Whether you are a cinema aficionado or looking to spend an evening with friends going to the movies in Saigon, you can catch all the latest blockbusters and local films in cinemas all over Ho Chi Minh City. The first IMAX has just opened in VivoCity Mall in District 7, with more theaters planned in the near future.
There are two top chains of movie theatres in Saigon - Galaxy Cinemas and CGV Cinemas (formerly Megastar Cinemas), both offering Hollywood blockbusters in English language with Vietnamese subtitles. Other than these two, BHD Cineplex and Lotte Cinema offer 2D and 3D cinema experiences, with some movies available in English.
Cinebox, which has two locations in the city, and Điện ảnh Sài Gòn on Hai Ba Trung street, which shows mostly Vietnamese movies.
Going to the cinema in Saigon is cheaper than in the West, especially the food, and contrary to other Southeast Asian countries, there is not much difference in the procedure.
You can normally choose where to sit on a computer screen. In some cinemas though, you get your seats assigned by the cashier, and depending on their mindset, they may cluster their customers together in the corner, while the rest of the cinema is empty. Occasionally the government censors a Hollywood blockbuster aired in movie theatres in Vietnam, but that’s rather rare. Censorship usually affects graphic scenes of violence and sexuality.
Galaxy and CGV are the two cinema chains that offer movies dubbed in English language or with English subtitles. Galaxy has 2D and 3D technology available, while the Korean movie theatre chain CGV introduced the first IMAX cinema of Vietnam in Ho Chi MInh City. They also use 48FS, 3D and 4DX technology. If you are on a date, some cinemas offer special seats for couples also called "love seats": For instance, you can get the "sweetbox" in some selected CGV cinemas with more privacy. Most theaters also have different categories of tickets from VIP to standard. VIP seats will be larger and more comfortable.
The movie schedules can be retrieved at respective cinema websites. Online booking is also available and you may choose whether to pay immediately or pay later for your movie ticket. If you decide to pay on arrival, you should appear about 25 minutes early.
What cinema in Ho Chi Minh city you choose is up to you, but remember to check on their website for current promotions.