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Fancy Indonesian Movie Theater ☆ CINEMA XXI

November 14, 2010


Last Thursday was a day off for my husband, so we took our girls to see a movie. We watched “Megamind”.

We went to Cinema XXI inside of Plaza Senayan for the first time. It is one of the 21 cineplex theater chains. I have heard about fancy theaters in Indonesia before and seen pictures on one of Japanese blogs I read “UnoMin’s Life in Jakarta”. I was so excited to finally experience this theater!



Purchasing Tickets


We walked passed the first ticket counter and food counter on the left and the Lounge to the right and entered a small room to purchase tickets. It looked quite fancy. I worried that the tickets would be super expensive, but on a week day, it only costs Rp. 50,000 (about $6 with the current exchange rate) per person. Isn’t this amazing? For kids movie, it is required to pay for our 2-year-old as well, so it ended up being Rp. 200,000 (about $24). That’s about how much you pay per person in Japan and in the States, you can only buy two tickets for adults.

Ordering Food and Beverage

We also ordered some popcorn and drinks. I looked at the menu and was pleasantly surprised that the pricing was very reasonable, too. They even deliver the food and beverage to your seats. Isn’t that so nice?



The best part for me was the chairs in this fancy room were all wide, probably as wide as two children can fit and recliners that can go almost horizontal with a foot rest. If a regular theater is economy class on an airplane, this theater was definitely business class. You don’t have to worry about bumping your arm with your neighbors because there is a mini table between chairs. Don’t go there when you’re sleepy because you could fall asleep in the chair since it is so comfortable.



The whole experience was sweet and magnificent and the movie was great. I love that the main character of the movie was a villain and the movie was very funny. Our older daughter, who is 5 (almost 6) was laughing at some parts. It is nice that we can watch a movie and laugh at some jokes together now. My two-year-old got a bit antsy towards the end, but she was able to sit through the whole movie.

I cannot wait to go back to the CINEMA XXI again. If my friends or family members come visit us here, I think I will take them to this theater. Don’t you think it would be such a fun experience to have in Jakarta?

CINEMA XXI
Plaza Senayan 5th Floor
8 Jl. Asia Afrika, 10270
Phone: (021)572 5535

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2010 7:32 pm

    Wow! Is this catered towards expats??
    I thought you were going to say the chairs were actually massage chairs :)

    • November 14, 2010 7:45 pm

      I should suggest them to have massage chairs. This is catered towards rich Indonesians, I think!

  2. November 15, 2010 7:36 am

    I would go, that looks awesome. I just want to sit in those chairs!

  3. November 15, 2010 7:38 am

    It did look exclusive. Seemed like Gold Class for any cinemas here in UAE. I liked Megamind too, just the beginning and ending ;)

  4. November 15, 2010 1:41 pm

    I went there last time I came home. It was a superb experience!!! And I think it was priced reasonably well.

    Oh, my husband and one of my friend did fall asleep! LOL.

  5. November 15, 2010 8:44 pm

    Oh right! the movie theater in here are the one thing that makes me proud to be a Jakarta citizen! they’re cheap (compared to other countries) and posh!
    I remember in the high school times we use to watched movies on weekdays (esp.Monday) and it’s as cheap as Rp. 10,000,- at some XXI !

  6. November 16, 2010 4:45 am

    Very fancy! When we lived in Denver we attended a similar movie theater , we paid 12 dollars and that included all you could eat popcorn and drinks. and we really felt like ‘first’ class when drinks were brought to our seats!

    Very nice that your daughters enjoyed the movie! is this the one with brad pitt doing one of the voice overs?

    • November 16, 2010 8:01 am

      There is a theater like this in Denver and it’s only $12 with all you can eat popcorn and drinks??? That’s how much you pay for a regular theater with no food in Virginia! Yep, that’s the movie.

  7. November 16, 2010 10:50 am

    really? and I thought Denver was an expensive city!

    • November 16, 2010 11:49 am

      Never been to Denver, but I have always wanted to go there!! Even in Texas I find movie tickets for regular admission for adults are not cheap any more, at least in big cities.

