Shaw Theatres (Lido) ruins movie experience just to save a few bucks

I watched Avatar in 3D with my friends at Lido last night. We each received good quality 3D specs at the door.

There were repeated reminders outside the cinema, as well as on the cinema screen, as well as audio messages, for us to return the specs in good condition at the end of the movie, failing which we would have to pay $10.

3D Specs

All good there.

We watched the movie and immensely enjoyed three hours of a gripping story set in a fantastic, vibrant world.

And then the movie ended and the credits started.

Accompanying the initial credit roll were awesome 3D footages of the world of Navi accompanied by awe-inspiring music.

Unfortunately, we never got to enjoy it. Two seconds after the credits rolled, lights flooded the cinema, the music was muted and a recorded announcement came on, reminding us to return the 3D specs, failing which we would have to pay $10, blah blah.

I was annoyed.

The movie had ended too soon and I craved more of it. I was sad at having to say goodbye to the world of Navi and I wanted to enjoy the ending music and footages to continue the illusion of still being immersed in the world.


The recorded announcement and muting of the music shocked us out of our immersion like icy cold water to the face.

We endured the announcement for about 20 seconds, waiting for the music to come back. The screen was still showing footages of 3D scenery but it was hard to watch since the lights were all on.

Then the announcement ended but the music didn’t come back.

Three seconds later, the announcement started again. The same damned announcement all over again.

I was very, very annoyed. By muting the music, turning on the lights, and playing the stupid announcement, Lido had robbed us of our final few minutes of enjoyment of the movie, an experience which would have given us the closure we needed to wrap up our otherwise impeccable experience of the movie.


It’s like sex without a proper climax.

Did they really need to remind us to return the specs over and over again? After all, there were two guys collecting the specs outside a very narrow exit doorway.

No one could possibly escape.

We left the hall and the Goonfather demanded to see the manager.

We were shocked at what the night manager had to say.

He said we weren’t the first people to complain. Unfortunately, he can’t do anything about it because he is only following orders.

The management of Shaw Theatres had ordered the recorded announcement to be played before the movie officially ended. And even with repeated complaints and suggestions to play the announcment later, the management refused to budge.

The answer was, “Don’t care them lah.”

The manager also said that, by right, it wouldn’t hurt to allow patrons to take the specs home. After all, we paid extra for them. The tickets cost $14 each.

But Shaw wants to make more money, so the specs are collected back and recycled.

The manager also told us that care is taken to wash the specs thoroughly before they are reused, but he was probably lying. When we collected our specs, they were all greasy and covered with fingerprints on the lenses.

3D Specs

In the end, there was nothing we could do. Nothing he could do. He told us to complain directly to the Shaw Theatres management and, maybe, if more people complained to them, they would take notice.

This is very disappointing. Not only did they rob movie goers of the last few crucial minutes of enjoyment, the management of Shaw Theatres also showed great disrespect to filmmaker James Cameron.

To truncate his movie like that!

How grave is the insult for a pioneer of Singapore’s movie industry (Shaw made movies in the early 1900s) to disrespect a film like that, and all for the fear of losing a few plastic spectacles?

I am deeply disappointed.

Be warned. If you’re going to watch Avatar in 3D (and I absolutely recommend that you do), don’t watch it at Shaw Theatres.

17 thoughts on “Shaw Theatres (Lido) ruins movie experience just to save a few bucks

  1. Avatar

    A manager is useless if he can’t do anything about a customer’s complaint. He is not just there to collect money for Shaw lah. But since that’s what he can do then I’m sure Shaw wouldnt’ mind to let him be the money keeper.

    If he don’t believe in something his company has implemented, he should just quit his job. Why be an watchdog for shaw when you didn’t believe in those rules in the first place?

    Useless piece of cowdung.

  2. Avatar

    hmm i went to watch at lido2 and i didn’t see any of this announcement at all ? there was no announcement made at all. we manage to stay and watch the last few scenes of the world.

  3. Avatar

    Sometimes you can’t blame the manager…he might have a family to feed…you should blame the boss…he should have recieved the notice about it…unless the manager didn’t send it to him…then you can blame him…haha

  4. Avatar

    Had a similar experience with Cineleisure in Malaysia last time. Took them awhile but they’ve changed since. Maybe it will happen to Shaw too…in due time.

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    from the industry point of view, it is important for Avatar to succeed. it is the only film in the market that is virtually internet pirate proof (you cannot watch 3D Avatar from a bittorrent download, it has to be seen in a movie theatre). with the movie industry going downhill, it is important for movie theatres to cash in on Avatar, and milk as much dough as possible.
    with each movie screening lasting close to 3 hours, there is not much turnaround in between screenings. no cinema in singapore is equipped to handle such a turnaround, sustained across a holiday weekend.

    what you have describe is an operational glitch from an ageing cinema operator.

    besides, if you’re a true james cameron fan, why are you watching it in shaw anyways? you should be watching in a true big screen experience… Singapore Discovery Centre!


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    kinda expected. had an extremely horrid experience with lido b4 too. got shoved out of the cinema after they had a technical glitch with their pirates of the carribean digital.

    they don’t even bother to do anything about their cramped carparks and old lifts. it’s like the far east organization kind of old-fashioned management.

    they are just lucky to have an excellent location. all these complaints won’t affect their business so they can’t be bothered. only thing we can do is boycott them and hopefully one day it will make a difference.

