site. Will it be another modern looking shopping mall?

Majestic Cinema was the place where I once went to watch those Bruce Lee Kung Fu movies with Dad. Other memorable ones are some vampire movies and also a few tear-jerker starring Lin Chin-Hsia and Chin Han.

Does Majestic Cinema too, held sweet memories for you the way it did for me?

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