If you’ve heard of The Projector, you’ll know it is a completely alternative cinema concept.
Far from screening mainstream blockbusters, here you’ll find indie, foreign, cult favourite, classic, arthouse and local flicks.
But how did the fifth floor of the slightly crummy Golden Mile Tower come to house this artsy two-screen cinema?
Seems like its vintage appeal isn’t constructed at all, but stems from a long history we think you film buffs should know about…
The Golden Theatre
Once upon a time, there was the The Golden Theatre.
Situated in said Golden Mile Tower along Beach Road, it was once the largest cinema in all of Singapore and Malaysia.
Think: an impressive 1,500 stall and circle seats, all inside one massive movie theatre.
For those born before 1973, you may know its constructor, Chong Gay Theatres, who are also the ones behind the homely Kallang Theatre.
Back in the day, The Golden Theatre was well-patronised for its Mandarin films, ‘adult’ artistic films, and even Bollywood hits.
Sadly, with sparkly new shopping malls sprouting up through the ‘90s, its popularity slowly waned.
The majestic theatre split up into smaller, separate halls–Golden 1 and Golden 2, both of which then sunk into disrepair.
The Fixer Uppers
Enter creative development company Pocket Projects, and design and architectural firm FARM.
This group of passionate cinephiles banded together to breathe new life into this old, derelict, but also historic space.
And so restoration works began, in the form of The Projector.
Their goal, to refurbish the space while respecting and preserving elements of the past, has been a visible success.
On one hand, the space now boasts modern day technology and comforts in the form of digital projectors and reupholstered seats.
On the other, it retains the old cinema’s original features, such as its signage and floor lettering, as well as the original wooden armrests and steel seat frames.
The two halls also received new names, along with their new lease of life.
Golden 1 became the Green Room, and Golden 2, the Redrum–a nod to Stanley Kubrick’s classic ‘The Shining’.
Today, the halls are once again as bustling as they were in the good old days.
Each of the two rooms at The Projector seats nearly 200 people, and are fitted with digital projectors.
The chairs in the front section of the Green Room have even been replaced with comfy bean bags.
They’ve also roped in Luna Films, the people in charge of curating local film festivals, to help select and bring in films to be screened.
Finally, to complete the movie-going experience, came the addition of a café to the cinema’s foyer, manned by Group Therapy Coffee. It sells classic movie snacks like popcorn, alongside burgers, pies, and cake, along with sodas, juices and their own coffee blends.
If you’ve ever lamented the limited range of films in Singapore, you now know where to find a great independent cinema.
For all its history, The Projector itself is definitely as fascinating as the movies it screens, and is well worth a visit.
Address: 6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower #05-00, Singapore 199589
Opening Hours: Tue – Fri: 6.30pm – 9pm; Sat, Sun, PH: 1.00pm – 9pm; Closed on Mondays
(Top Image Credit: SINdie & Pocket Projects)