With ‘Godzilla’ releasing next week, as a die-hard movie buff I am currently in a deep existential crisis.
‘Godzilla’ is coming back to the cinemas after 16 years, the last time being 1998 and I need to find the best Cinema Hall in Singapore to watch it.
Let me explain to you my urgency. Firstly, 16 more years is too long of a time to wait for the next reboot. Secondly, people are complaining that the current ‘Godzilla’ is looking rather portly. With such high body mass, I am afraid we might lose our favourite Kaiju (Japanese for strange creature) to either diabetes or some sort of cardiac disorder pretty soon.
Forget ‘Godzilla’ for the moment, I have conducted the most thorough study over the last 10 years to determine the best Cinemas in Singapore. According to some rather questionable statistics, an average Singaporean goes to the cinemas 8 times a year.
I instead, have watched a movie every week for the last 10 years at the cinemas. With close to 500 movies under my belt, I had to sacrifice a lot for the thoroughness of my “study”. Here are some of the things I had to endure over the last 10 years.
- I had eaten innumerable tons of over processed cinema food. Cheese hotdogs, salted and sweet popcorns, gallons of sticky nacho cheese with questionable nachos have all added to my waist size.
- I have sacrificed social life consistently over the last 10 years to take refuge in a dark and sometimes very cold cinema hall. I would like to blame my current Vitamin D deficiency to the 1000 hours I have spent in darkness.
After this self sacrificing research, I have learnt to identify the subtle factors in the cinemas that start to matter like proximity to restrooms, distribution of air-con ducts and the all important percentage of aisle seats.
Using this information, I have narrowed down the best 5 cinema halls to watch ‘Godzilla’ in. I have completely ignored the annoying ones where you lie down with a significant other while someone serves you champagne and fancy food. Not only does it take away your attention from the movie, you have to indulge in unnecessary human emotions like affection, adoration and love.
All things aside, here are the top 5.
# 1 GV Max (Golden Village Vivocity)
The Good Stuff
GV Max with its massive screen is my top choice. Not only is the screen as wide as two SBS buses, there is a perfect ratio of aisle seats for claustrophobics like me. On top of that, Vivocity is well connected by public commute so there is no chance of missing a movie due to heavy rains.
I still remember watching the first of the ‘Transformer’ movies at this hall way back in 2007. Although I went there with very low expectations, watching Megan Fox on the giant screen and later Optimus Prime changed a lot of my life priorities.
However, the aisle seats do get incredibly cold due to an uneven distribution of aircon ducts in the cinema. I remember almost losing a finger to frostbite while watching the ‘Dark Knight’ in 2008. It also doesn’t help that there are no restrooms nearby.
# 2 Shaw Lido
The Good Stuff
I have a special connection with this cinema. Back in the uni days, I loved skipping draggy lectures and retreat into the dark coolness of this cinema. The location is perfect and well connected to the Orchard MRT and after the renovation it has started to look real classy. Lido probably has the widest collection of shows in Singapore followed closely only by ‘The Cathay’.
Also, if you are disgusted by regular popcorn and nachos, there is an option for you to get pizza and sparkling water for your consumption.
Be careful of some of the smaller cinemas where the not-so-popular shows are playing. If you do not choose your seats carefully, you might end up next to a wall leaving you with twenty annoyed people to cross if you need to use the restroom.
#3 Shaw Lido Imax
The Good Stuff
Shaw Lido Imax deserves a special mention. The sound quality is incredible and the 3D has so much depth that it makes other 3D shows look like two dimensional Indonesian shadow puppets. I recently went to watch the re-release of Jurassic Park in 3D and spend most of the show almost wiping T Rex drool from my face later only realising it was my drink spilt in excitement.
The only reason this is not higher in the list is because 3D gives me an headache and I seem to enjoy regular movies better. Also the ticket is ridiculously priced and the seats sell faster than the sandwich ice-cream at Clarke Quay.
# 4 The Cathay
The Good Stuff
Cathay Cinemas are a pleasure to book online because they have payment through Paypal. Before you say “how much difference does it make?”, let me remind you that this means no more frantically hunting for your phone waiting for the security key to be sent.
The halls are large and the food options are many. There is this new mini popcorn option for the health conscious. No longer do you have to consume a big bucket of popcorn, feel guilty and then decide to go on a long healthy.
The Cathay Mall is rather depressing. Once you have crossed the four floors of shops which all seem to sell tiny t-shirts in very translucent shops, you forget what was the purpose of your visit. Also, last time I asked for a cup of corn, it took so much time that I felt like the gentleman in charge of it was inventing the cup of corn than making it.
#5 The Cathay JEM
The Good Stuff
The Cathay JEM is my current favourite. Although it took a lot of time for them to get started due to some delays and it is located in the JEM mall where things just keep falling on your head, this is probably the best cinema of the west. As usual, it is connected to the Jurong East MRT and well stocked with food options, this is where I spend my Friday evenings nowadays.
The movie choices are limited compared to any central location. For example, I am looking forward to watch “Bad Neighbours”, a hilarious R21 rated comedy this week but it is only showing at Central locations. Either the authorities at Cathay think people in the west do not possess a sense of humour or that it is entirely inhabited by children who cannot be let into a R21 movie.
After intense planning and categorisation, I am sincerely hoping that ‘Godzilla’ does not disappoint me. If it does, I shall declare war against all dinosaur looking creatures and not forget to give it deep paper cuts with my movie ticket stubs.