Tai Po Theatre

Tai Po Market, Tai Po,
Hong Kong

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Tai Po Theatre

The Tai Po Theatre was a neighbourhood cinema in Tai Po Market, Tai Po in the New Territories

The theatre opened to business at an unknown date before World War II. Tai Po is the official translation and Cantonese pronunciation of its Chinese name, its exact English name if any is unknown. The Tai Po Theatre had a stage and Cantonese Opera could be performed as well as screening films

Its programme before World War II is unknown since it neither posted advertisements in the local Chinese language newspapers, nor had its name in the film guides. During the war years, only films censored by the Japanese Armies could be shown at the theatre. According to a news article published by a war years Chinese language newspaper, the theatre was in business as of 17th October, 1943.

It re-opened after the war, and showed selected films until at least January 1958. It was demolished in 1963/1964.

Contributed by Raymond Lo

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

pierre27 on August 26, 2009 at 6:10 am

Now I remember how my youth was spent. There were no television in the early to mid-fifties. I was seeing up to 4 different English speaking talkies a day (2 cinemas in Taipo with 2 main feature films and also each with an “afternoon leisure film show”. The earliest subtitles (interpreted from English) were hand written and projected by slides onto a small space on the side of the main screen! So you had to flip from one to the other just to get a gist of what was happening with the plot! I remember seeing Disney’s Pinocchio there.

Suwanti on September 9, 2009 at 7:22 am


Do you remember the exact location of the theatre?

pierre27 on September 9, 2009 at 8:00 am

Yes I do. The site of the theatre was at the corner of Sui On Street and Hey Yuen Street (Hey Yuen = Cantonese for theatre)
The site is now a block of apartments named Moon House. The property developers were actually family relations and I remember it was built around 1964. The year when I left Hong Kong.
Google maps: <http://maps.google.es/maps?hl=es&ie=UTF8&ll=22.448597,114.163755&spn=0.002231,0.004801&t=h&z=18>

I can also remember something extremely unusual about this theatre.
In front of the screen on the right corner, not far from the front row, was a well!! This could be the only theatre in the whole world with a watering hole inside it. When we were kids we used to wander inside when the cinema was empty during the day and look around or play about. There were no gates or locked doors to stop people going in. One day we lifted the concrete lid and found that it was a well. I think we only found that out when we dropped a small stone into it and heard the sound of water (it was quite dark inside the cinema even during the day). Talk about health and safety! But then we are talking about a small market town in 1950’s rural area of Hong Kong, the New Territories.

pierre27 on September 9, 2009 at 9:28 am

The larger building on the bottom left was the Tai Po Cinema, seen from the side and back.
View link

pierre27 on February 2, 2016 at 1:48 pm

re ‘It re-opened after the war, and showed selected films until its closure in 1957 or 1958.’ This is not the case. The Tai Po couldn’t have closed in 1957, or even 1958 for that matter. I can remember going to watch movies in both the Golden Palace and Tai Po Cinemas on the same day. Since the Golden Palace was only opened in 1957, the Tai Po Cinema couldn’t have closed in 1957, or even 1958. Some days I remember seeing 4 different movies in one day (maybe during my school holidays). I remember one cinema had a different morning movie (早場), and the other cinema had an ‘after work movie’ (工餘場), which was different to the main feature. The other fact I know is that the Tai Po cinema was only knocked down around 1963 or 64 to make way for a block of flats called the Moon House. This is because the property developer was a family relation of ours.

Suwantii on December 21, 2022 at 3:37 am

The theatre was still in business as of January 1958. The theatre has a stage and Cantonese opera can be performed

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