KUALA LUMPUR: Movie lovers took the opportunity to head to the cinema on Malaysia Day, the first day of screening, almost one year after shutters came down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some cinema-goers turned up as early as 11am yesterday just for the chance to watch stories unfold on the big screen.
Among the earliest to walk into GSC Mid Valley Megamall was Raymond Teoh, 36, who came to catch the monster flick Godzilla vs Kong.
“It felt good to be back in a cinema, watching a movie, after more than three months of just watching films at home on Netflix and other content on YouTube,” said Teoh, who works in the IT industry.
“The last movie I watched in a cinema was Mortal Kombat, which was in April. I am really looking forward to seeing Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings next,” he added.
Avid movie fan M. Logeswaran made his way back to the cinema yesterday after a year of being away.
“I watched Mulan in September 2020; that was the last time. Today, I watched Those Who Wish Me Dead starring Angelina Jolie.
“And I plan to watch Tamil movie Kodiyil Oruvan this weekend,” said the 25-year-old man.
Logeswaran, who works at a bank, feels safe going back to the movie theatre as there is strict standard operating procedures put in place by cinema operators.
“Going to the movies is something I love to do. It’s fun. I am eagerly waiting for the big movies to open. I can’t wait to watch Free Guy, Black Widow and of course, Shang-Chi,” he added.
From Sept 9, cinemas are allowed to operate at 50% capacity and open only to those who are fully vaccinated.
After a week of cleaning, sanitising and getting ready, GSC reopened at 17 locations nationwide while TGV had 13 locations running.
All cinemas are expected to be fully operational from Sept 23.
The two top cinema operators in Malaysia are also offering free screenings of older releases for a limited time.
GSC audiences can watch Godzilla vs Kong and Unholy for free, while TGV offers Godzilla vs Kong and Mortal Kombat to its MovieClub members. Tickets to other titles are available at discounted prices.
More movie-goers are expected to visit the cinema starting from Sept 23 when big Hollywood titles are scheduled to arrive.
Among the titles opening next week are Malaysia-born James Wan’s new horror flick Malignant, Marvel’s Black Widow and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Jungle Cruise.
This is followed by The Suicide Squad and James Bond’s No Time To Die on Sept 30.
Movies to be released in October include Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (Oct 7); Free Guy, Dune and Halloween Kills (Oct 14); and Fast & Furious 9 (Oct 21).