18 years is a pretty long time for a place to go without a cinema but that’s what Kuala Terengganu residents had to deal with since the then PAS state government enacted a ban on them back in 1999. The ban has been enforced over the last 18 years but now, Kuala Terengganu residences will finally get to watch their favourite movies in a brand, spanking new cineplex that opened its doors on 18 March, 2017.
The new cineplex is operated by the Lotus Five Stars Cinemas (M) Sdn Bhd and is located at Paya Bunga Square. With a total of 11 halls and 1631 seats, the Lotus Five Stars Cinema is being jointly operated together with the Terengganu State Economic Development Corporation (PMINT).
Some of the first movies being screened at the cineplex include local action hit J Revolusi, and a couple of foreign hits including Logan, Kong: Skull Island and Attraction. Other upcoming movies hitting the cineplex would include Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell and Life.
As for the issue of segregation of seats between male and females, something that Terengganu has in the past been famous for, that isn’t going to be happening. According to LFS business development and project manager Mohamad Shah Abdul Aziz in a statement to Sinchew Daily, the cinema halls will be equipped with closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) so that the public can monitor the actions of moviegoers. The lights won’t be turned on either since the CCTVs will be able to see in the dark.
And while the opening hours on most normal days are relatively normal, with the last movie screened ending at 1am, there are some exceptions. On Thursdays, the cineplex will close at 6pm and only reopen on Friday at 3pm. The same closing time, 6 pm, will also be applicable on important dates in Islam, such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Haji and Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. The same restrictions will also be applied during the month of Ramadan, where movies cannot be screened between 6pm and 9pm.
So it’s great that the people of Kuala Terengganu finally have their own cineplex after a long time. There may be restrictions but that still means there are just more avenues of entertainment for the residences now.