Malaysia is bringing beds into cinemas, also opening more Kecil halls
Writer: Florey DM
Get comfortable in these beds while enjoying the latest movie in cinema.
10 Oct – Exhibitors are always looking for ways to keep movie-lovers coming back to their cinemas, offering various features that are meant to give patrons a comfortable and, at times, unique movie-going experience.
Local exhibitor GSC might have just found the best solution yet to entice movie-loving homebodies, typically people who are more comfortable lazing in bed while watching a movie, out of their homes and into the cinemas.
GSC's latest offering is meant to emulate this movie-in-bed experience as its new cinema hall, known as the GETHA Lux Suites, will actually include beds in it.
The concept was introduced by GSC late last month when the exhibitor announced that it is renovating and rebranding its GSC Signature, which has been closed since 23 May 2019 to "undergo a lavish transformation", to the ultra-luxe offering, Aurum Theatre. The aforementioned co-branded halls with GETHA are just one type of halls available at the new Aurum Theatre.
GETHA Lux Suites, which will be located at The Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur, with two halls, and at The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey in Johor Bahru, with three halls, will offer exclusively designed suite-styled seating with luxury recliners, designed to deliver a more "relaxed and opulent movie experience".
Aside from GETHA Lux Suites, Aurum Theatre will also feature other ultra-luxe halls with private cabins and thematic theatres (which come with contemporary dining and personalised service). For the first time, a standalone gastrobar will also be introduced, giving moviegoers a place to feast while waiting for their movie.
Of course, GSC isn't the only one stepping up their game. Other exhibitors in Malaysia have also been expanding their offerings to provide moviegoers with more choices.
MBO makes its Kecil halls a fun place for kids (Photo source: MBO Cinemas).
Among the latest updates are MBO's expansion of its Kecil Hall, a kid-friendly hall that features brighter lighting, family bed, softer audio, beanie seats and in-hall playground. With the concept being ever popular with parents with young children, it's no surprise that its cinema at The Starling Damansara Utama is getting a second Kecil Hall.
The good news was announced via MBO's social media earlier this month, assuring moviegoers that the location's current Kecil Hall (referred to as KECIL A) is still operational while waiting for KECIL B to arrive.
At the moment, there are two other MBO locations with 2 Kecil Halls each, MBO Cinemas AEON Mall Bandar Dato' Onn JB and MBO Cinemas Atria Shopping Gallery, while four other locations have 1 Kecil Hall each, which are MBO Cinemas Subang Parade, MBO Cinemas Square One Batu Pahat, MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall and MBO Cinemas Falim Ipoh.
While we're on the subject, let's take a look at the other types of cinema halls that are currently available in Malaysia.
Platinum Movie Suites is one of the luxury halls available in Malaysian cinemas
(Photo source: mmCineplexes).
- Gold Class (GSC 1 Utama)
- Indulge (TGV 1 Utama, TGV Sunway Velocity)
- Luxe (TGV 1 Utama, TGV Sunway Pyramid, TGV Bukit Indah)
- Premier (MBO Cinemas The Starling Damansara Utama, MBO Cinemas The Spring Shopping Mall, Kuching)
- Platinum Movie Suites (mmCineplexes Damansara PJ)
Comfort is key to a good service and there is nothing more comfortable than enjoying a movie in a luxurious surrounding. These halls share similar features such as wide, plush seats (some also recline) and wider armrests. Gold Class, Indulge and Platinum Movie Suites also offer wait service and menus that range from simple movie snacks to fine dining.
Enjoy a 270-degree viewing experience with ScreenX (Photo source: screen.co.kr).
Special screen halls
- ScreenX (GSC 1 Utama)
- GSC Maxx (GSC IOI City Mall, Putrajaya, GSC MyTOWN, GSC Ipoh Parade, GSC Paradigm Mall, JB)
- IMAX® (TGV 1 Utama, TGV Sunway Pyramid, TGV Sunway Velocity, TGV Gurney Paragon, TGV Tebrau City, TGV Vivacity, TGV Central i-City)
- Big Screen (MBO Cinemas The Starling Damansara Utama, MBO Cinemas Atria Shopping Gallery, MBO Cinemas Falim Ipoh, MBO Cinemas Bandar Dato' Onn, MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall, MBO Cinemas Elements Mall Melaka)
- Onyx (GSC Mid Valley Megamall, TGV Central i-City, MBO Cinemas Atria Shopping Gallery)
Since an exhibitor's main job is to project movies for the audiences' viewing pleasure, there has always been a drive to provide bigger and better screens to further improve the immersive experience. With these halls, audiences will not be left wanting as they each feature a screen that's noticeably more expansive than the ones typically found in standard halls.
