Lido Cineplex closes for renovations

SINGAPORE : The famous wall murals from old movies at the Lido Cineplex are coming down. They are making way for renovations which start on Friday.

Some people said they will miss the familiar iconic theatre experience.

James Bond and Arnie, the Terminator are just some of the movie characters who have been gracing the walls of Shaw Theatres’ Lido Cineplex.

Specially commissioned in 1993 from the UK, the murals have become a part of the Singapore entertainment scene.

Contractors are set to move in soon to renovate the theatre.

Viraya Ratham has been an usher at the theatre for the past 17 years and the theatre is a part of his life.

He said: "I am very worried (about the renovation) because I love the place..."

For others, a Lido movie experience brings beautiful memories.

One movie patron said: "We actually met each other 47 years ago and we met each other in this theatre. We were here to see a very interesting movie, Where the Boys Are. It was a long long time ago. Today is the last day for this Lido Theatre and it is under renovation, so we thought we want to come here."

Mark Shaw, who is executive vice president of Shaw Organisation, said: "There are a lot of people who are understandably feeling anxious about what we are going to be doing to the new Lido, because they really loved the mural and the feel of the old cineplex."

Shaw Lido paid tribute to the murals with an online contest to identify the characters and said they received good response.

The theatre will reopen in April next year and promises movie buffs an IMAX theatre and three new theatre halls.

But its fans said it still isn’t quite the same.

One of them said: "It is the first we heard that this place is undergoing renovation. I remember all the murals...If they are gone, it will be a sad thing." — CNA/ms