Alhambra Theatre

Nathan Road, Yau Ma Ti,
Hong Kong

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The opening advertisement of the Alhambra Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Alhambra Theatre was the first luxurious theatre being built on the Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong. The opening date was 1st February, 1934. The first movie being shown was “Gold Diggers of 1933”. It was closed on 1st May, 1958. It was rebuilt as a ugly highrise residential building. The last movie shown was “Bali”.

Before World War II, the theatre was under the operation by the same company as the Queen’s Theatre on the Hong Kong Island side. Before and after World War II, the theatre paired with Queen’s Theatre. During World War II, the name of the theatre had not been changed by the Japanese Army. After the surrender of the Japanese Army, the theatre was reopened as a first run movie house. Before World War II, the theatre did not have air-conditioning but was installed after the war at an unknown date.

According to the news published by the evening newspaper, the China Mail:
“The auditorium is fan-shaped, with seats giving an excellent view of the screen from every part, while at the same time the acoustic properities of the house are beyond cavill. The tastefully decorated lobby at the main entrance in Nathan Road covers an area of 2000 square feet. Seperate exits have been provided, so that the audience leaving the building will not crash with those waiting in the lobby. The dress circle is the largest in the Colony, having a clear span of 110 feet and a depth from back to front of 52 feet. The whole of the reinforced concrete framework passed all tests in May 1932, to the satisfaction of the Building Authority. A feature of the dress circle is that entrance is provided in the centre by a stairway to the front.

The architects are Messrs.T.C. Wong and Company."

A tragedy happened after its closure, during the demolition period, when the former theatre building collapsed and injured many passers-by and construction workers.

Contributed by Raymond Lo

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

nicholas
nicholas on September 9, 2005 at 12:55 am

Suwanti,
i am working on a possible documentary project on Hong Kong cinemas and am looking for a cinema (1950’s or 60’s) which might still exist in Hong Kong. Could you please email me at if you have any ideas.
Thanking you in advance

Suwanti
Suwanti on April 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm

Supplement 8:
During the war years,the theatre supposedly closed its doors on 20th August,1944 due to the suspension of electricity supply.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 12, 2007 at 10:09 am

Here is a May 1958 LA Times article about the demolition accident:
http://tinyurl.com/326utb

Suwanti
Suwanti on October 16, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Supplement 9:
The theatre resumed showing in September 1944 after electricity supply restored.

Suwanti
Suwanti on June 20, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Supplement 10:
The Alhambra Theatre closed temporarily between 25th July,1935 and 2nd August,1935 ,and re-opened on 3rd August,1935 under a new management with “G-Men”.

Suwanti
Suwanti on August 21, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Supplement 11:

The Alhambra Theatre was renamed as Ping On Theatre in late 1942 during the war years.
Ping On is the Cantonese pronunciation of its Chinese name.

pierre27
pierre27 on August 26, 2009 at 4:57 am

There is an old photo of the theatre in Flickr:
View link

Suwanti
Suwanti on December 4, 2009 at 1:57 am

The auditorium was on the ground floor of the theatre building.

hhpy
hhpy on May 7, 2010 at 5:00 am

Here’s another old picture of Alhambra.
View link

Suwanti
Suwanti on May 31, 2011 at 12:41 am

Its Chinese name is 平安戲院.

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