Prince's Theatre

Nathan Road, Mongkok,
Hong Kong

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Additional Info

Firms: Dennison, Ram & Gibs

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The Prince’s Theatre was situated in Mongkok on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.
The theatre was built by Sir Robert Ho Tung, and opened to business on 17th July, 1931 by the Hon.R.H.Kotewall.
The first film shown commercially at the theatre was "Hell’s Angels".
A news article published by the China Mail on 14th July, 1931 had a thorough description of the new theatre.

"It is probably the largest theatre in the Colony, having seating accommodation for about 2,000 persons, and an unusually wide stage, over 50 feet in width, with dressing rooms attached, with everything provided for the performance of Chinese stage play when provided.

The building is built on thoroughly modern lines and is fire-proof throughout, full protection against fire being provided by the latest appliances installed by the Jardine Engineering Corporation. A special feature is the fire proof curtain, the first of its kind in the colony.

It is the intention to show a selection of the best sound pictures available on the R.C.A.photophone sound reproducing equipment. Another special feature is an up-to-date restaurant and soda-fountain in the building,which will be under able management.

The building was constructed under the supervision by architects of Messrs. Denison, Ram and Gibbs, and the electric lighting was installed by Messrs. Wm. C. Jack and Co. Limited."

According to a news article published by Hong Kong Daily Press on 6th March, 1931, the theatre was constructed by Tung Nam Construction Company. The theatre also had a roof garden with tea tables for patrons awaiting the beginning of performances. The main entrance to the theatre was at the Nullah Road.

In the 1930’s and early-1940’s before the outbreak of war on 8th December, 1941, besides showing Chinese and English films, the theatre was also a venue for stage performances and social and school functions. During the war years,only films censored by the Japanese Armies could be shown at the theatre. Cantonese operas and variety shows with libretto approved by the Japanese Armies were also performed by artists at the theatre.

After the end of the war, its normal programme of showing Chinese and selected English films and performances of Cantonese opera was similar to its pre-war years.

In the mid-1960’s, as the theatre was pending its cancelled demolition, its programme changed to sexy dance show and adult films.

The theatre closed in late-1966 for extensive refurbishment and renovation, and re-opened on 8th February,1967 with lift, air-conditioning system, new screen and stereo sound system installed. The seats of the theatre were also
replaced with new ones. The film shown at its re-opening date was a Japanese film "Iron Finger" dubbed in English with Chinese subtitles.

The theatre closed its doors on 1st January, 1970, and a residential building was built on the site.

Contributed by Raymond Lo

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak on December 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

A picture of the Prince’s Theatre, date unknown:

Suwanti on July 28, 2011 at 5:45 am

Chinese name:東樂戲院.

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