East Town Theatre

Fenwick Street,
Hong Kong

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A night scene of the East Town Theatre

East Town Theatre was the first luxurious theatre to be built in the Wanchai district of the Hong Kong Island after WW II. The proprietor of the theatre was the Hotung family of Hong Kong. Mr.Hotung was a famous businessman and philanthropist of Hong Kong in the last century.

The theatre was opened in 9th February 1964 and the first film to be shown was “Copacabana Palace”. In February 1974, after the showing of “Paper Moon”, the theatre closed its doors forever.

The apparatus of the theatre was one of the best in Hong Kong in 1960’s, and 70mm version of films could be shown in the theatre. The width of the Hi-Gain pearl-finished cinema screen was 50 feet.

Since the theatre was built on the site of a demolished funeral home, ghost stories were heard from time to time in 1960’s and early-1970’s. One of the frequently heard stories was of a spirit who resided in the ladies' restroom and liked to place its head in the washing basin and combed its hair leisurely in front of shocked patrons.

The theatre was a first run theatre showing English language films as well as some Japanese and Mandarin-language films.

The ground floor of the theatre was a mini shopping centre with the cinema auditorium on the second floor.

As the theatre was near Fenwick Pier, it was frequented by American soldiers who were on holiday in Hong Kong.

This theatre was my favourite, and its demolition in 1974 was a great sorrow to me.

Contributed by Raymond Lo

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Suwanti on July 17, 2005 at 10:08 pm

The ladies restroom of the stall was on the mezzanine floor under the screen.

Suwanti on July 18, 2005 at 6:27 am

I saw “My Fair Lady” in 70mm version twice at this theatre.

The other famous films I saw at this theatre includes “The Battle at Bulge”[70mm version],“The Wild Bunch”[70mm version],“The Great Race”[70mm version],“Woodstock”,“It’s a Mad,Mad,Mad,Mad World”,“The Great Escape” and “The Godfather”.

Suwanti on July 19, 2005 at 5:47 am

Before its demolition in 1974,the shopping centre on the first floor was converted into a warehouse for storage of newsprint.

Suwanti on July 19, 2005 at 11:23 am

East Town Theatre [東城戲院]had two short periods showing second-run movies,the first time in 1964 and the second time in 1971.

Suwanti on June 20, 2008 at 2:09 pm

The theatre closed on 8th February,1974,and its last film was Paper Moon".

hhpy on March 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

A colour picture of the cinema on Fenwick street.

hhpy on March 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

How about this postcard… a gem.
View link

Suwanti on August 11, 2011 at 3:54 am

Chinese name:東城戲院.

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