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This former 1970s cinema in Chinatown was reborn as an indie community hub in 2019, and its three sprawling floors house an enticing mishmash of vendors under one roof, some permanent, others rotating. The Rex Bar serves craft beers and sparkling tuak (Sarawakian rice wine) on tap, while café Stellar occupies the street-side entrance. RexKL’s other floors and mezzanines host art galleries; boutiques; and venues for poetry slams, board game meet-ups, and antique and jewelry flea markets. The building itself has an industrial-cool character, with exposed brick and gray cement walls that exude a street sensibility and floor-to-ceiling glass walls looking out to the bustle of Jalan Sultan. Arguably the most intriguing tenant is BookXcess, whose multi-level bookstore features 80,000 titles stacked on a maze-like structure of soaring, interconnected shelves—its children’s section was envisioned as a tunnel of storytelling. The back of BookXcess leads to the old Rex Cinema’s stripped-back balcony, which faces a performance area where open mic comedy and DJ nights are held. —Dana Ter
80, Jln. Sultan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia