I’ve been tagged!
Going to the movies (vern)is one of my hobbies. My mother used to take me along whenever she goes for the shows during the 50’s & 60’s. Because we can’t afford a TV, those black and white screen, that was the next course of entertainment.
Klang is such a small sleepy town then. It is divided by the famous Double decker bridge linking the Klang South to Klang North. Most of the excitement is found across the bridge. The only cinema this side is Rex cinema. This cinema sits on a small hill slope, just behind the present Jalan India, famous for anything Indian – from clothings to food. And the rich Chertais(money changer) sit in their small cubicle with money changing hands thro’ a pigeon hole. After the show, we stopped by the chinese coffee shop(now better known as Fatty Poh’s kopitiam) to bungkus dumplings or fried noddles for my siblings.
Across the bridge, we have the Regal theatre. At the other end, we have Cathay cinema where English (John Wayne horse-riding, while drawing his guns like speed of a lightning)and Malay (Hang Tuah who lived during the heyday of the Melaka Sultanate and Hang Jebat ) were played out. We watched the Three muskeeteers “all for one and one for all” remind us of their commitment to a cause. Just behind Cathay cinema we have Capitol and Lido back to back. These two usually have Chinese movies – from producers like Shaw brothers, Run Run Shaw and Run me, protraying those San Ker(moutain songs) shows with the likes of Yeh Fong, Lin Chin Sia, and the famous One-Arm swordman of Ti Lung and David Chiang
People from the smaller towns like Kapar, Meru, Kuala Selangor and even as far as Banting and Jenjarom travelled to Klang for their shows. Due to great demand, black market was rampant. A normal ticket could go as high as 300% on good shows and during festive seasons. Sometimes these movie mania from outstation had no other choice since most of the tickets have been taken up by these black market peddlars. Money was hard to come by, so what to do. Buy only lah.
When the lights go out(show over), we have our supper esp. after the midnight shows at the Emporium makan. Wonder (wonda) why we stayed slim and sweet? Without any bus services, we walked where our two companions , Bilboa and Ligdo (my two legs) can take us. Walking across the double-decker bridge with the dirty Klang river flowing under it, is a rare experience if you have not tried it. Never heard of rape, kidnapped or snatch-theft those days.
But sleepy Klang is not what it used to be anymore. Now we are famous for many things-some not so nice ek. But the aroma of bah kut teh still attracts food lovers….or our famous Seafood in Bagan or Pandamaran.? If you are more adventurous, Pulau Ketam beckons.