Coliseum Theatre (Kuala Lumpur)
The Coliseum Theatre is one of a handful of remaining pre-war cinemas in Kuala Lumpur that still plays films, as of 2010. Two-storey shop buildings housing the Coliseum Café and Hotel are seen in the background, on the right.
|Address||Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
|Owner||Khor Joo Saik Sdn Bhd|
|Architect||Chua Cheng Bok|
The Coliseum Theatre is a movie theater in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. One of the oldest movie theaters in the country, it was built in 1920 by the Chua family led by Chua Cheng Bok. The Art Deco-style building is capable of seating 900 people and also features a balcony. The famed Coliseum Café and Hotel - a favourite haunt of William Somerset Maugham during his stay in British Malaya - are located behind the theatre, just down the road. The oldest and continuously running cinema hall in the country (save for a break during the Japanese occupation during World War II), most of the movies premiering in the building are Indian movies. After Chua Cheng Bok's demise in 1940, his estate continued to administer the Coliseum until its acquisition in 1973 by a company owned by his nephew Dr Chua Boon Teck and his wife Mdm Khor Joo Saik.
In 2006, the Malaysian government proposed to close the theater and turn it into a cultural heritage center, but relented when there was a public outcry to the scheme. The government later decided not to close the cinema. Instead, they planned to build a car park nearby.
In that year, Dr Chua Seong Siew, eldest son of the late owners Dr Chua Boon Teck and Mdm Khor Joo Saik, successfully appealed for the cinema theater to remain open, and so it continues to operate to this day.
- Agence France-Press. August 16, 2006. Malaysian govt drops plan to close historic cinema, via Yahoo News (retrieved August 19, 2006). (Link dead as of 4 February 2007)
- The Coliseum Theatre at Cinema Treasures.
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