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Veenai Odeon Cinema

We walk by the Odeon Cinema almost everyday because it is at one of the busiest intersections in George Town.  And if you visit Penang, you will no doubt pass this grubby theater at least once, and like most tourists, walk right by.

Mark was lured in today by the fact that it is the last historic theater in George Town still standing and open for business.  That's what he said, but I think the poster of the most beautiful woman in the world, Aishwarya Rai, probably had something to do with it. 
50 years ago...Odeon Theater in 1960
2010...Now called Veenai Odeon
When I was younger, I actually went to the Odeon to catch the latest Hollywood movies, but as shiny mall theaters opened, the old cinema lost its appeal to the public, and finally closed down in 2001.  It followed the closing of other historic cinemas in George Town like Majestic, Rex, Cathay, Paramount, Capitol, and Federal.  Fortunately in early 2002, the Odeon was rescued due to the rising popularity of Bollywood (Hindi) and Kollywood (Tamil) films.  It was renamed Veenai Odeon and now only screens Indian movies.
We didn't know what to expect based on the shabby exterior, but we had to see the biggest Indian movie of all time, Enthiran (Robot), on the big screen.  The cinema was surprisingly comfortable, so we settled in to our seats on the ground floor (there is also an upper-deck) and spent three hours watching a typical, outrageously fun Indian movie that somehow squeezes in a robot story that takes place in India, with music and dance numbers in a desert in Brazil and on the mountains of Machu Picchu in Peru.  Huh?  Anything is possible when you bring Bollywood and Kollywood together!

You can catch Enthiran at Veenai Odeon until the end of November, showing nightly at 6pm. 

Where: Intersection of Lebuh Chulia (Street) and Jalan Penang (Road)
When: Open everyday, screening various Bollywood and Kollywood films at 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm
Phone: 04-261-8964

P.S. Anyone know when the Odeon was built in Penang?


kaviarasu said...

it was build on 1940!