Kwong Chee Theatre

Kansu Street,
Yau Ma Ti,
Hong Kong

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The Kwong Chee Theatre, situated in the Yau Ma Ti district on the Kowloon side, was the first cinema to be opened on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. It opened to business at an unknown date in the late 1910s.

Kwong Chee, meaning “learning to be wise among the masses”, was the Cantonese pronunciation of its Chinese name.
It was a small neighbourhood cinema and showed selected films at very cheap admission fees before and after WWII.

It had a large arched door at the entrance, and a relief of its Chinese name written from right to left was on the facade above the arched door. A marquee and windows within the arch door frame above the marquee were added at an
unknown date.

Its architectural style typical of the Chinese cinemas in the 1910s and 1920s was similar to the preserved Teatro Capitol of Macau. During the silent film era, a chair placed on the balcony facing the screen was reserved for the interpreters.

It showed films censored by the Japanese Army during the war years. According to a news report published by the Chinese language “Wah Kiu Yat Po”, the cinema was not in business as of 17th October, 1943.
It re-opened at an unknown date after the war.

No air-conditioning was installed in the theatre until its closure. “Wah Kiu Yat Po” reported that the theatre had to be operated on a daily basis in April 1968 pending the demolition by the Hong Kong Government.

The theatre was demolished in July 1968 for the development of a community centre in the district.

Contributed by Raymond Lo

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Suwanti on January 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Its auditorium on the ground floor of the theatre building had stalls and balcony.

hhpy on May 7, 2010 at 5:13 am

Another old picture of Kwong Chee:
View link

Suwanti on August 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Chinese name:廣智戲院.

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