Ever since my secondary school life, me and my friends always went to Westmall EngHwa Cinemas to catch a movie after school during Friday. The thing that i liked about this cinema is that Students only need to pay $6 to watch a movie here! Quite Affordable isn't it?! While Adults only need to pay $10! Compare to many other cinemas in Singapore, I think that EngHwa certainly have the greatest deal! And not only about the affordable price of the tickets, there is also Pizza and Soup Available at the snacks bar! Quite Unusual isn't it? However the size of the pizza is certainly small, it costs$10 with the drinks, at least you got something to munch on during the advertisement of the movie. ^^ If you want something sweet and affordable, you can get yourself a Churros for just $2 ! A star-shaped dough sticks sprinkled with sugar, sort of a pastry. Well I do hope you guys would give it a try at EngHwa Cinemas someday.
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A brave attempt to survive
If I remembered correctly, Eng Wah is the cinema that has done the least upgrading to their cinemas. Recently, Shaw just upgraded their Lido cinemas to keep relevant with newer technologies. I had not seen any Eng Wah cinemas doing any upgrading or may be they just did it quietly not like the one done by Shaw Lido.
I think the needs of the new generation of movie goers are higher, they expected comfortable seats, good sound system, even good pop corns. So if Eng Wah does not want to obsolete itself, then it should make plans to upgrade its remaining cinemas. They may lose income for the few months during the upgrading and they may also need to invest big amounts for the upgrading costs but what's the alternatives? It's do or die.
The most maginalised cinema
The last time I visited Eng Wah was a matter of years, not months nor days. In the cinematic industry in Singapore, dominated mostly by Shaw, Golden Village and Cathay, there is little room for potential cinemas to operate. I remembered a time, many years ago when I visited Jubilee in Ang Mon Kio to watch a movie, the experience was memorable and fun, for the movie was awesome and I had a good time with my family.
However, over the years, Eng Wah lost steam and closed down, I remembered receiving an Eng Wah movie voucher a few years back, but when I first went to Jubilee, I was confronted with a scene of a closed down Eng Wah. They were taking down the cinema where I had plenty of fond memories apart. Then, I went to Toa Payoh, the same scene was happening. It seems that a friendly giant, once taken for granted, was no more
The least bang for your buck
As a regular visitor the movie theatres, I can’t help but find the theatres belonging to EngHwa to be inferior to the other local cinema heavyweights. Seats are less plush and comfortable, carpets do not run across the entire floor and the interior décor (you’ll notice it when the lights are on) is the least grand of all the cinemas.
I guess the only positive aspect of the cinema here is that it has cheaper movie snacks. But that is hardly incentive enough to visit EngHwa as the tickets here cost more for me since they do not tie up with any of the credit card companies.
Elderly ushers FTW!
Back before their East Point Branch closes, I used to visit them whenever I need my movie fix. Admittedly, GV, Shaw, Cathay, the big names in cinemas today do provide better facilities and an overall better movie experience. But I'm not picky when it comes to such things. I came to watch a movie so as long as I get to watch it, I'm a happy man. Plus the fact that I'm more of an underdog supporter kinda guy, you know, rebel against the establishment, hold protest rallies, stand in front of a Chinese tank, that sort of thing.
Personally, I feel that the smiles of the elderly ushers are welcoming and sincere, marking a great start to any cinematic experience. I also don't think that Eng Wah is gonna die off anytime soon as long as they've still got their Suntec branch. I mean come on, it's Suntec City! Where's the nearest place to go for a movie to de-stress after fighting through the crowds of SITEX?
Frequent movie theatre!
Though it isn't as popular as compared to the rest of the cinemas. I would say Eng Wah-West Mall is the theatre I frequent most when I'm young! It is just blocks away and there is always available seating, never have to worry for the queue or crowd.
I am quite satisfied with the overall ambience such as the seating and movie quality. At least, I would say it is still a decent cinema! Eng Wah is comparatively the first company that comes up with indoor movie theatre in Singapore. I am quite disappointed that they didn’t maintain it and letting it go down to drain.
The one at Westmall has closed! Boo hoo~
That leaves only the one at Suntec working... I think the one at Sun Plaza is Eng Wah too but I can't be sure.