  8. Julia permalink
    November 18, 2010 3:34 pm

    The last time Chun and I went to New Orleans we went to a movie theater that sounds very similar. You buy tickets ahead of time with reserved seating. Unfortunately we didn’t know it would be reserved seating and bought our tickets so close to the show that we ended up having to get two separate seats in the same row. Luckily the party to the left of us agreed to shift over one seat so that we could sit together.

    The seats did not recline but they did have little folding tables attached for you to put your food and drinks. They had wine, hummus, fancy pizza on the menu and other food besides your typical popcorn and soda. We stuck with the popcorn and soda though! I was surprised that ticket prices were about the same as other movie theaters. Wish they had one of those theaters around here. Definitely improves the movie-going experience.

    Ryan also gets fidgety in movies but we bribe him to sit still with candy!

    • December 5, 2010 4:30 am

      Now I know that there are fancy movie theaters in the States with not too high price! That’s cool. The movie experience is different when you have a different set up.

  9. Bugs permalink
    April 13, 2011 1:11 pm

    for Rp 50,000 per person you don’t have to be rich Indonesians to watch a movie there. I think Rp 50,000 isn’t so expensive for Indonesian middle class (I consider rich Indonesians are the ones who own properties in some wealthy areas of London, Australia, Spore, etc and drive European sport cars)…:)

    • April 13, 2011 7:26 pm

      Thanks, Bugs, for the comment! Your comment is insightful.

      I’m afraid I still believe that the Indonesians who go to Cinema XXI are well-to-do Indonesians based on what I have heard in Jakarta. Here’s one resource to back my belief. Below is a quote from The Jakarta Post.

      “The middle class in 2010 represented 56.6 percent of the country’s population, compared to 38 percent in 2003.

      A middle-class person is defined as one who spends a minimum of $2.00 a day.

      Despite the expanding demographic, the middle class is still dominated by lower-middle class people who spend $2.00 to $4.00 a day. This sub group represents 38.5 percent of the entire middle class.

      In contrast, the upper-middle class, which spends $10 to $20 a day on average, makes up 1.3 percent of the middle class demographic.”

      To read more about this, click here.

      When you see many people at Starbucks and high end shopping malls in Jakarta, you would think that there are many middle class people who spend much more than $2 a day, but I have always felt that those people are probably a small percentage of the entire population who belongs to an upper class in Jakarta. Living in Jakarta, I can also see that the above fact is true.

    • Bugs permalink
      April 14, 2011 8:23 am

      Hi Kaho, thanks for the link to the Jakarta Post website, it’s a very interesting article. My comments are:
      1. the JP article confuses the term “middle class” with “middle income class” (used by the World Bank from which the data are quoted). While “middle class” means a social group consisted of well educated people (Cambridge dictionary), “WB middle income class” is defined as people who spend 2-20 USD/day. That’s why it’s pretty funny that JP considers a street singer belongs to the middle class (see the pict in JP article). He belongs to WB middle income class if he spends 2 USD/day or above, but with all my respect I’d never think he’s part of a middle class.

      2. You need to consider about the size. According to the article, in 2010 of about 130 millions Indonesians belong to the middle income class. It is comparable to the whole population of Japan or more than 4 times Australian population. While one Indonesian economist (Ikhsan) says that most of them are lower middle income people, I suspect that most of the middle to upper middle income class people (which I regard as strongly associated with the term middle class) are concentrated in Jakarta. Why? Simply because about 60%-70% of Indonesia’s money is circulated in that city.

      3. I can also give you a simpler illustration. When you experience the infamous bad traffic jam in Jakarta, I guess you see a sea of cars on Jakarta’s streets. Talking a common car in Jakarta, let say Toyota Avanza, which costs about 10,000 USD. In Jakarta alone, not to mention Tangerang, Bogor, Bekasi, private cars are about 1.5 millions in 2010. Do you think those people who can afford to buy 1.5 millions of 10,000 USD or more cars have a difficulty to buy a 5 USD ticket of XX1? Yet the number is actually multiplied by middle class who live in Jakarta wealthy suburbs like BSD or Bintaro.

