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Historical Rex Cinema Is Now A Uber Cool & ‘Hidden’ Bookstore

Historical Rex Cinema Is Now A Uber Cool & ‘Hidden’ Bookstore

It’s a bookstore, but the main attraction isn’t buying books…

Anne Dorall

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Rex cinema used to stand in the heart of downtown KL as an iconic landmark. While it has long stopped serving movie-goers and has receeded into the backdrop of the city, the space is being revitalized as a cultural community hub– now better known as RexKL.

The latest point of interest is the newly-opened BookXcess RexKL, featuring twisting walkways, hidden corners, and towering floor-to-ceiling shelves. The architecture and layout here is imaginative and whimsical, a far cry from the boxed shoplots you may be more familiar with.

You might need help looking for a book you want.
(Credit: BookXcess)

In fact, BookXcess may be better known as the bookstore which sells an Instagram backdrop better than it sells books, as each new outlet boasts more aesthetic backdrops, from their outlets in Penang to Ipoh to Petaling Jaya and now, KL. It functions like a semi-art gallery as well, with plenty of large hanging art of display.

Nooks and crannies for you to explore, and also lots of art.
(Credit: BookXcess)

Here, unlike traditional bookstores, books are displayed with its front cover out and placed based on colour, not neccesarily sorted by genre.

The display of books at BookXcess REXKL is fairly different from other bookstores.
(Credit: BookXcess)

That being said, BookXcess fits in nicely with RexKL’s artsy vibes, making it a definite must-visit spot even if you’re not meaning to buy books.

The entire bookstore makes use of the old Rex Cinema’s existing architecture, so feel free to get lost in the nooks and crannies.

However, it is also because of this that customers should watch their step, as there are spots with uneven flooring or sudden steps and ledges. This store is also particularly difficult for people with disabilities to traverse in, so do take note of that.

However, if you happen to find a book or two that you like, wouldn’t that be worth your time as well?


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