BookXcess at RexKL: Old Cinema Reborn as a Creative and Cultural Space

One of Kuala Lumpur's newest creative spaces

BookXcess at RexKL

BookXcess at RexKL: Instagrammable Bookstore in KL

On our last day in Kuala Lumpur, we finally had a chance to do a rolling tour of KL. Our tour focused on Chinatown, and then we visited the famous BookXcess at RexKL – one of the newest Instagram-worthy spaces in Downtown KL. RexKL is a historic movie theatre that has since been revived as a creative and cultural space for locals and tourists alike.

Instagrammable Bookstore in KL
Instagrammable Bookstore in KL

About RexKL

Before RexKL became the popular cultural center it is known today, it first served as one of the first theaters to serve the public in Malaysia. Rex Theatre, or Rex Cinema, was founded in 1947 and later functioned as a single-screen theater after its first fire in the 1970s before closing down when another fire occurred in 2002.

BookXcess Instagrammable Bookstore at RexKL
BookXcess Instagrammable Bookstore at RexKL

Almost two decades later, the historic building was restored and now serves as a community hub for several creative events like art exhibitions, workshops, and theater performances. RexKL also greatly supports local businesses, with the goal of featuring new businesses and rising artisans within its walls. RexKL has 5 levels: Ground Level, Mezzanine, First Level, Second Level, and Third Level.

BookXcess at RexKL

BookXcess is a Malaysian bookstore known for selling reasonably priced books. These copies are received from publishers who overprint books that can’t be sold to regular bookstores, also known as remainder books.

BookXcess near Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
BookXcess near Chinatown Kuala Lumpur

BookXcess at RexKL is one of their newest outlets, which opened in late November 2021. With more than 80,000 books on its towering shelves, the rugged maze is every book lover’s wonderland. These maze-like networks of shelves were by design. Shin Chang, RexKL’s co-founder, and architect, and Andrew Yap, founder of BookXcess, intended for the bookstore to be like the narrow alleys of Petaling Street while preserving the old aesthetics of the building.

BookXcess Bookstore at RexKL Kuala Lumpur Chinatown
BookXcess Bookstore at RexKL Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

Along with its maze-like design, the expansive space has an industrial layout and several vertical spaces, keeping true to its origins as a theater. Visitors should caution themselves and mind their steps when ascending or descending the stairs. Following the original layout of the old theater, the stairs, left in their raw and peeling state, are tiered to make room for the original seating of the theater. BookXcess at RexKL is more than just a bookstore. Chang and Yap wanted to give locals and tourists a unique space to explore.

Besides BookXcess, there is another bookstore called Mentor Bookstore, which sells Malaysian and Chinese books. Several works of art by Indonesian and Malaysian artisans are also displayed within RexKL.

Bilabila Mart Convenience Store inside RexKL
Bilabila Mart Convenience Store inside RexKL

Stellar KL, a coffee shop located on the Ground Level, is popular for its aromatic coffees using locally grown coffee and cocoa beans. Another attraction at RexKL is The Background, a food hub housing food, and beverage services like the pork ribs served at Ticklish Ribs & ‘Wiches and craft beers of The Rex Bar. As a space for creative and cultural activities, RexKL also holds performances, screenings, and workshops that inspire and gather people together.

Where is BookXcess at RexKL?

BookXcess can be found on Level 2 of RexKL, which used to be where the theater housed its first-class seats.

BookXcess at RexKL
BookXcess at RexKL

How to Get to RexKL

Cebu Pacific currently flies daily between Manila and Kuala Lumpur, providing passengers with convenient options for them to experience Malaysia’s best.

The nearest train station to RexKL is the Pasar Seni Station. Take the LRT Kelana Jaya Line or the MRT Kajang Line and get off at Pasar Seni. Head to the exit of the station and from there, take the 5-minute walk towards Jalan Sultan.

Location: 2nd Level RexKL, 80 Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Business Hours: 10AM to 10PM, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; 10AM to 12PM, Fridays and Saturdays; Closed on Mondays
Website: rexkl.com

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