Best Movie Theater in Kuwait

Post by Mark



This is going to be a long one.

I watched Van Helsing a few years ago. It’s a shitty movie with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. Early in the movie, Van Helsing goes to Kate Beckinsale’s village, only to be attacked by 3 sexy flying vampire women. Because the flying sexy vampires are sexy, anytime there was a closeup of one of them, the frames were cut. The Flying Sexies would just die off one at a time. I remember this because at one point, the last remaining Sexie was outside flying around and screaming then suddenly CUTCUTCUT she’s inside already turned to ash around a crossbow bolt to her now visible chest. The editing was so jarring that I literally felt sick, like being in strobe lights for too long. I got up and walked out of the Cinema in Kuwait for the last time.

So why do we censor such things but not violence? Think about this, if a movie showed a woman getting her arm taken off, not a problem. Shirt taken off, problem. A horde of zombies grab someone and bite their goddamn face off, no problem. Someone kisses their wife for good luck before embarking on some death-defying last-ditch effort against all odds. That’s a fucking problem. “Tsk. Why are you kissing? Ha? Who told you to kiss? Tsk. Shino hatha? There’s a camera here and we can all see you. Tsk. Respect yourselves.”

They also censor blasphemy. When the bad guy says, “I will be a god” or something like that, I know it’s wrong. He’s an asshole. What do you expect? That’s why we’re all paying money. To sit here silently in the dark and watch someone kick his ass. Why do I need that part of his asshole behaviour to be kept from me? Doesn’t context matter?

Whether they censor a brief kiss from the movie or cut a movie into spastic chaos, it doesn’t matter to me. The result is the same; I am ripped away from the movie and put into a movie theatre sitting next to the sonofabitch friend that convinced me to give this shit another chance. (You lied to me Mohi, you lied right to my face.)

So now people are reduced to looking up the running time of the film from the cinema companies here and comparing them with the actual running time of the film to see how much of the movie is cut. Some friends of mine went to watch Rush Hour 2 or 3. It was literally an hour long. Allegedly, films are watched by a panel of men. The men have a button each. They press the button when something is worth censoring. It doesn’t take a consensus, just one to be offended. The process is then repeated through a panel of women. Allegedly. But I believe it just because of how ridiculous it sounds.

Now think about this, and this is what drives me to rage, a group of people, that have never met you, watch something uncut, on your behalf, to mark the things that you would not be able to handle, and remove them from your experience. We are treated as children. Undeveloped enough to be able to comprehend reality from film. The whole thing is institutionally condescending. And honestly, what’s the point of censoring movies when everyone has OSN at home and the internet everywhere else they go? At this point is it little more than a empty gesture of righteousness?

I won’t go to the cinemas here or anywhere films are censored. Even if it’s just a kiss. Even if it’s a kids movie. Because they censored the lion king. The Lion King.

Runner up: Cinemagics
I was the man with the plan behind the Game of Thrones private cinema night that Mark wrote about. I loved that place. What a fun night. And is there anything more enjoyable than watching a movie on a rooftop in Old Salmiya on a cool winter night? Fantastic movies and beautiful viewing areas, I can’t recommend Cinemagics enough. If you’ve never experienced it, do yourselves a favour and check them out.


I’ve been posting about the Cinemagics rooftop movies for years now and every year they keep making it better. This year for example they replaced the previously uncomfortable chairs with super comfy air sofas. They also added a live food station and their movie choices are also unmatched. Best part is you can watch their movies for free and thats because Cinemagics is trying to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. And to top it all off, they’re located down the street from where I live. An easy winner here.

Runner up: Cinescape 360 Mall
I have to agree with Nima regarding the censorship issue, I stopped watching movies for a long time in Kuwait because I got pissed off after going to watch The Simpsons and realizing it was censored. But I’ve recently started going back to the movies again but now I make sure whatever I watch isn’t censored, or at least minor censorship, like I wouldn’t mind one kissing scene being chopped. That said, the movie theater I frequent the most, or should I say the only theater I actually go to now is the Cinescape one at 360 Mall. Its aesthetically pleasing and their IMAX 3D theater is the best one in Kuwait from what I’m aware of (let me know if there is a better one cuz I’d love to check it out). Note to Cinescape, just buy already, it’s what I always type before realizing I need to go to instead.

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23 comments, add your own...

  1. NotAnon says:

    This is what happens when you let religion dictate how you govern a country. #kuwaitfail

  2. beefjerking says:

    They do censor violence. You watched that movie a few years ago, things have changed now. Nowadays, action movies are butchered if they’re violent enough. They’ve been cutting the blood and violence scenes for a while now.