  7. Avatar

    I always find that Shaw Theatres always cut short the credits too! Not only do they do that. they always on the lights very abrubtly and I find that absurdly rude and annoying… I’ve had my fair share of rude and very unprofessional attitude from Shaw staff as well~

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    hmmm. . . i am interested to read such a news so i came. . .

    i think it’s not the muting of sounds at the credit and repeating of reminders that spoils the whole fun.

    IT’S how surprising, the manager works his way just like a SAF en chek. Following orders, blah blah blah. . . The most surprising thing is how this guy work his way to tell others to make more reports and even told his patrons alot of complains he has received and how lowly helpless and useless he can be as a high ranking manager. . .

    i’m sad to say it’s the person that u are facing, and may not be the company. . . this reflects a person working without passion, it of cos reflects a singaporean living and working in singapore as well. . .

    If i was u, as a actor/ performer. . . as fuming hot and nuclear. I’ll stand there without moving a inch after what he said. . .

    The BEST thing is not making a nuisance but i’ll demand to see someone more superior than him. . . as even given a MANAGER STATUS that he works lowly just like a ticket person. This might greatly reflects the standard and system that his company is having!!! sure, i’ll doubt the company for god’s sake.

    And if someone more superior came, i’ll tell him off that . . . this is what is happening in singapore’s entertainment market. AND our market is shrinking because of ppl like u~ not respecting films using so much greatly effort and investments are made. . . and it can be so serious that they just turned the “550 million” invested movie into a. . . . . just a movie thing. . . not respecting the industry. . .

    THIS PEOPLE are not FIT to be in the entertainment industry!!! And i’ll make sure this ” manager ” is fired on the very spot, before i make a move. . . (which is all i can imagine)

    Miss Sheylara, can u pls tell me which Movie theatre is this again? and this manager guy is?

    i’ll wish to visit him with a cup of tea. . . and a gut of justice. . . and a heart of an actor. . . and of cos a view from the audiences . . .

  9. Avatar

    Dorai: I was quite annoyed at that time when the manager refused to take responsibility but we didn’t press him too hard because sometimes, people can’t help it.

    There’s always this struggle in us to either fight for what’s right or fight for survival. Maybe he can’t afford to lose the job because he has a family to feed. I think it’s quite common for people to get frustrated when their beliefs conflict with management, and it’s either quit and starve or grin and bear it.

    chak: Did you guys watch it on the first few days? Maybe they discovered that people kept stealing the glasses so they started implementing more and more reminders and checks. lol.

    JayWalk: Would you recommend Iluma over GV and Cathay?

    Hillary: LOL, yeah. I wiped it a few times with my blouse before settling down to watch the movie. :P

    Soxace: Too bad we don’t really know who to blame. Maybe it’s really the manager who just anyhow say to get us off his back. Maybe it’s really the management who can’t be bothered about customer complaints. :P

    ionStorm: Hopefully soon!

    hp: Nah… can’t be bothered to. :P

    hootie: Well, I really hope Avatar succeeds because I want to watch sequels! To be honest, I was not a James Cameron fan until I watched Avatar. I didn’t even really want to watch it. Was sort of dragged there by a friend, who only bought tickets at Lido because everywhere else was sold out.

    But now I’m so hooked I want to watch it again, so thanks for your recommendation of Singapore Discovery Centre. We didn’t even know there’s a cinema there! So we’re going to watch Avatar again there next week! :)

    Well, let’s hope it’s an operational glitch like you said. I would have been forgiving if it had really been a glitch. But what got us REALLY annoyed was that the manager said it wasn’t a glitch and that there have been complaints but the management still decided to go ahead and spoil the movie for future customers.

    princessgx: Heheh, yeah, the Goonfather really hates the carpark at Lido. We always have to alight before he parks because there’s never any space to open all the doors, lol.

    SiLvEr_RaIn: Thanks for your input! I don’t watch movies at Shaw Theatres usually so haven’t had other frustrating experiences. But now I’ll be sure to keep away from them if I can help it!

    gim goh: We did ask to see someone more superior to him who can give us a more satisfactory answer, but it was 2 am at that time and he was the only person in charge left. He said the management all balik kampung long ago alraedy. :P

    And we decided that there was no point in scolding him since he couldn’t accept the responsibility and he wasn’t the one who wrote the rules.

    This happened at Lido. And i don’t know who the manager is. We didn’t ask his name. :P

  10. Avatar

    It’s always sad to see end credits get disrupted. Even with a short turn around, a number of theatres do run the credits to their end while I have also experienced somewhere the credits were cut short to enable a faster turn around time. (It depends, sometimes it’s the management, sometimes it’s the floor managers who decide to cut short the credits.)

    One thing though, I’m pretty sure James Cameron wouldn’t give a hoot about his credits being interrupted. He’s already got him *Kaching!*

    Such is a capitalistic world that we live in.

    One last observation though, have you guys noticed that Shaw is the only cinema here that has these uncles still working with them?
    That’s the biggest point I would applaud them for, retaining their old staff even though there’s always young fresh and energetic “talents” (local or otherwise) to take their place.

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    I wrote to Shaw complain about this last weekend, but I am not getting any responses yet. If they do not get back to me by next week, I am going to write to forum and warn other cinema go-ers about Lido’s horrible practices.

    Anyway, its not really the manager’s fault. Would he want to risk losing his job for not listening to higher management?

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