Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Malaysian Colosseum: Malaysia's oldest cinema cum restaurant

Most people will know that Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire and used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as public executions. I understand some unfortunate few had to face the lions minus weapons in the Colosseum in the bad old days. However, now it is but a badly damaged remnant of its "glorious" past.

Malaysian ColosseumFortunately, our "Malaysian Colosseum" is still proudly standing and being maintained in good conditions. It is Malaysia's oldest cinema cum restaurant or Cafe cum hotel, built in 1921 by Chua Cheng Bok and still owned by his scions. The Colosseum cinema features mostly Indian movies and is still operating. There was a proposal by the Malaysian government proposed to close the theater and turn it into a cultural center, this caused a huge public outcry and the scheme was abandoned. Good thing.

Our "Malaysian Colosseum" (actually spelt Coliseum) is located at 98-100 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur. A meal at the Colosseum restaurant will set you back between RM9 to RM34 (USD 2.35 to 8.95). This is the place to get real Western food like enormous sizzling steaks. The food is pretty good and the prices are reasonable. So despite its worn, ancient appearance, it is pretty popular and it is advisable to make reservation for a meal there without hassle.

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