The newest additions here are ScreenX, newly introduced by GSC early last month and the first in Malaysia to offer a 270-degree viewing experience by expanding the center screen onto the side walls of the auditorium, and Onyx, which uses an LED display to play movies instead of the usual projector.
Let these motion seats rock your world!
Motion seat halls
- 4DX (GSC Paradigm Mall JB, GSC 1 Utama, GSC IOI City Mall, Putrajaya)
- MX4D (MBO Cinemas The Starling Damansara Utama, MBO Cinemas Bandar Dato' Onn)
- D-Box (GSC 1 Utama, GSC Mid Valley Megamall, GSC IOI City Mall, Putrajaya, GSC Pavilion KL, GSC MyTOWN, GSC Melawati Mall, GSC Gurney Plaza, GSC AEON Bandaraya Melaka, GSC East Coast Mall, GSC Paradigm Mall JB, GSC CityONE Kuching, GSC Suria Sabah, Kota Kinabalu)
Technically, only one of the above has its own dedicated hall, since D-Box seats and MX4D seats share their halls with other non-motion seats. But we'll group them all together since they share similar features that are meant to rock audiences' world – quite literally. With these motion seats, audiences don't just experience movements that correspond to the action onscreen, some of them even tickle and (gently) punch as the scenes require. Lights in the hall also dim or brighten and at times there will be gushes of wind blowing. 4DX ups the ante with its dedicated halls that can even produce snow (no kidding!), rain and various smells (note that scents is something MX4D is capable of as well).
Special mention, MBO also introduced actuator seats at MBO Cinemas Citta Mall and MBO Cinemas Imago Mall, Kota Kinabalu, which don't feature the aforementioned bells and whistles but they do vibrate with the sound of the movie.
These halls have seats big enough for the little ones to snuggle in comfortably with mom and dad.
- PlayPlus (GSC IOI Mall, Puchong)
- Family Friendly Hall (TGV Central i-City)
- Kecil Hall (MBO Cinemas The Starling Damansara Utama, MBO Cinemas AEON Mall Bandar Dato' Onn JB, MBO Cinemas Atria Shopping Gallery, MBO Cinemas Subang Parade, MBO Cinemas Square One Batu Pahat, MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall, MBO Cinemas Falim Ipoh)
GSC is the latest to join the family-friendly concept with the opening of its first PlayPlus hall earlier in March. TGV has long practiced it with the Family Friendly sessions that are available at all locations nationwide on weekends but so far has only one dedicated hall for it. MBO, at the moment, has the most child-friendly dedicated halls. These halls typically have lower and bigger seats, brighter lights, softer sounds, diaper-changing stations and plenty of kids running around (or crying, this is allowed too).
Lie back in one of these Beanie seats and enjoy the movie!
Special seat halls
Cinema Online, 10 October 2019
- Beanie (TGV 1 Utama, TGV Sunway Pyramid, TGV Setiawalk, TGV Sunway Putra, TGV Suria KLCC, TGV Klebang, TGV 1st Avenue, TGV Gurney Paragon, TGV Tebrau, TGV Bukit Indah, TGV Taiping, TGV Vivacity Megamall)
- Deluxe (TGV Central i-City)
- Twin (MBO Cinemas Citta Mall, MBO Cinemas Falim Ipoh)
Sometimes special seats like twin seats and beanie seats get their own rows in a hall, sometimes they get a whole hall to themselves. We'll focus on the latter. Beanie halls are equipped with wide beanbags seats that are almost bed-like, in the sense that audiences can lie back in one comfortably. The Deluxe hall, meanwhile, features Deluxe seats that are plush and luxurious, and the ones in the back row, called Glide seats, can both recline and slide out. As for twin seats, those are usually reserved for the back rows but with MBO's Twin hall, as the name indicates, all the seats are twin seats.