Although Hollywood blockbusters are undeniably a safe and popular choice for movie night, watching something different and under-the-radar can be a nice change. Be it a romantic date with a hardcore film fanatic, or a weekend hang-out with friends, EL’s list of cool, unique and interesting cinemas promises a great alternative experience.
For short local films
The Substation Theatre
45 Armenian Street | 6337 7535
The Substation’s monthly short film screenings, First Take, is something to look out for. Happening on the first Monday of every month, this free showcase features the latest short films made by up-and-coming filmmakers based in our sunny island. Not only will you get a taste of local talent, you can also interact with the filmmakers themselves during the question and answer segment after each screening. The Substation Theatre also stages both high profile and small independent arts events, ranging from The Singapore Short Film Awards to local musical gigs, so be sure to look out for updates on their Facebook page.
For a dose of Bollywood spice
100 Beach Road, #02-00 Shaw Towers | 6293 5717
If catching the latest rom-com at the shopping mall cinema is just not your thing, why not give Bollywood movies a go? Located at Shaw Towers, Bombay Talkies is a movie theatre that screens the latest Hindi movies in town. Don’t worry, most of the movies are subtitled in English so everyone can fully enjoy their colourful plots and weepy moments. Be prepared to be entertained with full-length songs and dances, a common feature in Bollywood films, for a full three hours. Check out Bombay Talkies online for the latest screenings.
For indie flicks
The Arts House Screening Room
1 Old Parliament Lane | 6332 6900
Taking over the nearly 200-year-old building that was once Singapore’s first Parliament House, The Arts House has been playing an active role in the local arts scene since its launch in 2003. Its cosy 75-seater screening room is an intimate space that often hosts screenings of indie films, including the sell-out runs of Tan Pin Pin’s landmark documentary Singapore Gaga in 2005. And after the credits roll, you can pop over to The Arts House’s conveniently located neighbour Timbre, a cool chill-out spot for indulging in live music and thin-crust pizzas.
For a free movie while waiting for your flight
Terminal 2 Departure Transit Lounge (Level 3), and Terminal 3 Departure Transit Lounge (Level 3), Airport Boulevard | 6595 6868
Are we the only ones who think that this is a brilliant idea? Changi Airport screens free movies at both Terminal 2 and 3 Departure Transit Lounges, perfect for when you have a couple of hours to kill while waiting for your flight. You get to enjoy movies of different genres at Terminal 3, or the latest movie screenings on the Fox Movies Premium Channel at Terminal 2. Better still, these entertainment hubs are open 24 hours daily.
For a special occasion
GV Gold Class
Suntec City, 112 Katong, Vivocity, Great World City | 6653 8166
Whether you’re looking for a romantic anniversary date idea, or just a mid-week treat for that special someone, these cinemas have it covered. Instead of the regular popcorn and soda, indulge in a selection of premium wines, plus a range of gourmet dishes like duck leg confit and spinach ravioli, all in a more private and spacious setting. The seats at GV Gold Class cinemas are also ultra comfy – think individual sofa seats that recline at the touch of a button. Apart from the food and seats, waiter service is available at any time during the movie. All you’ll have to do is lean back, relax and enjoy the show!
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.