I may be the 100th person doing such a review about the latest cinema in Kuching, but what the hell. I’ll do it anyway. So, if you guys have read about MBO Kuching in my previous post, then you know about how excited I was when I knew it would be opening. Well, I wasn’t as lucky as Norman, Fahriee and Aprilia whom were invited to attend the media preview (Small time unknown bloggers like me don’t get such privilege), but I decided to check out what MBO has to offer in comparison to STAR and Lotus Five Star (LFS) (Notice these two cineplexes share the word ‘star’?) on Friday.
Initially, I wanted to go at night, but Irene and Keeman suggested I should go during office hours to avoid the typical Kuchinginite ‘sakai’ mode which would turn MBO Cinema into a can of sardine. Well, I was glad I heeded their advice because when my movie ended (at about 6pm), the line was till the entrance which was almost 30 meters.
Anyway… yeah, rite.. the experience, or the cinema itself. A few quick glances around the whole area would write a huge ‘EXCLUSIVE’ on your head. By any standards, this is the way cineplexes in Kuching should be. Lavish, different and glamor. The walking isle was different, the scene was different, and even the hallway and seating method was different. STAR and LFS would have a lot to do to beat MBO’s first impression. Colorful decoration lights were everywhere that I felt I was in a carnival of something similar. One thing that kind of bothered me was the toilet. It looked fantastic from the outside, but looked kind of ‘unfinished’ inside. I could find construction debris here and there, although not many. Nonetheless, it was slightly better than those you’d find at STAR.
The hall (My movie was showing in Hall 1) was new, with the term ‘Bau Cina‘ or ‘Chinese smell‘ clearly making it into your nostrils once you entered the hall. The seats were comfortable, and what was best is the fact you can do away with the ‘couple seats’ as the armrest of the seats could be folded up. The screen was placed a few meters below, and it looked kind of steep and far from where I was seating. I wasn’t comfortable with this as i though it would be unpleasant to have the screen lying so low down and so far away. I think the angle from my seat to the screen was 45 degrees. Steep, right?
Well, that uncomfortable feeling went away the minute the movie started. I notice the advantages of having seats at this angle. One in particular was the inability of those seated in front of me to block my view as they were seated about 30cm lower than me. If someone were to block your view, he must be really tall, or you would be really short ;P . In addition to that, I had ample leg room, and the seats were large enough, I think that I could basically seat two kids at 10 years of age, in one seat. No wonder they charge half for kids below 12. (Forgive my shots… Had to ‘curi amik’ these shots.. Say the sign which says “No photo taking in the hall“)
The sound system itself was massive, and impressive by any means. The movie itself? Err.. read about Final Destination 4 here…
Nonetheless, MBO Cinema is a good benchmark for other cinema operators in the city. Despite the rather steep ticket prices (check out the price above: Click to enlarge), the facilities are worth the money. The only question now is about maintainability of the cineplex, because Malaysians in general have no problem making something fantastic, but maintaining them is a very, very sad story to tell.