Thursday, April 20, 2006


Ah movies, they're wonderful aren't they. But watching it at home is quite different from at the theater especially for a movie lover like me. Nothing compares to dark cinema halls, huge screens and vibrating sound systems.

KL used to have lots of old cinemas. However they gradually lost their luster as most never got refurbished and had to gave way to the sleek cineplex's that now dot the Klang valley. Though these cineplexs can be vouched for the rebirth of movie watching in Malaysia, not all of the old cinemas lost out to time.

That's where the Coliseum comes. Built in 1920, this was the cinema that has seen Sivaji, Mgr, Rajini, Kamal and now Surya blaze through the screens of an ever a famous theater.


Everyone has a story to tell about the Coliseum. Well when your grandma watched movies here in her days as a young lass, you'll never be short of stories. Anyway lets leave grandma out of this, we'll talk about my movie experience.

This place is extra special to me as this was where I watched my first movie and the only place I've watched a movie in Malaysia with the whole family. Somehow my parent's don't like the theaters, luckily their kids watch enough for both of them.

I still remember going there for the first time, a ten/ nine year old, arriving at this huge theater (I was a kid that's huge and still is bigger than most theaters in Malaysia) where streams of people were standing outside waiting to get tickets or for the movie to start. It was a family affair, everyone were in huge groups, holding bags filled with snacks or haggling with the vendors. Those were the days where they sold sundal, kuaci* and all sorts of mixtures besides the then newly famous junk food. You could even get cotton candy. Given it was a Tamil movie, people used to have enough for seconds for a group of 20. It was wonderland for kids and headache for parents and of course kids were always hungry only when they go out! ;)


It was the 3D movie My dear Kuttichatan that was my first theater experience, and from the balcony the dropping cherry on the ice cream was so deliciously so near yet so far that my craving for movies at theaters began.

I remember bro and me were nudged by dad to go say hi to the politician who had also turned up to watch. I'm sorry but no man is more interesting than a red and green lensed eyewear for 2 excited kids! Ah I can still vividly remember the scenes of the movie even today. Of course the delicious but messy kuaci skins will be strewed all over the theater floors right after the movie, probably explains why you can't get those at the cineplex. They anti climax was right after the movie we had to go for a funeral, so from the fantasy world of fireballs in your face we were transferred to a gloomy solemn house.

I don't get to watch a lot of movies here mostly coz you can't book tickets and this is one of the few places you might have to buy tickets in black! But the ones that I did watch here have all been memorable, especially thalaivar's movies.

It was the 3rd day of the release of Padayappa and I couldn't take sitting at home not watching him on screen! So a friend and I brazed close roads and a crowded theater area seeking for tickets. We did finally land ourselves prized tickets (bought in black the only one I've bought this way) but a late night show, and those were the days of curfews and mobile-less times. Ah but to see HIM we would have waited even till 5am. We did end up waiting longer, when the movie that was supposed to have started at 11pm, only started at 12.30 am, as you can imagine I was grounded. But it was all worth it, just to see Rajni on screen, with the even more excited crowds, whistles and screams, the cheering and booing of Ramya, the swing scene and oh you know the rest.

Of course who can forget the time I met Jo, it was the coliseum again!

Coliseum is the place to watch a Tamil movie especially Rajni's, huge screen, great sound, wonderful enthusiastic atmosphere and fans and all the screaming you'd love! His first appearance on screen and the crowds yells in euphoria! This is probably the only place you can find the motorcycle uncle selling sundal and kuaci outside the theater. Now that's the movie experience.

Wouldn't it be grand if 40 years down the road, the Coliseum is still around, while I'm the granny embarrassing her grandkid by screaming at say Surya who's still a hero at 60? ;p

sundal, kuaci* - types of nuts

ps : there's photos but some prob with zooomr hummm


Ramya said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaay 1st to comment ! Now let me read the post !

Ghost Particle said...

oh yeh...i am the first...i am the first...lets do the conga...lalalalala....lala.llalalalala...

I hate rajini

I like movies

I've been to Colesium

Dont go there anymore coz, there is no THX...and cannot get ticket easily.

But love to see it remain there forever as probably the oldest remaining cinema hall in the country.