    • Patrick says:

      I’ve read similar comments a couple of times now and I’m wondering what movie have they censored violence in? A guy recently said they censored violence in Mad Max, but that wasn’t true, the violence in that movie was left intact. I admit I don’t go to every movie that they release in theaters, but I do go frequently. So I’ve always wondered what violent movies they have cut.

      • beefjerking says:

        They cut violent scenes in movies like Predators, Kingsmen, The Mechanic, Underworld Awakening and Rush Hour 3.

        They did censor violence in Mad Max, one whole sequence actually in addition to small cuts. Maybe you saw the movie at a theater that had a different runtime.

        Should be noted that theaters often have different runtime of the same movie (some have more, others are less). For example Cinescape has several theaters throughout Kuwait. Not every theater has the same runtime of the same movie throughout the movie’s screening. I watched the same movie (300) in Cinescape twice, once at day of release and once when it was almost out of theaters. The movie’s runtime was different the second time I watched it, they censored more the second time.

        Grand Cinemas (another cinema company) also has a different runtime of the same movie (usually less cuts).

        • Patrick says:

          That’s probably it then. Because I recently re-watched Mad Max and the only scenes I hadn’t seen were the ones that were cut due to lack of clothing, not violence.

          Do you remember which sequence was cut? I find this quite interesting.

  3. Josh says:

    I fullheartedly support censoring these movies and will continue to do so both politically and socially.

    It is unfortunate that censoring movies upsets you and many patrons of this site. However, these rules are what the majority of us want, and as a democratic society, these are the rules that we get.

  4. Em says:

    Censored SHREK TOO!!!! SHREK!!

  5. mocman says:

    Dude, nima.. you sound just like mark from like 10 years ago… from before he sold out to the corp world.

    Dont change.


  6. mr.potatohead says:

    The last movie i had watched was mad max at imax. So many scenes were abruptly cut that every time it was censored i sighed loudly in disbelief. I had to pirate the bluray version just for the missing scenes. What a waste!

  7. k says:

    on a completely unrelated note; mark, i remember that post you had with ramadan commercials, i was wondering if you saw the coca cola one? the set up is kinda cliche, seen it quite a few times but, still pretty cool. it’s called “remove labels this ramadan”.

  8. F says:

    It is not fair to blame the movie theaters because censorship is imposed by the Ministry but I do blame them for showing movies that have some very choppy censoring.

    By the way, Cinescspe’s Instagram account does mention sometimes the censorship time for each movie.

    • beefjerking says:

      Actually, it is fair to partly blame the movie theatre (Cinescape) because they do censor some parts themselves. When Avatar was released, Cinescape cut scenes because they were trying to show it every 3 hours here, and the movie is 3 hours long in itself. So they needed some transition time to get people out of the theater, clean it up and get the new people seated for the next showing. Cinescape openly admit that they remove scenes, they admit they’re against anything blasphemous and if the MOI censors do not remove those scenes then Cinescape will definitely do the censoring themselves.

      There are two cinema companies in Kuwait: Cinescape and Grand Cinemas. Grand Cinemas often have less cuts than Cinescape, the movie’s runtime at Grand Cinemas is sometimes very different from Cinescape. The MOI does most censoring but the movie theatre itself does cuts scenes (to make a profit). Cinescape edit films to make more money and fit more films per day.

  9. zaydoun says:

    Thank you Nima for the heartfelt tirade. One other thing, up until a few years ago the F word remained uncut. Now they chop it off so that even the dialogue is nonsensical

  10. Nima,

    If you haven’t watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated, I suggest you do so immediately. It touches on the same nerve you have. For the past forty years, America, like the Middle East, has been glorifying violent content in their films but when it comes to sexual content of any kind, they are irrationally puritanical.

    This explains why people we love like Steven Soderbergh have stopped making films for theatrical releases altogether and instead collaborate with HBO and other networks.

    Oh and I’m also an unabashed moocher at Nespresso but do yourself a favor the next time you go there and ask for a complementary dark chocolate square. They’re surprisingly good.

  11. AJ says:

    Instead of going to the cinemas and complaining, do something about it in the form of a boycott. Stop giving the cinemas your money and soon enough they’ll do something about it.

    Just download it or buy the DVD. It’s cheaper, and a better experience.

  12. Last movie I saw in a movie theater here was High School Musical, after that I decided not to waste time on butchered movies. Bootleg, popcorn and a quiet atmosphere or getting them from online sites much better.

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