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That’s the best pic I can find so far:
A old picture of National:
A picture of Golden Gate
Ruby Palace was opened near my neighbourhood when i was a kid. Together with Paladium next door and the Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park, it was owned by the Far East Holdings. My classmate’s sister worked there as a “seat-guide” when it was open, so we could go in for an early afternoon show (12:30) without a ticket. It was an odd location as it was on a very quiet, deadend street. No wonder that the business was never good. Also the owner was quite notoriously tight and my classmate’s sister was asked to put number stickers on those 1125 seats without any extra paid. She left Ruby Palace because of that. Now it a high-rising private apartment Nob Hill, where my best friend lives, strange enough.
It was amazing to see that picture supplied by ken mc. Casino Royale was to be shown there.
A colour picture of the cinema on Fenwick street.
Here is a great picture of Princess Theatre:
The Artdeco style curved facade can be clearly seen.
Mike: Not in Hong Kong. Cars? What cars? They are very recent things in China. In Hong Kong, it was likely to be too noisy and too hot to stay outside for a couple of hours.
Golden Valley was under the management of Far East Holdings, which owned many regional cinemas in the 80s. Since mid 90s, their cinema business declined. The auditorium of Golden Valley is still vacant, apparently because it’s reported to be haunted (as some rumours say).
The whole site, including the supermarket on the ground floor (used to be the stall auditorium) is currently under massive renovation. It has been run under the InterContinental for showing foreign films when it opened. Century changed management to Newport and started showing Cantonese films until its closure.
Pearl had a very wide but flat auditorium. Possibly built for its Cinerama purpose, the screen was quite high and it felt a bit weird if you took a seat at the back stall. Maybe it’s the curved screen. It was advertised as a 3-D cinema in Chinese newspaper when it opened for business. Like its neighbour Jade, Pearl’s business florished because of its prime location, right in the centre of Causeway Bay shopping district. Many Hollywood blockbusters have been shown there, including Grease, Alien, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ghost, and Basic Instinct. Pearl, together with Palace and Lee were those cinemas for me to relax after a full-day lecture at the university.
Jade had been the jewel of the crown for the Shaw circuit (SB) since it opened for business. It had been in the top-10 for gate receipts during most of its years before 1992.
If I am correct, the luxury seats at King’s were preserved and re-fitted at Silver (Kwun Tong) after King’s closure.
Oriental was paired up with Empress in 1970 when Empress was newly opened. it was then switched to Victoria in Mong Kok before paired up with Sands and Gala, Mong Kok.
Triumph is now a restaurant run by the Maxim’s group. I went there yesterday and found the restaurant was decorated as a theatre with small balconies on both sides. It didn’t seem to be the original features as I remembered the auditorium was quite steep with no balcony.
Thanks Raymond. Lee has been one of my favourite cinemas in Hong Kong and I visited the cinema often in the late 80s till it closed its door. It has been the venue for the Miss Hong Kong event every year in the 70s and 80s. “Dead Poets Society” was the last film I saw there, and also my favourite film. One of the finest cinemas in Hong Kong history, no doubt.
Astor used to be a landmark on Nathan Road as the hotel building (Chung Hing Hotel?) had a giant vertical orange neon light billboard for National electrical appliances. It could be seen from miles along Nathan Road from the north. In the 80s, when it was paired up with Pearl in Causeway Bay, Astor has shown many Hollywood films, many from Fox. I watched Octopussy there. At the time Astor closes, it was the forth largest cinema in Hong Kong, behind Paris, Sunbeam and Ruby. It has always been in the top 10 ticket sales in the 80s.
The rename to GH Washington was triggered by the closure/redevelopment of Empress and Royal in Mongkok. The Royal chain took Empire, in Mong Kok, back from the Newport chain to replace Royal as the leading cinema. In turn, Newport chain took Golden Harvest, in Jordan, from the Golden Harvest chain, renamed it as Newport, which became the leading cinema in their chain. Golden Harvest therefore moved to GH Washington, under Ecko chain and paired with Lee at that point, and it’s only a block away from the original GH. It was a bit of a waste because Washington was equiped with one the best audio systems (THX) for Hollywood blockbusters in late 1980s while GH only showed Cantonese movies.
The history of State Theatre was amazing. My memory can only be traced back to the early 80s when State, together with Queen’s in Central and Tai Ping in Western District, was under Golden Harvest Circuit. It seems that GH had many of the important cinemas in Hong Kong at the time.
the building on the right hand side of this photo could be World in an very early time.
Sorry Raymond, it was next door. Got the wrong picture. this should be correct: View link
Raymond, is it now the largest cinema per screen in Hong Kong?
The lobby of Capital was so small (at the time of opening) that the patrons had to wait at a covered ally just outside. As Raymond pointed out, it was the first multi-storey triplex and it also started to end the era of large cinemas in Hong Kong.
Raymond, I thought August Moon has closed it doors in the 80s.
Was it rebuilt as the Hopewell Centre, once the tallest building in Hong Kong in the 80s?