Art Deco movie theatre and historic cinema
Burma’s silver screens
One of the few entertainment possibilities during the military regime, cinemas were, and still are, hugely popular in Yangon. In the heyday of the Burmese film industry this was Rangoon’s cinema strip, all movie theatres were here, at the intersection of Sule Pagoda and Bogyoke Aung San Road. At its peak, fourteen cinemas flanked the streets in all four directions from that junction alone! Slowly but surely these once-grand cinema halls are being torn down and being replaced by cookie-cutter mini-malls: In 2011, Myanmar had 71 cinemas, down from a peak of 244.
The pastel coloured Thwin cinema, operated by the Mingalar Group, is dated, but still one of the best known in town. Next-door Cinema Waziya (formerly known as the Excelsior) is the oldest in town, and plans are being made by Yangon Heritage Trust and Myanmar Motion Picture Organisation to renovate the theatre.
Nice to know
Art Deco was a popular architectural style in mid-century Burmese cinema design. Thwin cinema with its pastel coloured classical symmetry is one of the few remaining examples.