THOSE born in the 50s, 60s and 70s will surely remember Capitol Theatre (pic) and Lido cinema situated smack in the middle of (old) Malacca town.
At that time Wolfersten Road (where Capitol Theatre was located) and Bunga Raya Road (where the recently-burnt Lido cinema was sited) were “the” places to be.
It was the shopping centre/haven for Malaccans as the central bus station and wet market were located nearby.
Malaccans will remember that both these cinemas, among a few entertainment outlets in town which showed Indian, Malay, Chinese and Hindi movies. Those working in estates would throng the cinema on the 7th and 21st of each month to watch the latest Indian movie when they received their fortnightly pay. There was this famous ice kacang stall along Jalan Bunga Raya that all of us used to frequent and remember fondly because of its affordable prices. Imagine paying 15sen for ice kacang without milk and 20 sen with milk! On a recent trip to this historical city and incidentally my hometown, I was taken aback to see the appalling condition of the abandoned Capitol theatre. It appears to have been abandoned and is an eyesore to former Malaccans and tourists. I strongly feel that this former icon should be restored as a heritage building and restored to its former glory. Hopefully, it will not suffer the fate of its counterpart, the former Lido cinema which was burnt down recently. For instance, Malacca’s “Little India” is located at one end of Wolfersten Road but at the other end where Capitol Theatre is located, the area has been totally neglected, except for one shop selling souvenirs and Malacca goodies. I suggest that the Malacca state government consider a comprehensive plan to redevelop the old Malacca town as a tourist attraction. I’m sure Malacca-born diehards will also visit this “restored town” to share with their families and friends the “good old days”. Please bring back the good memories of good old Malacca. DR POLA SINGH Kuala Lumpur