Rex Theatre

Jalan Sultan,
Kuala Lumpur

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Shaw Organization

Architects: James Robert Vethavanam

Nearby Theaters

No theaters found within 30 miles


The original Rex Theatre was opened in 1947 and was designed by architect James Robert Vethavanam in a Streamline Moderne style. It was operated by the Shaw Brothers. It burned down in 1972 and a new single screen, 1,100-seat theater was erected in its place in 1976. The newer Rex Theatre auditorium is not only larger, but it contains a balcony.

Later, the Rex Theatre became the first cinema in Malaysia to have a DTS sound system in 1993 in conjunction with the opening of “Jurassic Park”. The front foyer was revamped in 1995 and computerized ticketing was installed. Once operated by the Shaw Brothers, it was last leased to Golden Screen Cinemas.

The Rex Theatre was destroyed by a fire on November 5, 2002. A hostel was built on the site, which has also burn down.

Contributed by Valerie Kam

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

SethLewis on October 9, 2003 at 1:37 pm

Fond memories of the Rex when I lived in KL in 1985-6 and seeing films such as Terms of Endearment and A Passage to India there. The booking patterns were always a bit of a shock with films you’d never expect ie Annie Hall, Frances, The King of Comedy in there for 1 or 2 day bookings as well. Needless to say, you would always come out into a Night Market and go into a dark alley nearby for some great fried noodles!

keropok on August 1, 2005 at 11:01 pm

Where i used to hang out during the weekends in the early 80s. Remember watching the silly Police Academy films here as well as Flashdance. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to watch Annie Hall here. This cinema reminds me of the hot, steaming noodles available right at its doorsteps as well as the hustle and bustle of Petaling Street.

rahman on December 21, 2007 at 9:18 am

Huh…my first move i watched here was PRIVATE BENJAMIN back in 1982 in Dolby Stereo. Later equipped with DTS conjunction with opening Jurassic Park.

ginosz on January 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

rex had the worst sound system until the DTS installed for JURASSIC PARK in 1993. i saw it 5 times. the first 2 times, i had to line up for 3 hrs. the line was so long. that was the indication of a well received film. GOONIES, TEMPLE OF DOOM, DUNE, LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, HEAT are just some of the great films i watched there. my last films i watched there were PHANTOM MENACE – 98, ATTACK OF THE CLONES – 02 and MINORITY REPORT (twice) – 02. as much as i complain about rex, the cineplexes of today are nothing compared to it. until the mid 90s, i used to frequent a video arcade opposite rex next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken. yep, those were the days.

IanRiches on December 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

The Rex closed on November 5th 2002. It became a cheap hostel, the “Red Dragon”. Ironically this also burnt down (in August 2007). The site is now rebuilt and continues to operate as a hostel.

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