Ramya said...

Watching movies at theatres were always an awe to me !! And u met Jo???? Whoa whoa!! Lucky u ! :p

Ghost Particle said...

noooooooooo...this is no no......give me back my spot...grrrrr...

Ramya said...

GP,, naaa... am the 1st !! lets do the la la la lalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Jeevan said...

watching movies in theater is a great joy, your theater experiacne is very nice. whistles and screams! like sandhakoli Meera Jashmin'a?

i think my first movie was Rajinikanth's Rajathi Raja, first time see the movie in screen.i have gone for theater when i was kid, that time i dont know what is cinema or theater, my mom used to tell that she we take me to theater, but i will cry, so she will try to put me sleep and he also miss to see the movie.

Sheks said...

hey i seriously am do u manage to write such long posts everyday?and coupling tht with the pics!how do u find time to do tht?u being a professional blogger,give me some tips.send them to the email in my profile.

coming to ur post,wat has the title got to do with the post?and i've posted a review of Tirupati in my blog.Rate it,plz.

BawangMerah said...

You know for someone who loves rajini, I've yet to watch his movies in theatre. Wait I think I watched Baba in theatre, hmmm. I missed Padayappa though. Yeah that swing scene, Heck that whole movie was awesome :)

I've never been to Coliseum, but I've heard some of my friends talk about it with nostalgia. Just like you did. Here, we had a few theatres that were old. They were huge, and you could buy all sorts of stuff like asam and stuff at the cafe. Sadly though now they've been made into 2nd rate shopping malls.

My days(Gops) said...

wow, u r enough lucky to watch movies in theatres...
my last film in theatre=>7g rainbow colony in 2004...

"my dear kuttichathan" =>the theatre people gives us one special "specs" to watch tht movie in 3D effect..

Aravind said...

thou art tagged :D

Ariel said...

heheh! coliseum's fun.

i remember when i was a teenage bombshell dulu, I think it was Thalapathy..I kena kacau by this guy who was sitting next to me at The Coliseum okay? He kept trying to terkena his tangan on me..and when it happened he'd give me this silly smile! Sungguh tak senonoh budak ittew...

Then I told my uncle about it and we exchanged place. The boy did not grin sheepishly anymore after that.

geetha said...

I also watched kuttichatan in coliseum. Yeah, it is one theater with rememberance for me too.. Watched some movies there, all the way from campus *wink*

Prasanna said...

that was a nice post.Its a unique experience watching movies in the big screen, and that too watching a movie on the first day of its release. Its like watching cricket in the stadium. Even though u don't follow ball by ball, its a life time experience. Even i had watched Padayappa first day and the theatre was flooded with rose petals. It was like entering a temple. And the ambience every time Rajini appears was unbelievable. U may have the best home theatre but nothing beats watching it on the big screen with an audience

visithra said...

@ ramya : yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ;)

@ gp : ops ;)

hoi me big rajini fan - u get hit if u say otherwise ;)

yeah ticket is a problem same reason dont go there often

yeah same wish ;)

@ Ramya : it still is for me - n its my tension solver ;) hehehe

@ Gp & Ramya : lol u guys are entertaining ;)

@ jeevan : hhehe i cant whistle but can make noise ;) awww rajini movie - u did? Like my bro

@ Sheks : not everyday sheks ;) err time management? Lol

actually the photo would have explained that - on the building the year of the construction is there - 1920 - athan

will come read

@ Bawangred : u do? Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy rajini fan - give me 5 ;)

swing was the most awesome thing - didnt know id gape at shoe soles - ever ;p hehehe

ahh but its fun - colisuem has its charms do go one day - at least the buildings r still there - dont like bringing down pre war buildings

@ mydays : i guess so - loe the theater - yeah those specs ;)

@ Aravind : shall do soon i think ;)

@ Ariel : it is it is ;)

cheh cheh waste fellow - should have stepped him with ur hell or swung the handbag and gone oh im sorry u idiot ;)
Hehehe ah uncle to the rescue ;)

@ Geetha : its a nice place ;) ahhh me too ;)

@ Prasanna : yeah first day shows r awesome ;) there r movies i have to do that - exactly theatre is an experience

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