The show is over…

Yes, the show is over and the cinemas…

Zenith Mint Cinema, Rejang Park, Sibu

…stand, looking somewhat sad and desolate today, as bleak reminders of the glory days gone by.

In my growing up years, long before there was television, our much-looked-forward-to form of entertainment was a movie at one of the cinemas in town. We had three in the town centre, the Rex Cinema and the Palace Theatre and the Lido that was burnt down and now turned into a hotel…

Leh Do Hotel, Sibu
*Archive photo*

…and then the Cathay Cinema came along, later to become the Star Cineplex but it has closed down quite recently. The King’s Cinema was opened even later and despite having been in a fire a couple of times, it is the only one that is still going strong except that it is now what they call a trioplex by virtue of the fact that it is a cineplex with three halls showing different movies simultaneously.

Going to a movie these days can be very expensive, over RM10.00 a ticket compared to 50 cents in the front seats during the good old days and RM1.00 for 1st class and RM1.50 for the reserved seats, usually upstairs. I had my share of the sword and sandal movies, the westerns, the Shaw Brothers’ productions and so on and so forth, even the Malay and the Hindi ones.

The Zenith Mint at the Rejang Park commercial centre here (in the first photograph above) was one of the cinemas outside the town centre along with the Rejang Cinema at the Sungai Merah Bazaar. It made its appearance much later and I do recall seeing some very nice movies here including Fame and Voices, just to name two. I don’t know what they have upstairs these days but at the ground floor, you will find all kinds of shops and no less than four coffee shops including this one, this one, this one and this one…

Hua's Cafe Rejang Park

I heard from my paternal aunt and cousins that the noodles here were quite nice so we decided to drop by that day to give it a try.

I had the Foochow fried noodles (RM3.50)…

Hua's Cafe Foochow fried noodles 1

…which I thought was all right – I do prefer some elsewhere but they certainly were very generous with the meat…

Hua's Cafe Foochow fried noodles 2

…and the green vegetables.

I had some very nice fried kway teow at this coffee shop in that same building but I would say that the one my missus had (RM3.50)…

Hua's Cafe fried kway teow, dry 1

…was just as nice or maybe, even nicer…and the serving was so big that I had to help her to finish all of it…

Hua's Cafe fried kway toew 2

I loved the wok hei fragrance and also the pleasant taste of the chives.

The kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) here was all right, good enough for me and at RM1.50 a glass, it is much cheaper than a lot of other places in town. I certainly would not mind dropping by here again should I happen to be in the vicinity and no prize for guessing what I would be ordering…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

16 thoughts on “The show is over…”

  1. Going to the cinema is expansive here, too esp the live performance beamed from the Metropolitan Opera House in NY, the Royal Opera House in Convent Garden and shows from Theatre Land. One of my former colleague was an avid cinemagoer. She paid £30 a month for unlimited visits to Vue, a Westend cinema with comfy seats and big screen. That was very cheap, indeed!

    The Foochow noodles look good. Pity it was just ok. I like the look of the kway teow
    but I hardly eat it. I don’t like it when it’s greasy. I would generally order it in a soup with shredded pork, ginger Szechuan pickled veg, Chinese Mustard and lots of chilli.

    £30 is fine, if you can get to see a movie many times in a month. That was about what I paid to see a musical, way back in 1994 – Miss Saigon at Drury Lane & Grease at Dominion.

    Noodles in soup with pickled veg? We have that here but usually it is with fish. I cannot remember having any dry fried noodles – mee or kway teow or whatever when I was younger, always in soup or with gravy. Maybe it was not a Foochow thing. Even the dry fried mee sua came very much later…in the 90’s.

  2. So how many cinemas are there in Sibu right now?

    One, the trioplex and it does enjoy brisk business despite the astronomical ticket prices…and the stiff competition from those cheap pirated dvds.

    1. The effects are different, i enjoy watching movies in the cinema too… alone 😀 but tickets are not cheap these days, easily RM 16 to RM 20 for new movies 😦

      Yes, those movies that depend heavily on visual and audio effects – so very much nicer to watch in the cinema. Maybe if you have your own viewing room, your own home theatre, all that Blu-ray and what not, then probably it would be quite nice to watch such movies at home.

  3. I miss those cinema building when i was a kid, now no more those building…

    I think I did blog about the cinemas in Singapore and the movies I saw there.

  4. Yes, cinemas are so expensive these days. I haven’t been for years, only seen movies when I go on a cruise and the ship screens them. The char kway teow looks very good.

    Yes, both my missus and I agreed that the char kway teow was good.

