In a country obsessed with karaoke, Vietnam’s Alma Resort is encouraging cinema-goers to disregard conventional cinema etiquette to be as quiet as possible and instead sing their hearts out.
The five-star resort is this month launching its “Singalong Cinema” at its 70-seat cinema, complete with a popcorn concession in the lobby. Some of the singalong opportunities in the queue: Mamma Mia!, Những Nụ Hôn Rực Rỡ (Burning Kisses), A Star Is Born, Yesterday, La La Land and The Greatest Showman.
It is up to cinema-goers whether they politely hum along to the medleys of hits or stand up and belt out every word. As with karaoke, the subtitles will be turned on to guide budding singers and, to add a theatrical flair, costumes are welcome.
Lyrics for the songs featured in all of the Singalong Cinema movies are available at the click of a button on the resort’s new Alma Resort app. Guests simply select the Singalong Cinema movie they wish to watch in the app’s Alma Cinema schedule and all of the song lyrics appear on their mobile devices.
Alma’s general manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler likened the Singalong Cinema – held every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8pm – to “community karaoke”, saying the rise of such cinemas in Europe, North America and Australia inspired him to introduce the concept at the resort.
“We know how much the Vietnamese love their karaoke and our Singalong Cinema takes this love affair to a whole new level on the big screen with organised singalong screenings where you don’t have to worry about being scorned by other cinema-goers,” Laubichler-Pichler said. “As simple as it sounds, this kind of interactive event, where you are singing together with other people and clapping along to the rhythm of the songs, is something very special and irresistibly fun.”
All Singalong Cinema attendees are required to follow COVID-19 precautions to keep guests, staff and the community safe, such as using hand sanitizer before the screening and abiding by social distancing rules in the cinema. See Alma’s video about its safety and hygiene measures to keep guests, staff and the community safe here.
For a more private karaoke experience, the resort also offers five karaoke rooms suited to small private groups.
The introduction of Alma’s Singalong Cinema follows last year’s launch of “Singing Cooks and Waiters”, whereby staff sing classic hits at La Casa restaurant every Wednesday and Friday evening. With ladles, pans and tambourines in hand, and with a live piano as a foundation, the apron-and-toque donning Alma Choir break into song and dance as suddenly as a flash mob to perform Vietnamese and international tunes.
Guests are encouraged to see Alma Cinema’s timetable to find out when “Singalong Cinema” screenings are held.