      4. Let me tell you my own experience. I consider myself as a middle-middle income class Indonesian. When I lived and worked in Jakarta, I spent about 2-3 times a week (in weekdays) watching movies in normal 21 movie theaters (yes I love or addicted to watch movies!), which cost me about 2-3 USD per week. I spent my weekend mostly in Bandung since my parents were there, cost me about 20-30 USD per week. I surely wouldn’t find any financial difficulty to watch movies at XXI 1-2 times per month. And I believe people like me (middle-middle class) in Jakarta are more than 1 million (I’m not rich at all in Indonesian standard). Rich Indonesians are people who throw lavish birthday parties as you experienced. Though they’re not as many as middle income class but they’re the ones who own condominiums in Spore or Sydney. The key word is “the size”. Though poverty is apparent in Jakarta, so as the middle class, just look at the private cars outside your car’s windows in the middle of traffic jam….:)

  10. April 14, 2011 11:40 am

    Hi, Bugs, thanks again for the time to write such a detailed comment!

    Regarding the wealthy Indonesians you refer to as rich Indonesians are uber-rich people in the world standard. Indeed, the richest of the rich. I wouldn’t group them as rich people and conclude that the rest are not.

    As for a discussion about vehicles in Jakarta, I find it difficult to use as a reference point. Many wealthy families have multiple vehicles. I know that people whose average monthly incomes are as low as $200 per month can afford a motorcycle in this city. In the recent past, “the number of motor vehicles had reached 11.3 million, of which 8.2 million are motorcycles” in Indonesia. (source). This by itself tells me something.

    Jakarta is a unique city as much of the nation’s wealth is concentrated in this area. Thus, when I look at cars on the street, they appear to me the wealthy class.

    By the way, I used the metaphor using an airplane’s “economy class” and “business class” to give my readers a better picture of the types of seating/chairs used at different theaters. It did not infer any socio-economic class by them by any means. Just in case…

    I appreciate your very intellectual discussion on this comment section! I find it very interesting and I enjoyed the debate very much. I can write a much longer response, but please allow me to wrap this up here because this is not a place for me to analyze the social statistics, economy, or politics of the host country. It is about real life experiences living abroad and introducing the interesting aspects of life overseas, in my current case, wonderful city of Jakarta. :)

  11. Bugs permalink
    April 14, 2011 1:08 pm

    No, I’m the one who should say sorry for the long discussion :)
    I think the problem lies on the different definitions we use. When I read your comment that it’s catered towards rich Indonesians, I look at myself…Would it be difficult for me to afford a 5 USD ticket with my salary years ago when I still lived in Jakarta? No, I don’t think so. If it’s only for once to 4 times a month to watch at XXI, it’d be alright. And I don’t consider myself as a rich Indonesian, far from that (compared to my college class mates I’m perhaps among the ones who got the lowest salary at that time :D.
    I myself perhaps among the middle class who enjoy Starbuck in Jakarta. And for you we represent a small proportion of Jakarta megacity’s population. I don’t have the data about it. But let’s say we’re about 10%-30% of total 25 millions Jakarta megacity (including Jakarta suburbs or Jabodetabek), it’s already 2.5-7.5 millions. You put an emphasis on the percentage while I do on the number…:)
    Again, we just have different definitions/perspectives. Thanks for an interesting discussion! :)

    • April 14, 2011 1:44 pm

      Thanks! I enjoyed the interesting discussion as well!

    • April 14, 2011 1:47 pm

      I welcome long comments! :)

  12. Bugs permalink
    April 14, 2011 1:22 pm

    About the vehicle, I made a mistake almost 1.5 millions cars in Jakarta were in 2003 not 2010 (http://www.pdat.co.id/hg/political_pdat/2006/03/17/pol,20060317-01,id.html)…
    You’re right that many families in Jakarta have more than one car. But I guess most young middle class families own 1 car only. Today the price of gasoline prevent them from having the 2nd car :)
    I don’t consider the ones who use motorcycles to be a market for XXI, that’s why I focuses on car owners. Hope you and your family have a pleasant life in Jakarta :)

    • April 14, 2011 1:46 pm

      No worries. Isn’t it amazing how fast the number of vehicles in Jakarta has increased?

    • Bugs permalink
      April 22, 2011 6:24 pm

      haha yes, but I guess it’s not something to be proud of, it happens as Jakarta is lack of a reliable and affordable public transport system…:)
      I hope Japan won’t cancel a loan it promised to Indonesian gov’t to develop Jakarta’s subway system…
      Meanwhile, I’m watching Ai Otsuka Sakuranbo…:)

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