    I do not go to the movies anymore wither – my girl would go once in a long while as here, they show mostly those crowd pullers – the very violent and horror movies, not to our taste. A current one would be that Korean zombie horror flick, “Train to Busan”.

  5. Most of the ‘oldies’ cinemas are in this state now, cannot fight off the newer ones at the modern malls. Most are dismantle while some became some makeshift warehouse selling stuffs.
    Love the char kway teow ..


    Yes, here too! Two of the cinemas became those warehouse kind of places selling mountains and mountains of poor quality cheap clothing and everything. One of them, Dua Puluh Sen Store – a chain here using all those closed down cinemas in the towns, closed down, now a departmental store. The rest have all been converted into small shops – mostly makan places like this one in my post.

  6. Here in Montreal, we had many beautiful theaters from days gone by but sadly so many of them closed down. They were beautifully decorated and had lovely architecture. Most of the cinemas we have now are multiple ones in one building, and we actually have a dollar cinema, the only one of its kind here in Montreal, that charges just $2.50 for admission, and even the refreshments start at $1.

    Same here but no, no RM1 cinema around, unfortunately. That is nice – I think there was one in Singapore, 1973 – showing reruns of old movies and the tickets were cheaper than at the regular cinemas. I loved it! Managed to see quite a number of movies that I missed as I was in school before that.

  7. Yeah my mom did told me about Panggung Lido, Rex and Old Cathay. There were glorious days for the three cinemas and the youngsters that time. Including my mom, had to sneaked out (watching movies) from my late grandfather. 😂

    In Kuching, there are no more RM10 ticket. The cheapest you can get it RM12. Plus gst plus this plus that the total is RM15 like that. 😭

    That’s around the same prices here and then there is a difference between 2D and 3D some more.

    I used to tag along with my mum to see the Malay movies with stars like P Ramless, Jin Shamsuddin, Nordin Ahmad…and also the Hindi movies like Sangam, Those were the days!

  8. It has been decades since I last step into cinema. Yeah, I remember the morning show 50 cents only during my time. Bought 1 ticket & have to squeeze with my sister. Poor me, hahaha

    Foochow fried noodles & kway teow look equally good & this time I go for the latter.

    Good choice, the better of the two.

    I saw a lot of movies at the cinemas in Kuching, even at Swee Hua at Jalan Satok but I don’t think I ever went to Roxy at Sunny Hill…and I got to see Kenny Bee performing live at Kenyalang!

  9. I did have a walk in the centre in Rejang Park. Reminded me of the Sunday when we hang out in my sil’s shop there.

    Your missus’ fried kway teow looked good. What I would like too.

    Yes, you would be very familiar with the place, I know.

  10. Cinemas in Manila suffered the same fate as the cinemas in your place. Some of the cinemas here still function as cinemas but they usually features x-rated films. And those places became a prostitution hotspot.

    Thankfully, none here but they did convert the Lido in Kuching into a nightclub, Hollywood East and I think that also happened to one cinema at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, the Cathay, I think.

  11. Aw. It makes me sad when something familiar or something that’s always been there comes to and end. Makes me nostalgic.

    It is all right if they put the still-existing old cinema buildings to good use but at least, they should put in some effort to keep them looking nice and new. They all look so sad and neglected.

  12. RM10 is considered the cheapest now… most of the time it cost around RM15 and for famous movies, it cost a bit more than that! Yes, we oldies don’t go for movies now, we prefer to stay home and watch TV… only the youngsters prefer to watch movies, our days of 50 cents to RM2 reserved seats are long gone.. hahaha…

    I don’t even watch tv, poor concentration, cannot sit so long…maybe it’s old age but not likely. Some can sit for hours watching those Korean dramas till morning! Hehehehehe!!!

  13. Oh yes, I do remember the cinemas of old. Over here I used to go to Rex or Cathay and watch movies during weekends. That was so long ago. Now I never bother to go to the cineplexes. Expensive and with some movies being “butchered” by the censorship board, it’s just not worth it. Hey, that char koay teow looks really good. You must go back and order that 🙂

    Rex was at Petaling Street, saw “The Rain Man” there. Yup…for that kind of money, I’d much sooner go for something to eat. They do not bring in my kind of movies here – no crowd, so films like “Les Miserables” was never screened here. 😦

  14. I’m sure your post today makes all of us who are over 30 recall the years before shopping mall multiplexes, when the only place to catch a movie on the big screen were those standalone theatres … I remember the sticky floors and the rats and cockroaches that used to scurry all over though, heh! 😉

    I bet you were not around when cinemas were not air-conditioned and smoking was allowed – you would leave the hall reeking of cigarette smoke. Gee! The second hand smoke must have got to everybody in the enclosed hall at the time.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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