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The National Theatre was built on the site of a wood depot in the Wanchai district on the Hong Kong Island two years before World War II. It opened to business on 2nd February 1940 with a Cantonese language film. The theatre closed its doors temporarily on 9th August 1940 for adding a balcony in the auditorium and re-opened on 27th October 1940. It was a neighbourhood theatre and showed Cantonese language and Mandarin language films before the war.
It re-opened at an unknown date after the war and first-run Cantonese language films were shown until the late-1960’s. An extensive renovation was undertaken at the theatre in 1968, and first-run Mandarin language and selected English language films were shown afterwards until its closure on 6th March 1973.
I remember watching Cantonese language films at the theatre with my late father as a child in the mid-1960’s.
The theatre was a poorly-managed one, and the practice of children urinating on the auditorium floor was often heard of during my childhood.
A residential building was built on the site of the theatre.
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