Many people claim Eng Wah as the lousiest cinema in Singapore. I'd admit that their popcorns are not as tasty, they're still printing tickets on soft papers, and they don't have the most comfortable seats. But somehow, Eng Wah gives me homely feelings, especially the one at Westmall. There isn't the rush, the unhappy queues, and all that commotion. It seems that I would always get the show I want.
That's why I'm sad that it has to close.
Average, good for gatherings.
As many new cinemas gain popularity among youths, Eng Wah is somewhat forsaken.
The first reason may be the cinema facilities itself. Seats are average, but they get hot after about 1 hour, which makes it uncomfortable for the viewers. The sound system works well, but gets distorted at higher volumes, making it hard to hear.
Popcorn is slightly below average, and lacks some taste and crunch to it.
However, the good thing is that there is no crowd, and you do not have to queue up to get movie tickets or food and drinks. This would be great for those who often watch movies in a group, or those having a class gathering.
Service is great, though. Most of the staff are from the older generation, and they treat their customers with respect, unlike other cinemas, where some staff treat customers rudely. This really shows a lot about the younger generation these days. Because of this, I feel sorry that Eng Wah is losing its popularity, and I would dread the day that Eng Wah closes down.
If they continue to leave their cinemas in their current state, they would be sure to lose business. Some maintenance would really boost their popularity, especially with their current service.
I'm torn between recommend it, but I have to be objective and judge it based on its facilities.
Probably only for the couples..
My friend brought me to the Eng Wah Cineplex at Suntec once, and I have to say, I have never seen a cineplex quite as empty as that particular one.
I don't think Eng Wah deserves such sparse attention though. The seats are comfortably cushioned, with enough leg room for even the taller folks. The ambience of the cineplex is average - nothing too fancy, but not exactly romantic either. In fact, everything about Eng Wah is comparable to that of cineplex giants like Golden Village and Cathay, but perhaps the lack of attention that Eng Wah receives can be attributed to the awkward locations that the cineplexes are situated at. The Eng Wah cineplex at Suntec was absolutely out of the way. In fact, it was so difficult to find that someone who hadn't been there before, would have quite a lot of trouble finding the cineplex, which happens to be tucked away at a quiet corner.
That said, I do feel that Eng Wah would probably make quite a good dating spot for couples. The last time I was at Eng Wah, my friend and I were the sole customers in the entire cinema, and I thank god that we weren't watching a horror flick.
As for prices, I believe that Eng Wah is probably more worth the money than Golden Village. Although the ticket stubs are made of flimsy glossed paper, I can only say that Golden Village uses that sort of paper for its tickets as well, and the tickets at Eng Wah are definitely cheaper.
Locals really ought to start giving Eng Wah a chance. It's not as bad or run-down as it seems, and is definitely worth the visit.
My least favourite cinema in Singapore
I seldom watched movies from Eng Wah Cinema for a couple of reasons.
1) Location. Eng Wah cinemas are situated in small and boring shopping malls like toa payoh, Shaw Plaza, AMK Jubilee,
2) Promotions. Eng Wah promotions are not attractive unlike its competitors like GV and cathay which have a variety of credit card discounts, student discounts and freebies to win
3) Ambience. Eng Wah cinemas are rather run down and their seats are not very comfortable.
I will only patronize Eng Wah if there is a blockbuster that is screening, and when all the other cinemas are fully booked, you can defintely get a rather good seat at Eng Wah Cinema
Service that touches your heart
Eng Wah has hardly had fans in the younger generation when it comes to watching movies. It was a pity that we missed out on this great cineplex. I went to the Bugis branch which has since closed down, last year.
It was an experience which opened my eyes to the belief of great service. And mind you, it was the elderly workers that served us after the movie. Firstly, the seats were albeit a little old, but it still worked well and comfy. The theatre was deadly quiet and vacant which only fueled my enthusiam in the movie with my friend because of the belief that it would be quieter with less disruptions.
Sound system was great and the bass was good making the entire movie clear enjoyable without killing my ears. The screen was albeit a little older looking, it still worked fine and wasnt as glaring as it was in the newer cineplexes. What touched me was the elderly workers that greeted us before we entered and after we left the theatre. The sweet tender smiles and offerings to help us dispose of our tickets and rubbish we brought in only made my heart melt.
It is a waste that Eng Wah is fast dwindling in Singapore, with such great service from the heart perhaps it would be better they could work on the physical aspects to build its reputation once again.