Peranakan-inspired GV cinema officially opens

After much anticipation from residents and tenants from in and around the Katong area, Golden Village (GV) Katong hosted its Gala Opening to a star-studded crowd last evening at the newly refurbished 112 Katong.

Graced by local Peranakan personalities and celebrities who have grown up around Katong, the Opening Gala marked a new milestone in the history of Katong - an area of Singapore associated with Peranakan culture and gastronomical delights.

Amongst the Peranakan personalities who were in attendance were the likes of iconic Peranakan stage performer, Mr GT Lye; Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage, Mr Alvin Tan; and popular actress and thespian, Ms Tan Kheng Hua, who was accompanied by her daughter.

Said Ms Tan, "The opening of GV Katong couldn't have come at a better time! We have been waiting for a cinema in this part of Singapore for the longest time and it's great to finally have a cinema so close to home, right in the middle of our favourite hangout. The Peranakan designs are also truly amazing; we never thought a cinema could look this way!"

Adding to the star-studded night were popular radio personalities Rod Monteiro and The Married Men crew from 91.3FM; as well as Glenn Ong from The Morning Express on Class 95FM who spent their teen years in the area during their time in Saint Patrick's School, just a stone's throw away.

Actress Melissa Faith Yeo, Melody Chen, and husband, Randall Tan also attended the celebrations. The couple especially, were dressed in full Nyonya and batik apparel, fitting in perfectly with GV Katong's Perankan-inspired décor.

The Opening Gala also paid tribute to many of the stakeholders that have, over the years, helped shape Katong into a bustling melting pot filled with local flavour and culture. Local a cappella group, Vocaluptous, entertained guests with two Peranakan songs.

Amongst the special invitees were representatives from the Peranakan Association of Singapore such as Mr Edmund Wong, the third generation owner of epicurean mainstay Kim Choo, who has served Nyonya rice dumplings in the area since 1945; as well as Ms Bebe Seet owner of Peranakan restaurant Rumah Bebe, who has served Peranakan cuisine in Katong since 1928.

Said Mr Peter Wee, the President of The Peranakan Association of Singapore, whose Katong Antique House has been around since 1979, "The opening of GV Katong brings back a long awaited and highly anticipated cinema entertainment for the Katong and Joo Chiat community."

"History has really come full circle and we are happy see such a nice addition to this area. The Peranakan décor in the cinema is also a nice touch, paying tribute to the Katong culture and heritage," added Ms Seet.

With the highly anticipated opening of GV Katong, the iconic cinema will fill the void of an anchoring cinema which has been left vacant for nearly 20 years.

Mr Jamie Au, 35, an 'East-sider' all his life was ecstatic at GV Katong's opening, "When my friends and I were younger, we used to frequent the Republic Theatre at Marine Parade, but that has since closed its doors. The opening of GV Katong will make a big difference in our lives. It's great that we don't have to travel too far even when we decide to watch a late movie on a whim."

Mr Kurt Rieder, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Village said, "GV Katong is delighted to be able to bring the cinematic experience back to the residents and community of Katong and JooChiat. We look forward to creating new memories with filmgoers residing in the East, close to home."

GV Katong has a total seating capacity of 921 seats, which includes 56 plush and super-luxurious Gold Class cinema recliners. Pioneering the concept of in-cinema gourmet dining, GV's signature Gold Class will offer a sampling of the much-acclaimed Peranakan cuisine, including Otak Samosas, Assam Fish with fragrant Basmati rice, Nyonya Kueh delicacies, in addition to Chef Chris Foo's signature Western dishes.

Keen movie-goers, who are interested to watch the latest movies at the brand new GV Katong are welcome to check the listings or log on to www.gv.com.sg for detailed screening times.

GV Katong is located at 112 East Coast Road, Level 4,112 Katong.