Update: Since the time of writing, Bobby Brewers’ has begun showing *ahem* up-to-date films.
Backpackers in Saigon have been packing Bobby Brewers‘ movie theater for years, but Vietnam’s lax copyright laws have tightened and put a stranglehold on this staple of the Bui Vien lifestyle.
Alas, at least for the time being, there shall be no more bootleg movies at Bobby Brewers’ Bui Vien outpost.
Two weeks ago, Bobby Brewers retracted its ubiquitous movie flyers mid-week. Since then, the cafe’s theater has been screening stale flicks like Click, Terminator 3 and (I kid you not) Power Rangers. Gone are the recently released bootleg flicks; even the big three Southeast Asia screen gems — Good Morning Vietnam, The Killing Fields and The Quiet American — have been cut.
A call to Bobby Brewers’ home office confirmed that the company has put the kibash on its speakeasy theater for legal reasons. Unsurprising — with four new franchise locations in the works and its charitable work gaining more recognition, the company needs to put forward a more legitimate face.