Situated in an area known as 'Tekka' , between a bus depot in Mackenzie Road and a row of traditional shop houses, Rex cinema opened in 1946 and thrilled audiences with multi-genre, multi-racial films for over three decades.
The first film exhibited in the Rex was 'The Jungle Book'. The architecture of the hall was unique in it's day with both front and back stalls that sloped down to meet each other. This gave front stall patrons an angled view of the screen therefore relieving the stress on necks.
After the movie, patrons could hang out
at the Indian food stalls that lined the street to the left of the cinema. Many foodies still remember Rex as having the best Indian hawker fare, especially 'rojak'. The bus depot to the right of Rex belonged to the Singapore Traction Company, the biggest bus operator of the day that also ran trams powered by overhead electric cables.
The depot made it convenient for movie patrons who could be dropped literally at the cinema's doorstep. This ended in 1971, when the bus company was bankrupt. Rex itself continued business until 1983, when the Shaw organisation restructured its exhibition circuit. The last film shown was 'Jaws 3D'.