Phnom Penh’s changing faster than I can keep up, so I’ve given this post a well-deserved update. Remembering a time when Phnom Penh didn’t have a “proper” movie theater makes me sound like an old-fogey, reminiscing about the days gone by when locals would watch movies in small shops with a dozen chairs and usually two or three screens loudly blaring different films at the same time. These days, there are a half-dozen places in town to see English-language movies in Phnom Penh, from giant theaters showing Hollywood blockbusters to smaller theaters that screen documentaries, independent and foreign films.
Major Cineplex at Aeon Mall
Major Cineplex is the latest movie theater to hit Phnom Penh, and it’s a doozy. Located in the new Aeon Mall, it offers features not seen before in Cambodia. They have 3-D and 4-D theaters (think moving chairs and smoky air) as well as a VIP cinema, with first-class style leather seats. They show mainly English-language action blockbusters, with the occasionally Chinese action film and Khmer romance. Ticket prices range from $3 to $15 depending on the day of the week and the type of seat you opt for. Seniors, kids, and students can get tickets for $2.
Aeon Mall, 2nd Floor
#132 Sothearos Blvd, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
T: 023 901 111
Legend Cinema was the first movie theater in town to show licensed Hollywood films and offers a true movie theater experience in their three air-conditioned theaters. Legend screens Hollywood blockbusters, action, horror and kid’s films.
You’re not going to find any dramas or chick flicks here, but they do show 3-D films regularly. Ticket prices range from $3 to $18, the more expensive ones are for family seating that seats four people. Most films are in English with Khmer subtitles, although they do show the occasional Khmer-language film.
City Mall, top floor
Monireth Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 088 954 9857
At the top of Sorya Mall, is Platinum Cineplex, formerly Sabay Cineplex, and the second big theater in town. Platinum has two regular screens and one 3-D screen. They screen Hollywood blockbusters, action films and a few local and Asian flicks.
They also have couple’s seats if you’re down to cuddle. Ticket prices start at $4 and they have many different promotions, including a $2 deal for early shows. Check their site for current promotions.
Sorya Shopping Center, 5th Floor
St 63 at St 142, Phnom Penh
T: (017) 666 210
The Flicks Community Movie House
The Flicks has two locations in Phnom Penh, one in BKK3 (Flicks 1) and one near the Riverside (Flicks 2), all offering the latest releases, film festival winners, foreign films, documentaries, and kids films on their big screens. Their movie rooms are air-conditioned with sofas and futons (and reclining seats at Flicks 1) to relax on, and they serve food and drinks — including wine and beer — that you can enjoy during the movie.
The Flicks screens two to six movies every day, with the Big Flicks 1 offering screenings from the early afternoon. Tickets cost $3.50 for adults and $2.50 for children, and the ticket is good for the entire day. Check out their current movie schedule for each location on the website.
Big Flicks 1
Open from 12 p.m.
#39B Street 95, BKK3, Phnom Penh
11 Happy’s Flicks 2
Open from 4:30 p.m.
#90 Street 136 (inside the 11 Happy Backpacker Hotel), Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tarantino Movie House
Formerly the Flicks 3, Tarantino Movie House are now an independent, air-conditioned operation. Tickets cost $3.50 for an entire day, but they also have set prices for dinner plus movie and popcorn. True to their name, they show film classics from the 80s and 90s (and please, let’s not quibble about whether or not a movie from 1989 can be considered a classic. It can). In fact, they promise to never show movies from after 1999. It’s like Forever 21, but for movies. Or something.
Tarantino Movie House
Open from 6:30 p.m
8 Street 258, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
T: 012 345 6789
The Empire is an independent movie house that screens both mainstream, obscure and independent movies including classic and current picks. The theater is air-conditioned with chairs and futons to allow patrons to fully chill out and enjoy the movie. The Empire also has their own in-house kitchen and bar, so food and drink can be enjoyed before, during or after the movie. Tickets cost $3.50 and are good for any film that day. You can also rent out the entire theater for a small fee, which is a great option for groups and parties.
#34 Street 130, Phnom Penh
T: 077 468 243
Meta House at the German Cambodian Cultural Centre shows independent films and English-language documentaries at 7pm every night of the week except Monday.
They have a full bar and restaurant and often following screenings with talks and sometimes the night ends with a DJ playing some tunes. Many of their films are about Cambodia or the region. Screening is on the building’s rooftop so don’t forget to load up on some mosquito repellent. Tickets cost $2 for foreigners, Khmer students aren’t required to pay.
#37 Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 010 312 333