Goh Eng Wah, Singapore Cinema Pioneer Dies at 92

Goh Eng Wah, who gave his name to a chain of cinemas in Singapore, died this weekend.

His company said in a statement that he died of “heart failure” on Saturday (Sept. 5).

Goh was a major figure in the Singapore movie industry for over five decades. He started the Victory Theatre in 1945, showing mostly a diet of Japanese propaganda films, before opening the Happy Theatre. By the late 1960s he had built up his Eng Wah Theatres Organisation into a leading circuit and in the 1980s became a film producer and the leading film distributor in the country.

In 1994 was the first Singapore cinema chain to list on the stock market. At its height the company had 26 theaters.

In the last decade the circuit slipped back into fourth place behind Golden Village, Cathay and Shaw. Though in the past year it has rebranded as We Cinemas and reopened two multiplexes.

Goh was also known for opening a branch of the French erotic revue Crazy Horse in Singapore in 2005.

As part of the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Goh this year received the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry SG50 Outstanding Chinese Business Pioneers Award.

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