Haha, a precious photo by one “Rod Farquhar”…. taken probably in the late 1960s or early 1970s.
Well, Theatre Rex was not quite as jurassic as its cold-blooded carnivorous counterpart – Tyrannosaurus Rex — but by now it definitely is a dinosaur in its own right.
In its heyday, thousands of warm-blooded “Butterworthy” inhabitants flocked into its cool cavernous interior whenever they needed a quickie hallucinatory diversion from their daily grind of life.
In those days, when I was not so old yet, I did enjoy many Shaw Brothers movies at this iconic cinema, with my friends and family.
Ticket prices ranged from 40 sen (3rd class) to RM1.40 for “Dress Circle” (or upstairs) per seat. But poor kids like me sometimes just bought one ticket and used cute persuasion on the ushers to let in a friend, FOC.
Relax folks, am not sending you back to Mathematics school to tackle some insane formulae.
“It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” was an extremely hilarious movie of the mid-1960s. It was rather long and windy, with one goofed turn leading to yet another.
One of two notable scenes depicted the bad guy (who had the treasure) meeting with an accident, and died – with the fellow shown to literally kick a bucket downhill.
The second memorable scene involved the mother-in-law who smugly put a bunch of keys into her bra and challenged the guys to get them. So they grabbed her by the legs and turned her upside down and shook her until the keys fell out.
Finally the mystery of “W” was revealed at a site where 4 palm trees grew up in that formation.
But they had the last laugh…all the way to the bank…after fishing out our hard-earned money while we ‘pretended’ not to know it. Apa nak buat ? Life was kinda tough in those days (as compared to today) and therapeutic hardship diversions were few and far in between. Thankfully, we had cinemas to provide the much needed analgesia.
As the poor folks soaked in their favourite reality-escape fixes and got their hallucinatory-cum-delusionary highs, operators in the backroom were busy spinning reels of film.
No regrets though, we enjoyed many epic movies that were screened in the Rexes, Capitols, Odeons, Cathays, etc, and many people went gaga over the movie stars, both males and females.
Those were the heydays of the big-screen duo, viz., Cathay and Shaw. Shaw was a much larger outfit, with dozens of many cinemas throughout Malaysia and Singapore.
This bungling accidental superman of sorts was the protagonist in the 1981-1983 TV Series, starring the Maggi-noodle-haired William Katt.
He was supposed to be The Greatest American Hero, but I have always wondered what that big red character was doing on his chest. Why did he not have the Stars and Stripes instead?
Did the Americans not know that it was the word “Centre” (中) in Chinese ? Well, that made him look like a China hero, or could I assume that this fella was an incurable mahjong addict, who went for 红中 — that brick with a red letter “centre”?
Maybe, later on the Americans realized their mistake, and created Captain America to replace him (just kidding).