As a true Malaysian, you’d probably know the answer to this: what’s Malaysia’s favourite pastime? That’s right: lepaking in shopping centres! And what’s the centre of attraction in almost every single shopping centre? Cineplexes!
What’s so special about family-friendly cinemas, anyway?
Malaysia’s movie-going culture, and thus its cinema industry, is huge. So it’s not surprising to see Malaysian cineplexes racing to offer the most gempak moviegoing experience to attract more customers. All this is good news for us, the consumer!
With the increase of big-budget movies aimed at kids like the Lego Movie franchise, Detective Pikachu, and basically every single Disney film ever (remakes, anyone??), Malaysian cinemas are going all out to make the movie-going experience fun and easy for both kids and their long-suffering parents.
We the good people at Loanstreet have done all the heavy legwork (just kidding, we and our families really enjoyed it!) for you and are proud to present our definitive ranking of the most value-for-money cinema experiences for families in Malaysia!
But which family-friendly movie experience is better?
Let's start with the number...
At third place are the Family Friendly sessions at TGV cinemas. To their credit, TGV was the first Malaysian movie chain to offer such a kid-focused experience - way back in 2015! Cayalah, TGV!
3. TGV Cinemas
The cinema used for these sessions are not purpose-built though, and are just like any other cinema. However, the lights are only slightly dimmed for the comfort of young children, and audio is softened so as not to startle babies.
For the first time in Malaysia’s cinema history, parents didn’t need to worry about other movie-goers being annoyed at their kids! Because everyone else in the cinema would have kids too! Hurrah!
A major plus point for TGV’s Family Friendly sessions is their super convenient timing (every weekend at 11 am) and super affordable price - RM 10 for adults, RM5 for kids and FREE for kids below 3 years old! Because let’s be honest – kids will only every watch about half the movie anyway.
However, these sessions ARE NOT on every weekend and ARE NOT available at every outlet though, so make sure you check in advance!
The race between first and second place was a close one! Both contenders put up a good fight, but what it all boiled down to were affordability and convenience. With that, a well-deserved second place goes to….
2. GSC CinemasGSC (finally!) jumped on the family-friendly bandwagon this year with its purpose-built cinema called PlayPlus. The fun starts right at the foyer with a play area for kids to lepak while waiting for their movie to start.
Playtime continues inside with another play area, slide and wide aisles. The seats are also brightly coloured to appeal to the little ones, but trust us, the kids won’t spend a lot of time in their seats! Parents can choose either comfy beanbags or cuddly couches to chill out in while the kids play.
The downside is that PlayPlus is only available in one GSC outlet – IOI Mall Puchong (lucky Puchongites!). It’s also a bit mahal lah, with the cheapest individual beanie going for RM14 and a couch going for RM50. Kids below 3 years old don’t need a ticket.
Now, the moment you've been waiting for. Drumroll, please…
and the winner goes to…
1. MBO CinemasThe MBO Kecil cinemas are the original gangster of family-friendly cinemas in Malaysia. These cinemas have all the kid-friendly amenities of GSC’s PlayPlus, with the added convenience of multiple locations and competitive pricing.
When MBO underwent its major rebranding a couple of years ago, they decided to build family-friendly cinemas in not one, not two, but six of their outlets! In the Klang Valley, you can find Kecil cinemas in the Atria Shopping Gallery and Starling Mall – so you’ll never be that far away from a Kecil.
Kecil seats are set at a slightly lower price point (from RM9) than the GSC seats, and kids below 100cm boleh masuk free. (Pssst – if you’re the super kiamsiap type, bring your kids on Wednesdays for a super special discounted price!)
Bravo MBO for stepping up – you deserve a tabik springggggggg!
With all these excellent options out there, having kids should no longer stand in your way of enjoying the latest movies in situ, popcorn and all.
But don’t unsubscribe from Netflix just yet lah...
Just don’t expect these family-friendly cinemas to screen Thai ghost stories or super gory action films, lah! For those type of movies, you can keep watching on Netflix after the kids go to bed, ye.