The centre of Burma’s movie industry
Burma’s glorious cinematic past
The Burmese film industry was one of South East Asia’s most prestigious. It started in 1920 with ‘Love and Liquor’, produced by Burma Film Co, Myanmar's first movie studio. In its golden years, between independence from Great Britain in 1947 and the 1962 coup, production houses churned out thousands of hours of film and cinemas were built in record numbers throughout the country. All the action was happening right here in 35th and 36th Street.
Life is tough in Burma’s Bollywood
Under the strict rules of the military regime, all movies were censored: the army had to be depicted gloriously; revealing outfits were not allowed and people living in bamboo huts were not to be shown. Battered by years of destructive criticism, the industry slowly lost its creative spirit. The country may now have opened up, but the movie industry is still catching up. The actors, producers and designers at 36th Street are just a shadow of the glorious days of the past.
Nice to know
Bollywood movies are big business in Myanmar, and locals are proud to have home grown talent among the stars. Yangon born actress Laila Khan shot to fame with the 2008 Bollywood blockbuster ‘Kool Nahin Hot Hain Hum’.