Punggol’s Waterway Point gets an Imax theatre

New outfit at Waterway Point has an Imax theatre

Shaw Theatres has opened a suburban cineplex with 11 screens in Punggol. It includes a digital Imax theatre.

Shaw Theatres officially opened its ninth, and latest cineplex, at the five-day-old Waterway Point mall yesterday. Its Imax screen is the third in Singapore, after Shaw Lido in Orchard and Shaw JCube in Jurong East.

The Imax experience is described to be more "immersive" than in the usual movie hall, as it screens brighter, clearer images with more pristine sounds.

The screen, measuring 10m tall and 18m wide, is about twice the size of a normal screen. As the screen cannot be folded, it had to be installed before builders finished constructing one side of the wall.

Mr Mark Shaw, executive vice- president of operations at Shaw Theatres, says: "We are confident that the demand for a premium movie-going experience will continue to rise in Singapore. Imax accounted for 75 per cent of our first-hour advance ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Upcoming titles that will be released concurrently in the regular halls as well as at Imax ones include Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Captain America: Civil War.

A regular movie ticket typically costs between $8 and $11, while an Imax ticket costs between $17 and $23 each.

The Waterway Point cineplex is found on Basement 2, making it the first cineplex in Singapore to be located below ground level. Mr Terence Heng, vice-president of innovation, content and engagement at Shaw Organisation, says: "There is a condominium above the mall, so we didn't want to build the cineplex on the top floor, otherwise the noise would travel up and disturb the residents."

The cineplex has a total of 1,450 seats for its 11 screens. Shaw declined to reveal the cost of its construction.

For Punggol residents such as graphic designer Cherilyn Yeo, 28, the opening of the Waterway Point cineplex is "the best news ever".

She says: "I used to always have to go to town or Seletar Mall, which is 10 minutes by car, to watch movies. I can finally just walk over to the cinema and watch a movie whenever I feel like it."

Shaw last opened a cineplex in December 2014 at Seletar Mall.

Currently, there are ongoing works for a cineplex at Parkway Parade mall, but it is unclear who the operator is at the moment.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2016, with the headline 'Shaw opens Punggol cineplex with 11 screens'. Print Edition | Subscribe