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There are several images of New York in the 60s and 70s on the Gwulo site:
New York was paired up with Empress in Mongkok in the 80s before it’s closure.
I also found a 1960 photo of the Royal:
I also bought a T-shirt recently with a Star Wars ad on it. Four cinemas were showing Star Wars first run: Ocean(TST), Park(Causeway Bay), Imperial(Wan Chai) and Royal.
Thanks Pierre27’s picture. That is absolutely magnificent! The site is now HSBC Kowloon Head Quarter.
Thanks Raymond. Majestic did make you wonder what went on in Hong Kong towards western culture in a funny way. When I was a kid, I used to be very embarrassed to walk along Nathan Road with my Dad as Majestic also put up some massive boards with explicit drawing for their movies. Unlike the Isis/Liberty rivals, movies at Majestic usually had some very funny/dodgy titles. However, Majestic also showed some non-mainstream movies which are too extreme for other cinemas. Clockwork Orange was a classic. I thought it was an adult movie when I was a kid simply because it was shown in Majestic only. Empire of the Sun was also shown there I think but the last film could be The Last Emperor. I could be wrong.
Could President be the oldest cinema still in business in Hong Kong?
I really enjoyed the Paris as it had a massive screen. I thought it had 3 levels but I could be wrong. Because it used to show second-run movies at a cut price, it was perfect for students. The last movie I saw at the Paris was “Dead Poet Society”, after my first viewing at Lee Theatre (can you do an article for this lovely theatre Raymond??). Still one of my favourite movie ever.
Oh well, if Ocean is closed, there’s nothing left in the cinema scene in HK then… Can I have my favourite seat L12 then??
Shame to say that I’d never been to London Theatre because I used to go to Century and they belonged to the same circuit as well as Lee Theatre at Causeway Bay in the 80s. However, before its closure, the kiosk at London Theatre was run by my mum’s friend, who used to give us tickets (never used of course).
Oh! Here we go. The best cinema by far in my memory. The old Ocean Cinema certainly one of the best equiped cinema before its reconstruction in the mid-90s. The box office usually reserved seats M2 – M14 for their guests (best seats). Hence, I always choose L14 because it gave me the best viewing position. The width of the screen was unbelievable (although it only has 32 seats a row I think). Together with the fantastic sound quality, Ocean provided the best entertainment in my 20-years in Hong Kong. At the early 90s, I nearly went to Ocean everyweek, same seat, same time.
In my memory, it was paired up with Park in Causeway Bay/Tin Hua for the whole 80s. Then Ocean moves to its less successful period when it was under the management of InterContinental (correct me if I am wrong) and paired with Olympia in Fortress Hill. When GH took over in the 90s, it paired up with Pearl and the partnership was very successful and dominated the Western Film market. After that it went down hill again when it paired with Imperial at Wanchai, followed by Palace in Causeway Bay briefly, before the reconstruction.
Ironically, the re-construction made way to Planet Hollywood, which was a flop. It closed its business in a few years (thank God for that) and now it’s Lane Crawford Department Store. Will Ocean get its chance again? I hope so.
My memory can only go back to the time when Empress was paired up with New York in Causway Bay, possibly in 1979, then Imperial after New York was closed, then Park in the late eighties.
Century is located near the area I used to live. It was one of the widest cinema in Hong Kong with 52 seats in a row. The only rival was the giant Paris in Sun Po Kong.
By the way, Raymond, can you do a page for Ocean in TST, my favourite.
Recently, I found a Flickr page has images of some cinemas in Hong Kong and Macau, including Imperial, Queen’s, State etc. Check it out:
I should also point out that “Nam Yang” also refer to the countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, where large Chinese communities are found.
Maybe it’s worth to mention that the street alongside Queen’s is “Theatre Lane”, which highligthed the significance of Queen’s to Hong Kong.
Empress is one of my favourite cinemas showing many blockbusters. I watched “Star Wars II”, “the Abyss” and queued for an hour to buy tickets for “Rambo” (ok I was only 15 at that point!). It has long been paired with New York in Causeway Bay then Imperial in Wan Chai. The sound quality was brilliant and it was a good day out there with a mega department store (Da Da) opposite. Since the sad demolition and the closure of the department store, the area went downhill and the new complex couldn’t really lift the area. Hence the new Empress cinemas were only opened for a short period.
I am not sure if Palace at Sun Po Kong was opened in the 60s. Palace was the largest in Hong Kong I have even been to and I think it had around 2900 seats if I am correct.
“M2” also means “Majestic 2” which was built behind the Majestic on Nathan Road.
I think Nam Yang means “South Ocean”. It has long been paired up with South China in Mong Kok showing films from Mainland China.