Now you may be wondering, do we really need a guide to cinemas in Singapore? If you a) know Cathay Cineplexes inside-out; b) own a GV membership; c) have ducked into Rex Cinemas more than once; and d) caught a cult movie at The Projector, you probably won’t need to read any further (hit here to go back to our homepage for more interesting stories!).
But if you want to know where to experience an IMAX, venues that screen foreign and indie films, as well as the unique features of each major cinema chain, you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, we uncover the best picture houses in Singapore for your various movie needs.
The Cathay Cineplex
Best movie-and-dining experience
For a lavish and super romantic film-watching experience, the Platinum Movie Suites at The Grand Cathay Cineplex is second to none. It’s tricked out with ergonomic chairs that reclines fully, and there are pillows and blankets for extra comfort and warmth. They even serve an assortment of gourmet food, along with canapes and beverages. Also, The Cathay has one of the best movie memberships in town; go get it now!
The Cathay Cineplex, The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, Levels 5 & 6, Singapore 229233, p. (+65) 6337 8181
Golden Village VivoCity
Best mainstream movie theatre
GV is everyone’s go-to cinema. The theatre chain has GV multiplexes and cineplexes located at every corner of this sunny island, which makes it the most accessible. It screens almost everything and anything – from classic films and international box-office movies to local films. Foreign films and art house titles are available at CinemaEuropa at the uber-popular GV Vivocity, which also boast the largest cinema hall in Singapore with widest cinema screen in Asia at 22.4 metres. Talk about having a good view! With a screen that wide, there’s no need to strain your neck for two hours.
If you fancy watching the latest blockbuster while sunk into a luxurious recliner, then spoil yourself (and your sweetheart) at Gold Class. The VivoCity cinema recently acquired 110 Nappa-clad Barcelona seats, which can be easily adjusted for maximum comfort. All seats come with built-in USB chargers if your phone runs out of juice, and you can order comfort bites like truffle fries, Thai grilled chicken thigh and abalone udon without ever leaving your plush cocoon. Try not to fall asleep! Tickets start from $29, and bookings can be made via its concierge hotline at 6653-8166.
Golden Village VivoCity, VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Levels 2 & 3, Singapore 098585, p. (+65) 6653 8100
Best IMAX experience
IMAX cinemas offer extremely crystal-clear images and exceptional sound, and Shaw’s theatre in Orchard offers just that. So if you’re watching the latest musical-on-screen or one with highly-acclaimed cinematography, you know where to go.
Shaw Theatres Lido, Shaw House, 350 Orchard Road, 5th/6th Floor, Singapore 238868, p. (+65) 6235 2077
Filmgarde at Leisure Park Kallang
Best for making out
Yes, you read that right. Filmgarde at Leisure Park Kallang is, considerably, the least-frequented theatre in this list, which makes it perfect for a intimate movie date with your S.O. And because it’s generally pretty empty, you’re more likely to get tickets for the latest blockbusters when everywhere else is already sold out. Disclaimer: Don’t take our word for it if you’re catching highly anticipated releases!
Filmgarde at Leisure Park Kallang, Kallang Leisure Park, 5 Stadium Walk, Level 3, Singapore 397693, p. (+65) 6344 5997
Best first-run screenings
Ever wondered what it feels like to attend a glamorous red carpet movie premiere? Capitol Theatre will give you a glimpse of that, given that it’s the venue for premieres, first-run screenings and all other glitzy film events.
Capitol Theatre, The Capitol, 17 Stamford Road, Singapore 178907, p. (+65) 6499 5599
Best for cult films
Golden Theatre, Singapore’s (and Malaysia’s) biggest cinema in the ’70s – has been reborn as The Projector, a painfully hip indie cinema offering alternative movie screenings. There are two halls: the 220-seat Green Room with refurbished flip-up chairs, and Redrum (yes it’s Kubrick-inspired), which serves as a multipurpose space for events, private screenings, and the likes. If you dig cult names – think Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock and George Miller’s Mad Max series – make The Projector your favourite hangout.
The Screening Room
Best for timeless classics
This entertainment venue – a boutique theatre and lush rooftop bar rolled into one – is great for cosying up and catching screenings of timeless films while having a tipple or two at the private bar. The rooftop bar (La Terraza Rooftop Bar) also offers stunning views of the cityscape for a post-movie nightcap. Warning – it can get a little crowded here, but if you’re on the prowl, this is the place to be.
The Screening Room, 12 Ann Siang Rd #03-00, Singapore 069692, p. 6221 1694
The Arts House Screening Room
Best for Art House films
The Society for Cult and Underground Movies (SCUM Cinema), a Singapore-based collective of film fanatics, holds bi-monthly free screenings of cult classics in the 75-seater theatrette. Plus, it’s been known for holding series of print-to-screen adaptations and programmes that showcase and explore the different dimensions of Singapore cinema.
The Arts House Screening Room, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429, p. (+65) 6332 6919
Best for local films
The newest and most promising short films by up-and-coming local filmmakers take the spotlight in The Substation, which provides a platform for them to showcase their works and participate in Q&A sessions following the screening. The independent contemporary arts centre is also the brains behind Singapore Short Film Awards, Singapore Indie Doc Fest and Experimental Film Forum.
The Substation, 45 Armenian St, Singapore 179936, p. 6337 7535
Best French films
Not just a French language school, Alliance Francaise is also where Francophiles can get their fix of French cinema. On show are independent (as well as foreign) films, selected from various film festivals, which are usually rarely sighted in Singapore.
Alliance Francaise de Singapour, 1 Sarkies Rd, Singapore 258130, p. (+65) 6737 8422
Best for Bollywood films
This iconic theatre along MacKenzie Road is known for showing Hindi and Tamil movies, but it actually was a mainstream cinema back in 1946, screening films such as The Jungle Book and Jaws 3. Note: a standard ticket is pricier than most.