Coronet Theatre

Wyndham Street,
Hong Kong

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The Bijou Scenic Theatre was a " pretty little theatre" on the Wyndhan Street [also known as the Flower Street] in the Central District on the Hong Kong Island.

The theatre was probably converted from a hall of a building and opened to business in late-November 1910, under the management of Mr.R.H.Stephenson. It had a stage and electric fans installed for ventilation.

Besides showing films and newsreels, vaudeville shows were also performed at the theatre.

The theatre underwent its first renovation in 1912. An article published by the English language The China Mail on 18th September, 1912 said that:"Mr.Stephenson informs us that great improvements are being made in the hall and stage of the Bijou. The stage is to be extended right across the hall, instead of three-quarters as it was last season, and new scenery, drop scenes, etc., specially painted for Mr. Stephenson by an eminent artist in Melbourne, are now being put up."
Some artists performed at the theatre were reportedly came from Australia.
The theatre had its second renovation in 1913 after Mr.R.F.Barratt took over its management.

An notice posted by the theatre on the English language The Hong Kong Telegraph on 2nd June, 1913 said :" The Bijou Theatre will be closed temporarily for the purpose of undergoning a thorough renovation. All the latest appliances will be fitted and the premises are being made up-to-date. The Bijou will be re-opened shortly under new management.R.F.Barratt / Manager "
The renovated Bijou Scenic Theatre re-opened on 14th June, 1913.

The theatre re-named as the Bijou Theatre in 1915, and probably closed on 17th August, 1917 with " Liberty" as its last programme.

Some films programmes at the theatre had orchestra in attendance as stated in its
advertisements. The Hong Kong Hotel Orchestra had also performed at the theatre. The Bijou Theatre claimed to be " the coolest theatre in Hong Kong" in its advertisements in 1917.

On 24th December 1918, the theatre re-opened as the re-named Coronet Theatre with " Jack and the Beanstalk"[a pictorial pantomime in 10 parts].
Some films programmes at the Coronet Theatre also had "western music accompaniment" as advertised in the Chinese language newspaper.

The Coronet Theatre boasted " always a good show at the Coronet" and as a " cinema de luxe" in
its advertisements. D.W.Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” was shown at the theatre in January 1924.

It closed its doors on 1st August 1925 with " Unseen Forces".
The King’s Theatre was later built on the site of the Coronet Theatre and the adjacent Yee Sang Fat Building.

Contributed by Raymond Lo
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