Then and now
Cathay, Rex, Federal, Pavilion, Lido, Empire, President, Mido, Alhambra, Majestic, Coliseum, Odeon, Madras, Central, Metropole, Shaw, Golden City, Capitol, Sun, Hoover, Tai Wa, Ria, Goodwood all read like a zoetrope of exotic places in a fantasy novel, of which only a handful is remembered and even fewer still exist. Each built to trump the other, they linger on as fragments in the memory of older KL, replaced by more profitable ventures or simply torn down. Cathay and Pavilion on Jalan Bukit Bintang became parking lots and today, a planned MRT station. Lido in Brickfields was demolished for redevelopment, along with Majestic on Jalan Pudu. Coliseum and Odeon on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman are the last chariots in the camp, the former with refurbished interiors and a heritage status, the latter relegated to a tiny corridor lined with posters. Federal Cinema on Jalan Raja Laut slipped through the fingers of many owners, each with a renewed promise to rejuvenate the building. The building looks new, with a fresh coat of paint, new ticket and snack counters, but with no plans to open.