IFTM Comments is a partnership between the Macau News Agency and the Macao Tourism Research Institute.

Jeremy Phillips

Macau’s old-fashioned cinemas screen today’s films and offer a classic movie-going experience.

In a world of portable entertainment technology and constant on-the-go life, movies can seem dated. People today watch movies on their phones and tablets while riding the bus or sitting in a restaurant. And there are thousands of on-demand TV options.

Jeremy Phillips is a Macau Lecturer Tourism Research Institute

The idea of ​​sitting with a stranger to watch a movie at the cinema for two hours in a row may seem strange to some. But for others, the opportunity to escape the heat and noise of the city, sneak into a dark and cool theater for a few hours, and enjoy a movie on the big screen offers a richer experience than watching a download on your phone. , for dating couples, a classic combination of dinner and a movie for an easy night out. Public cinemas survive, but not only in multiplex format, where you can usually choose from dozens of screenings in shopping malls. It is located on the top floor of the , and currently does not have regular screenings. But there are more local cinemas that are living legacies. Old-style Macau landmarks, his two cinemas are Cine Teatro Macau in the city center and Cinema Alegria (Wing Rock Cinema in Chinese) in Travessa da Corda. These classic cinemas connect yesterday and today.

Centrally located, Cineteatro Macau is a cinema venue. His three screens at Cine Teatro Macau, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Macau and operated as a business, show mostly the latest Hollywood films.

It opened in 1977 as a live theater space showing second-run films on weekends, but became a full-time cinema in 1982, showing American films at a time when most cinemas in Macau were showing Chinese films. I made a bold move to screen it. According to manager Francisco Rio, Cineteatro’s mission is to provide a variety of entertainment for the people of Macau. Cineteatro predated his passion for Cinematheque and opened his second building for high culture cinema in 1988. Then in 1992 the third house (second floor, entered from the balcony of the main cinema).

Cineteatro offers a choice of classic red velvet continental seating and orchestra, mezzanine or balcony seating in the main theater. Combining old cinema style with new technology, Cine Teatro is the first commercial cinema in Macau to introduce his 3D projector. 2011. Cineteatro has survived typhoons, home video players, the internet and Covid-19 one at a time. Rio said the clientele is mostly young groups and couples on dates, but all kinds of people come for blockbuster movies that look better on the big screen.

Built in 1952, with its classic Art Deco façade, Cinema Alegria is such a landmark that locals refer to it by its cinematic name. Its history is as unique as its architecture.

It has been a local screening venue for communist-themed films from the People’s Republic, Russia, Vietnam, and North Korea for decades. The cinema also serves as a live performance space for commercial and community theater groups and Chinese opera concerts. The currently operating two-screen ‘tangled’ cinema mainly shows Chinese entertainment films, with a sporadic introduction of new Hollywood blockbusters.

Like many aspects of cultural heritage, the classic cinematic experience is being lost in a changing world. Still something people are missing during lockdown. Next time you have the chance, go out of your house, buy a stall ticket, go beyond the velvet curtains, and experience an old-fashioned Macau cinema.

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