Costing S$37 million and designed by architect Geoff Malone, the 10-cinema Golden Village-Yishun 10 was Singapore’s first multiplex. Located at Yishun Central 1, the complex with total floor area of 3,635 square metres was officially opened on 27 May 1992 by Philip Yeo, then chairman of the Economic Development Board. The cineplex was open to the public the following day. The Golden Village-Yishun 10 was jointly financed by Golden Harvest, a Hong Kong movie production, distribution and exhibition company, and the Village Roadshow Corporationfrom Australia. The joint venture resulted in the establishment of Golden Village Entertainment, which holds the ownership to the cineplex.
On 14 March 1990, it was announced in the press that Golden Harvest had been given the green light by the Singapore government to build the multiplex on a 2,926-square-metre plot of land in Yishun New Town. Subsequently, in December 1990, it was revealed that a contract worth S$13.6 million was awarded to Sembawang Construction for the development, and work began the same year.
On 25 September 1991, the final phase of construction commenced, focusing on the building’s interior and facade. To commemorate the occasion, the launch of the concluding building phase was attended by Raymond Chow, chairman of Golden Village Entertainment, and action-movie star, Jackie Chan.
A varied mix of Hollywood blockbusters, Malay, Hong Kong and Japanese films, as well as reruns of successful hit movies, were screened during the first week of the cineplex’s opening.
The cinema complex had 10 movie halls and 2,552 seats and was considered the biggest cinema in Asia at the time. Equipped with 10 projectors each costing S$65,000, the cineplex could run a maximum of 20 movie screenings daily and a single film could be shown simultaneously across all the cinema halls, under the supervision of just one projectionist. A total of 34 full- and part-time staff were required to run the entire cineplex operations. Patrons were able to purchase stored-value cards for S$45 that allowed them to watch 10 shows, priced at S$5 a ticket, for the price of nine.
The cinema halls occupied the top level of the three-storey cineplex. Cinema-goers entered via an entrance on level two, which had a specially constructed elevator platform for wheelchair access. On the same floor, movie trailers were played on two video walls (each comprising 21 television screens). Each hall also had a monitor positioned at its entrance indicating in English and Mandarin the time and movie being screened. These video walls and monitors were part of the S$500,000 computerised information system purchased from Australia.
The cineplex underwent renovation in August 2010 and reopened in November the same year.
1. New complex can screen film in 10 halls at once — with just 1 print. (1992, May 28). The Straits Times, p. 19; Movie supermarket. (1992, May 23). The Straits Times, p. 2; Crowds pack movieplex on opening day. (1992, May 29). The Straits Times, p. 33; Lo, T. Y. (1992, May 29). Pleasure-drome. The New Paper, p. 28; Vasuki, S. N. (1992, May 30). Meet the multiplex man. The Business Times, p. 21; Ida Bachtiar. (1992, October 29). Yishun’s perfect 10. The Straits Times, p. 3; Ang, L. (1990, December 18). Sembawang Construction clinches cinema contract. The Business Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Foo, C. P. (1990, March 14). Golden Harvest gets approval to build multiplex in Yishun. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; The Business Times, 18 Dec 1990, p. 3.
3. The Straits Times, 14 Mar 1990, p. 3; Tan, C. (1991, September 24). Cinema complex with 10 halls to open in Yishun. The Straits Times, p. 20; 10-cinema complex at Yishun promises twice-as-long movie runs. (1991, September 26). The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. The Straits Times, 23 May 1992, p. 2.
5. The Straits Times, 28 May 1992, p. 19; Yishun cinema offers stored value cards to buy film tickets. (1992, May 9). The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. The New Paper, 29 May 1992, p. 28; The Straits Times, 23 May 1992, p. 2.
7. Golden Village. (2010, June 25). Singapore’s first multiplex to get makeover. Retrieved July 8, 2015, from Golden Village website: http://media.gv.com.sg/Booking/movies/images/press/yishunmakeover.pdf
The information in this article is valid as at July 2015 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.