Timothy Tye's Travel Encyclopedia
Majestic Theatre, George Town




Restoration of Majestic Theatre almost completedRestoration of Majestic Theatre almost completed (3 April, 2016)



Majestic Theatre is a historic theater building in George Town, Penang. It is located at the corner between Khoo Sian Ewe Road and Phee Choon Road. The theatre is officially known after its philantrophic proprietor, Khoo Sian Ewe (1886-1964), whose name is also on the road. As with the theatre itself, all the shophouses along Khoo Sian Ewe Road, as well as the Loke Thye Kee Restaurant at the junction with Burmah Road, were built by him.

The Majestic Theatre was completed in 1926, just as silent movies were giving way to talkies. It became the first cinema in Penang to screen Chinese talkies, and was all the rage in the years leading up to the Second World War.

The Majestic Theatre continued to operate until the 1980s, when public interest shifted away from the movies, and the theatre business fell into hard times. Old-time theatres such as the Majestic have since given away to the cineplex, which are found mostly in new shopping malls. Many of these theatres were readapted to other uses - the Rex became a furniture outlet, Cathay became a supermarket, and quite a number of other cinemas were converted into churches. However the Majestic remained abandoned and forlorn.

Updates on the Majestic Theatre

3 June, 2014: Kwong Wah reported that the Majestic Theatre will be turned into a modern theatre for performances and exhibitions. It will also be a hall for dinner functions capable of accommodating up to 22 tables. The theatre is expected to open in the first quarter of 2015.

2 May, 2014: Restoration of the Majestic Theatre building is now almost completed. The exterior has been given a new coat of paint.

Restoration of the Majestic Theatre building nears completionRestoration of the Majestic Theatre building nears completion (2 May, 2014)


Majestic Theatre BuildingMajestic Theatre Building, Khoo Sian Ewe Road façade (2 May, 2014)


June, 2012: Many of the Khoo Sian Ewe properties are undergoing restoration, as part of a ThinkCity project to revitalize historic buildings in George Town. It is my hope that the restoration will eventually include the Majestic Theatre.

Getting there

The nearest bus stop is along Transfer Road. It is served by Rapid Penang bus 10, 11, 101, 103, 104, 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 502 and CAT.



Majestic Theatre, George TownMajestic Theatre, George Town, before restoration (28, January, 2013)

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