Watching movies has long been the biggest enjoyment that Hong Kong people have. There was nowhere to go except theatres whenever you wanted to watch a movie int the old days, nevertheless, theatres have undergone many changes over a hundred years. Below are some interesting records which may enable us to have a flashback of the cinematic history marked by vicissitude and to gain some new insights through the past.
1. The first theatre in Hong Kong as a trading port:
Tung Hing Theatre, which was built in 1867 and located between Market Street (which was re-named as Po Hing Fong in 1909) and Grace Street (which was re-named as Po Yan Street) in Sheung Wan, was re-named as Chung Hing Yuen (or Chung Hing Theatre) towards to end of the 19th century. At the time the Duke of Edinburgh visited Hong Kong in 1869, a Cantonese opera was perform purposely by the Chinese community as a tribute to such asignificant guest. Movies were started to show in the early 20th century and the theatre ceased operation in early 1910
2. Theatre with the most spacious seats
Palace Theatre, which was situated at the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay, was inaugurated on 14 November 1979 and claimed to be the one and only theatre, which was the most luxurious and high-class in Hong Kong. The first movie put on screen was "Alien", followed by "America Gigolo" and "A Clockwork Orange". Among those screened movies, "Somewhere in Time" was shown up to 223 consecutive days, set a record for one single movie to be shown at one single theatre. The record was later broken by the movie "Yen Family" screened exclusively at CineArt House (for which it has been played for 567 days from 20 December 1990 to 10 July 1992 with a total box office taking of HK$11,546,013.00 for one single film at one single theatre). Palace Theatre stopped operating on 24 April 1994 and the film last screened being "The Innocent".
3. The largest number of screens in one theatre
The Grand Cinema has a total of twelve screens, which is situated at 2/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, and commenced business on 17 Oct 2007.
4. Theatre holding the largest capacity and that the least
Paris Theatre, with a seating capacity of 3,000, starting business on 25 August 1966 and closing down in March 1992, with the first film "Colourful Youth" shown was the largest theatre. Nowadays, Sunbeam Theatre is the largest theatre with a seating capacity of 1033, starting business on 16 September 1972.
The Smallest are at the Taikoo Shing Centre, namely UA's 3A and 3B cinemas (which is called Directors' Club), each with only 16 seats; these cinemas started busines son 21 June 2001.
5. Theatre charging the highest price
The theatre charged the most to date is Directors' Club in Taikoo Shing Centre, each being at HK$175 (including provision of popcorn and soft drink).