🎬🎥 Imagine living next to Singapore’s Hollywood! 🎬🎥
In Siglap, sits a small estate off East Coast Road with street names like Jalan Buloh Perindu (“yearning bamboo road”) and Jalan Sedara Ku (“my compatriot road”). These are inspired by films produced by the Cathay-Keris movie studios formerly situated in the area.
Built next to the sea in 1953, the studios comprised former Japanese barracks from World War II. In the early-1960s when the surrounding area was developed into a private housing estate, its streets adopted movie-inspired names. As it provided an idyllic setting for movie scenes, some of the homes and surrounding streets were featured in films such as Mat Tiga Suku (1964).
Between the late-1940s and the early-1970s was the golden era of Singapore Cinema. In that 25-year period, hundreds of films were filmed and produced here by Cathay Organisation and Shaw Brothers. However, the popularity of our films dwindled with the advent of television and the loss of Indonesian audiences due to Konfrontasi. So in 1972, the studios closed down. Low-rise houses along Keris Drive and Jalan Keris now stand in their place.
Moving from screen to stage, the nearby Opera Estate has streets named after operas and stage productions. The area was developed by the Frankel brothers, Jewish entrepreneurs involved in textile and furniture industries. The street names in Opera Estate not only cover western operas like Figaro and Swan Lake, but also pay homage to Malay opera with streets names like Terang Bulan Avenue and Jalan Bangsawan.
The streets of Siglap and Opera Estate remind us that art and culture had a vital presence in the early years of our nation’s development. Their names keep us linked to some splendid eras of our cultural heritage. #StreetsOfSingapore