The suburban cineplex with the most screens - 11 - has opened in Punggol. It even includes a digital Imax theatre.
Shaw Theatres officially opened its ninth and latest cineplex at the four-day-old Waterway Point mall on Thursday (Jan 21). Its Imax screen is the third in Singapore, after Shaw Lido in Orchard and at Shaw JCube in Jurong East.
The Imax experience is described to be more "immersive" than in the usual movie hall, as it is designed to screen brighter, clearer images as well as amplify more pristine sounds.
The screen itself is also much larger than normal, measuring 10m tall and 18m wide. As the screen cannot be folded, it had to be installed before builders could finish constructing one of the wall sides of the cineplex.
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."
Coming up, titles that will be released concurrently in the regular halls as well as at Imax ones include blockbusters 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 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 condo above the mall, so we didn't want to build it on the top floor of the mall, otherwise the noise would travel up and disturb the residents."
It 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 Ms Cherilyn Yeo, 28, the opening of the new cineplex is "the best news ever", Imax or no Imax.
She says: "I used to always have to go to town or Seletar Mall, which is 10 mins by car, to watch movies. I can finally just walk over to the cinema and watch a movie whenever I feel like it."
The last time Shaw opened a cineplex was 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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