Where to see a foreign film in Singapore

Escape the heat.

What we say: 3.5 stars

In Singapore’s steamy weather a couple of hours of icy cool air-con at a movie theatre can be a welcome treat. The malls of Orchard Road are teeming with multiplexes showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, but if you’re in the mood for something with a little more culture it’s easy to find a foreign language film. Don’t worry if your Mandarin or Tamil comprehension skills are a bit rusty – the films are usually subtitled in English (though it doesn’t hurt to ask before buying a ticket).

Switch up Hollywood for Bollywood.

Switch up Hollywood for Bollywood.

Little India is the perfect location for Rex Cinemas, a three-screen movie theatre showing the latest Bollywood hits. The theatre doesn’t have an official website, but you can check the SG Café Facebook page which is updated with the current showtimes. Another spot for Indian language films is the Jade Theatre Bombay Talkies on Beach Road. Tickets at either theatre cost $10-12 but, as Bollywood movies average about three hours (it must be all those dance numbers), you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Rex Cinema: 2 Mackenzie Road, 6337 6607
Jade Cinema Bombay Talkies: 100 Beach Road, #02-00 Shaw Towers, 6293 5717

Inside Vivocity Mall, Cinema Europa is the usual venue for film festivals held in Singapore (like the European Union Film Festival in May), but is a reliable place to see independent films year-round. The offerings are very eclectic and from one week to the next may be Japanese anime, French romance or even something from a Singaporean director. You can book tickets in person, over the phone or online.
Cinema Europa (part of Golden Village VivoCity): 1 Harbourfront Walk

Foreign film fans should also keep their eyes on the events listings for the “Cine Club” by the Alliance Francaise. A few times a month the group shows French films with English subtitles and non-members are welcome if they pay a $$7.20 ticket price. SAM at 8Q, the contemporary extension of the Singapore Art Museum, occasionally screens films by local and international filmmakers at their ‘Moving Image Gallery’ theatre. Upcoming film events are listed on their website and admission is usually S$10.
Alliance Francaise: 1 Sarkies Road, 6737 8422
Singapore Art Museum: 8 Queen Street, 6332 3222

Of course, Singapore’s multilingual population means that Mandarin (Chinese), Malay, and Tamil language movies make regular appearances at mainstream movie theatres, too. For complete listings of all the movies playing in Singapore, try a website like http://movies.insing.com/.

Last updated: 14th November, 2014

About the author:
Tanya Procyshyn is a Singapore-based freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea. She blogs at www.idreamofdurian.com.
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