Gaming

4 Friends Rent a Cinema Just to Play Xbox

The guy who planned it all reached out to over five cinemas before one agreed to the unconventional request.
November 26, 2020, 10:05am
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF LES

It’s an exciting time for gamers, after both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launched earlier this month. The new consoles are notoriously hard to get a hold of but one group of friends in Singapore found another way to level up their gaming experience. They actually rented out an entire cinema just to play games for three hours. 

Les, who requested to only be identified by his first name, said that the idea came about randomly one day, while he was bored. He considered spending his time on a more conventional outing to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, but felt that it wasn’t fun enough. He wanted a fresh experience. 

While looking for things to do online, he found out that gaming in cinemas was actually available in places like Malaysia and the United Kingdom. He wondered why he had never heard of it in Singapore and went on to email various cinemas to ask if they could offer the same big screen gaming experience. He figured that since new movies have been scarce in 2020, he could try his luck. 

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After a few unsuccessful attempts, one cinema got back to him and offered a package consisting of 3 hours in a theater and free-flowing popcorn and drinks for SG$435 ($325). He went down to test out his Xbox One on the big screen on Nov. 14 and eventually had the private gaming session with his partner and another couple on Nov. 21. They played the puzzle game Tumblestone, parenting simulator Think of the Children, and Moving Out, where players move furniture against the clock. 

“If you were to ask me, I definitely would rather play Call of Duty or Star Wars: Battlefront on the big screen, but I wanted to keep my partner and my friend’s partner in mind, as they both did not want to play violent games,” Les told VICE. 

friends-rent-cinema-theater-play-xbox-gaming-singapore

PHOTO: COURTESY OF LES

There could only be five people in the cinema and they all had to wear a mask, in accordance with Singapore’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Les said that overall, it was an engaging gaming experience thanks to the surround sound system and screen that was about four times larger than the TV he has at home. The cinema they visited does not offer big screen gaming publicly but Les definitely thinks it should be a thing. 

He enjoyed it so much that he posted photos from the unconventional outing in a Singapore Facebook group. The post is no longer available but the photos have gone viral online, with many netizens saying that they want to try it too.

“I strongly think this package should continue even after COVID-19, especially for people who enjoy big screen gaming,” Les said. “This is truly an awesome experience, I would recommend my friends to try it out if they wanted to.”