Hong Kong’s Queen to close

Theater to be knocked down for offices, retail

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s last traditional cinema, the Queen’s Theatre, is to close at the end of September.

The single screen theater, which has stood at the heart of the territory’s old entertainment quarter in Central district since the early 20th century, will be knocked down to make way for an office and retail complex.

The theatre, on its current site in Theatre Lane, was instrumental in popularizing Hong Kong movies in the 1960s and 1970s, notably those of Shaw Bros. and Golden Harvest. Managers say they now plan to fill the cinema’s last days with a series of Chinese-language pictures.

Shuttering of the Queen’s follows closure last year of the last specialty art-house theater on Hong Kong Island, the Cine-Art in Wanchai. The two screener, operated by production shingle SIL-Metropole, shut its doors after being unable to meet increased rents.

Hong Kong B.O has remained largely unchanged in recent years, despite steady development of new multiplexes. Other innovations intended to reignite public interest in movie-going are also being tried by operators.

This year has seen the arrival of the territory’s first drive-in, a 4-D large-screen cinema next to the airport and this month the opening of an IMAX 3-D screen in a mall-based six-screen screen multiplex.

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