Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Doomed - Cinema in Alor Star

It's been ages since I last blogged, and the reason can't be simpler - I am having holidays! Haha, so sorry for the excuses... at one time, when exams were impending, I would say that I was too busy for studies; and with the 3 months holidays now, I claim that I am in too much holiday mood to write anything.. :P

Today was just like another ordinary day, except for the unique experience I had in Cineplex Alor Star. Well, Cineplex was the only surviving cinema in the 50-km radius of Alor Star city. Located high up in the City Plaza, it consists of two small showing rooms (too small to be called halls) and a little ticket booth which could only accommodate two person's volume.

This is the first time I complain about the Cineplex. It's not that I have never watched a movie in that cinema and got shocked by its long-standing condition. I remember I last watched a movie there in 2002, and I actually enjoyed it because there were so few audiences inside and I could put my legs on the front seat's backrest.. :P

Okay, let's talk about today. We (Yee Pin, Wei Yin, Winson & I) were half an hour away from the showing time (6 pm) when we reached the booth. Nobody's inside. Zero, zilch, nil. Okay now nobody's selling ticket for 6 o'clock, they must have run out of ticket. Bad luck then, we decided to wait for 9 o'clock's showing while having lunch dinner at the time being.

The dinner in the foodcourt nearby wasn't exactly first-class, but it was enough to whet our appetite (especially Yee Pin's). After the meal, we went back to the ticket booth - hooray, it was open!! The ticket cost 8 ringgit each, and there was no student price.. Haha, okay, you are operating a small cinema, I could understand the cost involved for such a small-scale business. Let you earn some pennies for this time... :P

We hurried into the cinema for the fear of losing out good seats, and we were grinning as we went inside - there is simply no chance for losing out seats!! Among the 15 X 20 seats available in the cinema, only slightly more than 20 seats were occupied! Hahaha... okay, so much popularity for the blockbuster we are watching, The Chronicles of Narnia. It's something good then, since we could have a clear and unobstructed vision in front of us. Hated those cinemas in which people in the front row are kissing each other, whispering on mobile phone or going to toilet every 10 minutes.

Next, the movie started in another 5 minutes' time. Haha, another good point: no 15-minute advertisements which are meant to "entertain" us (Read: TGV & GSC). Oh goodness... the movie started with such a horror!! Well, I don't mean the plot, but the picture quality on the pitiful screen was simply awful, to the point of me starting to think I was watching a show from the seventies... The display is fuzzy, the colours are dull, the edge is dim, and to my disgust, there are film grains throughout the show... Well, since the pictures aren't good, I hope that I could get at least some consolation from the sound effect. Haha, good dear, I was doubting my ears when I heard the spinning projector wheel's sound emanating from the speaker... Aiks... It persisted throughout the movie, so much an annoyance :( Could everything get worse? Haha.. sure it could! Half way through the movie, some noise burst out from the projector room, and it sounded as if two drunken guys were having a fight upstairs.. they yelled and shouted as if they were in the world of their own. Yuckk... Come on, don't you know we paid the money for Narnia, not for "A Night with Carlsberg"?

The horror ended after 2 hours, to my utmost relief. Well, the relief I had in the toilet afterwards wasn't nice too, due to the deplorable toilet condition, but I digressed. I am not exaggerating to say that I would have preferred watching a DVD to such an experience in the cinema. Cinema was meant to be entertaining, the moving pictures are meant to be captivating, the sounds are meant to be immersive, the environment are meant to be conducive. I am sorry to say, the cinema operator failed to provide us the entertainment we asked for. The movie wasn't as good as I expected, partly because I don't enjoy fairy tale as much as others do; but mostly, I think, due to the deplorable condition of the cinema. Alor Star cinemas are kinda doomed... Sigh.

p.s. To be fair, I couldn't see how the cinema operator could have made it better. They could upgrade the projector, renovate the cinema etc; but with the ubiquitous DVD in the market, people would rather watch their 3-in-1 DVDs in comfort at home, than to watch a movie on the 5th floor of a not-so-happening shopping complex. I even doubt that they could fork out the money for renovation while they are still struggling with their rental fees...

13 comments:

Alvin Ooi said...

ah, well..they can clean the toilets I guess

Alvin Ooi said...

juz realized, it's 4.48 in the morning and I am reading your blog. And the first to comment too! Whoa, you must be very terharu.

Eh, Bandaraya also got 1 cinema nia?

sophisticatedsoul said...

Well, I went there once to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with my friends. And after that, I decided not to return there for a second movie.

Seok Kheng said...

Brr... Nightmare in that cinema. Lastime during those old St. John days, we still used to go there very often after activities with a whole bunch of friends. But not after we went out to the big city to see what a cinema really is, I swear no second visit to that cineplex, rather spend a little more to Penang to watch a nice movie.

hL said...

eh.. how come u say go for lunch.. and then suddenly got dinner. Eat so much in 3 hrs ah? wah hebat!

::hybridgenera:: said...

Hmm... I went on the same day for the same movie too - but for the 3.30 show. Couldn't agree more with you... Haha...

Perhaps we can all boycott the cinema... or ask somebody to build a new - much better - one? :D

smartaleck said...

hahahaha, really cant imagine a cinema with ur descriptions of it leh.. haha, nx time got chance muz go Alor Setar to try out e 'unique' experience, but i guess u wont be willing to accompany me there, would u? :P

haha, remember going2 to cineplexes when i was still in primary, den since higher primary, TGV already came to One Utama, first movie i watched there was Independence Day, from then on been spoilt w good cinemas, dun even think abt e good picture, sound effect n environment, jz take them for granted , i guess..

youngyew said...

Alvin Ooi: Haha, I am touched and clutched very much! How come you check my blog every other hour one? Make me so paiseh niahh.. :P:P And yea, this bandaraya is one of the most special bandaraya in the world, so have one and only one cinema.

Sophisticatedsoul, Seok Kheng, Hybridgenera: Ssshhhh... don't let the cinema operator see this, lest they sue us for slendering! ;) But guess ya, any Alor Star people would agree to what I have said.

HL: Thanks for your comment. Already corrected the typo. I always confuse lunch and dinner.. **paiseh**

smartaleck: Haha, of course I would like to witness the truth with you, but it wouldn't be the most romantic of all places? :D

day-dreamer said...

So, you'd rather this pitiful little cinema or TGV/GSC with 15-minutes ad before the start of a movie?

I watched Harry Potter 4 in TGV, and to be truthful, the sound system was so good that I felt a little (just a little) scared at some part of the movie! And the picture is so clear too!!!

Support TGV/GSC!! :D

Anonymous said...

ya, u all do have a good reason as a customer, but do anyone can understand the supplier's problem as well? how much is d cost of getting the copyright from d company? how much is d projector cost? how much is d salary of each worker that help to maintain d a least floor cleaniness each day and the front dest? how many ticket to sell to get back the basic for each movie and at least get some interest back to upgrade the system that they have?maybe it just very simple to condemn rather than appreciate their effort of maintaining the only cinema in alor star;p and... piratte dvd is every1 favourite too! hehe... take care every1

Anonymous said...

Well, It's expected. This is Alor Star. I miss the caramel popcorn in TGV..

Sir Jason

Joanne said...

Yang, at least you have a cinema in Alor Setar. There is NO cinema in my hometown Kota Bharu ok...

tumpanglalu said...

i'm a regular visitor to cineplex ct plaza but now i'm tellin u this:

forget bout cineplex ct plaza becoz its sucks big time. just have a visit to jitra mall cinema. its much2 better than ct plaza..