PETALING JAYA, March 11 ― The once iconic Rex Cinema in Kuala Lumpur is now an ultra-cool BookXcess outlet designed to evoke a sense of adventure with its many secret corners and mazes.
Located in Petaling Street, the latest 16th BookXcess outlet in RexKL also has cool architectural spaces where one can marvel at art portraits or choose a quiet spot amongst towering floor-to-ceiling shelves to find your perfect book.
Boasting a space for over 80,000 books, the bookstore that opened in November last year, is a must-go where visitors can also marvel at the ‘Million Dollar Shot’ spot where one can take many Insta-worthy shots of the glowing bookshelves under the different spotlights.
Speaking to Malay Mail, RexKL's co-founder and architect Shin Chang, 38, who is also an architect said that he envisioned a space where anyone who visits the Petaling Streets will find the same amusement in the bookstore.
“Think of Petaling Streets and you’ll think of the narrow aisles or how people would need to squeeze to cross another street.
“That was the same experience that I wanted foreign visitors to experience when they visit this bookstore ― to feel the streets in this building.
“We want to go all out and make it a community and art hub that has everything ― music gigs, restaurants, live shows with local artists as well where visitors can spend as long as they want in this building.”
He added that he consulted many professionals including artists and professors to revive the then legendary cinema including restoring the burnt parts of the walls that were engulfed in the fire back in 1947.
“We wanted to preserve the old facade as much as possible and to bring back that vibrant life that was here a long time ago,” he said.
BookXcess managing director Andrew Yap said the bookstore is one that will attract tourists because of its unique space.
“We want tourists to come here because there is no other activation spot in KL that has an immersive experience like the one in RexKL.
“And we wanted to bring a sense of adventure for everyone who is in KL or from other states,” he said in a media preview yesterday.
Apart from the books, specially curated artworks from several Malaysian and Indonesian artists are also available for sale.