Moviegoing in Macau

What Hong Kong has to offer in arts and culture overshadows everything in the radius of hundreds of kilometers. It’s not Paris nor NYC, but for Asia – it’s a paradise. This applies especially to cinema. There are several dozens of movie theaters and many interesting events deserve to be followed. Almost every single screening in this global city is provided with two lines of subtitles: one is tradional Chinese characters and the other – English. That means that you can enter any theater, buy yourself a ticket, sit back and enjoy a local kung-fu movie without any fluency in Cantonese. Or choose a Korean, Japanese, or French production.

Macau is less cosmopolitan and considerably smaller in size than Hong Kong. It is obviously not a filmgoer’s paradise, but it still has a few places to catch a flick, and most of sceeenings (most but not all, so check ahead) will have English subtitles too. You can literally count the number of local cinemas on the fingers of one hand, but there’s choice of both popcorn-scented multiplexes and old school theaters with leather padded seats. Okay. One, two, three, let’s list them.

Cinema Alegria (85E Estrada de Repouso, Macau) was build in 1952 and is the oldest movie theater in town. I liked the art deco-like feel. I watched some typical Hong Kong-style action movie here, and seeing those gloomy-faced gangsters bathed in neon lights suited it well.

Talking about neons, check out the one that adorns the facade of Cinoteatro Macau (17 Rua do Santa Clara, Macau). This venue, opened in 1982, has two tiny screening rooms in the addition to the main one.

UA Galaxy Cinemas (Avenida de Cotai, Cotai) is a multiplex located inside the enourmous Galaxy casino resort building in Cotai gambling district. Being a part of a complex that houses high-class restaurants, a luxury shopping mall and a 5-star hotel means that it is very modern. So no worries about the cinematic experience quality. And having nine screens means that you have bigger choice. Of course it’s mostly Hollywood films, but I caught a wonderful Japanese animation here too, for example.

Cinematheque-Passion is a new fascinating addition to the local moviegoing scene. It was opened in 2017. I remember that I was very excited upon learning about its commencement. It seems that a place devoted to art house films is what Macau really needed. Unfortunately my stays in the Las Vegas of Asia were always short and I have not visited since quite a long time, so I had no chance to visit Cinematheque-Passion so far. In case you are looking for it, note that it is located very near the ruins of St. Paul’s Church, on a lovely, tiny little alley called Travessa da Paixão, a popular spot for wedding photo shoots.

Also, while in Macau, check if there are any special events going on, as there are several cultural institutions that may screen a film or two from time to time. Last but not least, the Macau International Movie Festival is a red carpet affair that usually takes place in December.

For more articles click the Macau category.

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