How many cinemas do you remember Bedok used to have? 2? 3? Nope. Back in the day, Bedok used to have 4 cinemas! 4 separate buildings specifically housing 4 cinemas as cinemas were not housed in shopping malls like they are today. Each had its own building and had its own distinct personality.
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(The 4 cinemas marked on the map from left to right were Princess Cinema, Liwagu Cinema, Bedok Cinema and Changi Cinema. All were located within the same vicinity of Bedok.)
The Princess theatre once stood as an iconic building in the heart of Bedok and screened many films to the people of Bedok in the 1980s and 1990s. It however followed the majority of theatres in that time and closed its doors during the early 2000s. The building has currently been demolished, but for a while after the closure of the cinema, the McDonald’s Restaurant still remained popular with residents. It has since also closed down and is scheduled for demolishment soon.
(Image taken from Google Maps)
Liwagu Cinema was built in 1980 and screened movies all the way up to 1995. It has since closed down as a cinema but the building that housed it was converted to Geylang United Football Club’s base of operations before being transferred to Newgate Learning Hub and finally to Bethesda Community Singapore.
Bedok Cinema and Changi Theatre used to stand side by side to each other along New Upper Changi Road. They were owned by rival companies Cathay Organisation and Shaw Organisation respectively and both started off as single screen cinemas in the 1980s. They each attempted to expand their screens and Changi theatre became the first cinema in Singapore to have three screens. Once again they eventually closed down in the 2000s and both buildings were demolished together to be replaced by Bedok Point Shopping Mall.
Fret not though, for a new cinema will be arriving at Bedok’s doorstep early next year to fulfil your movie cravings!