The 3 Worst Places in Singapore to Watch a Movie

The 3 Worst Places in Singapore to Watch a Movie
Empty red seats for cinema, theater, conference or concert

What’s worse than watching a bad movie? Watching it in a crappy theater! There’s nothing I hate more than paying $10-$12+ for a ticket just to have a bad movie experience.

I’m not asking for much. All I want is some halfway decent popcorn, a nice comfy seat, and a clean environment that won’t leave me feeling like I have to take an industrial strength decontamination shower.

During my moviegoing travels, I watched movies in each of these unfortunate locations – and I’m not the only one who thinks these are the 3 worst theatres in Singapore:


1. Golden Village – Tiong Bahru

As far as Golden Village (GV) goes, I honestly would have rated GV Bishan worse than GV Tiong Bahru. Fortunately for those living in Bishan, the cinema Gods chose to redeem the crappy theatre by granting it a renovation – which I’m happy to say was a positive turnaround.

Now, back to GV Tiong Bahru – this theatre is in desperate need of a renovation too. My first (and only) time visiting this theatre was an unforgettable experience, in the wrong kind of way.

Now, I’m pretty sensitive to dust and dirt. My sinus glands pick up the stuff the way Peter Parker’s “Spidey Sense” picks up danger. Almost immediately my sinus glands sounded off *DANGER*.

I coughed through most of the movie while sitting in my uncomfortable seat. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Even with my sinuses acting up, I could still smell a something foul and sickly in the theatre.

If my sense of smell was as acute as a perfumer, I might not have survived the experience. Needless to say, I haven’t been back.

Here are my biggest complaints about the place:

  • A bit dusty during my visit, so you might want to bring Claritin with you.
  • Even though I coughed through much of the movie, I could still smell a mixture of stale popcorn, the sickly sour scent of what I think was soda and fabric, and something else I can’t describe.
  • Uncomfortable seats (Well played GV – guess I must pay for Gold Glass to get that).
  • The ENTIRE theatre desperately needs a Bishan-like renovation (Do it for Tiong Bahru GV!).


2. Shaw Theatre – Balestier

When you think of Shaw Theatre, Lido probably comes to mind with its efficient ticket counter, numerous snack choices, and comfy waiting area (not to mention the prime location in Orchard).

Well, not all Shaw Theatres are created equal. In fact, Shaw Balestier is definitely the “black sheep” of the Shaw movie theatre chain.

The first time I visited Shaw Balestier with friends was to watch Sinister. Now, I don’t know if the movie was meant to be 4D, but I thought the theatre was creepier than the movie!

The lighting was bad, the theatre was very cold, the seats were old, the walls were dusty, and the sound system tended to have a creepy screech when the sound hit a certain level.

If you enjoy discomfort and creepiness when going to the movies, I highly recommend this place.

Here are my biggest complaints about the place:

  • It’s the only place in Singapore that requires you to buy a winter coat (damn cold!).
  • Outdated, uncomfortable seats that sink when you sit.
  • Sound system screeched at times.
  • Creepy theatre atmosphere (might be a plus for some of you horror fans).


3. Eng Wah (WE Cinemas) Cinema – Suntec City Mall (Closed)

According to legend, the Eng Wah (WE Cinemas) Cinema at Suntec City Mall was one of the best movie theatres in Singapore when it first opened.  But like so many once great places, it turned into the Hotel Budapest of movie theatres in Singapore.

Thankfully, the cinema Gods chose to give WE Cinema a merciful ending – “death” by sale to its competitor, Golden Village (GV). RIP WE Suntec City.

WE’s website currently states that it is on “vacation” and will be making a comeback in Q4 2014 at 321 Clementi.

Here are  were my biggest complaints about the place:

  • Horrible customer service (seating chosen by ticket counter girl).
  • Horrible popcorn (and a crappy serving at that).
  • No restroom inside the theatre (had to use the Suntec Mall restroom).
  • Uncomfortable seats that were probably as old as the theatre itself.


Final Note:  I know. The list is really has two theatres you should stay away from. However, I thought it was important to remember WE Cinema for the horrible theatre that it was.

On a more positive note, soon on MoneySmart, you can expect to see an article on the best places to watch a movie in Singapore, so follow us on Facebook and stay tuned!


What do you think are the worst movie theatre locations in Singapore? Tell us what you think here!