Not too long ago, there was a section of
overhead walkway where there now is empty space
The many construction sites in Hong Kong
get one realizing that the local landscape
is ever changing
Earlier this evening, I had dinner with three visitors from Penang (including my mother). As we strolled about in the vicinity of the World Trade Center in Causeway Bay, one of them -- who has been visiting Hong Kong since the 1970s -- talked about how there used to be a cinema where that complex now is located.
Upon doing a Google search after my return to my apartment, I found that he was referring to the Palace Theatre cinema which was in operation from 1979 to 1994 and sounded like quite the opulent movie palace. And yes, I do wish that I had managed to watch a film there at least once.
Other Hong Kong cinemas no longer in existence that I wish I had gone to watch a movie in include Queen's Theatre (which used to be in Central), the Silver (which used to be located in Kwun Tong -- and made an appearance in Samson Chiu's Mr. Cinema) and the Fan Ling Theatre (which actually is now closed whose cinema interior can be seen in Riley Ip's Just One Look). And yes, I sometimes do want to kick myself for not having done so since they were still open when I moved to Hong Kong back in May 2007.
Then there are the cinemas I've patronized but which also are no longer in existence. These include the Miramar Cinema (where I viewed my first ever movie in Hong Kong -- and for the record, it was Okinawa Rendezvous), the Silvercord Cinema (also in Tsim Sha Tsui) and the Cine-Art House in Wan Chai (which I'd nominate for the "world's coldest cinema" prize due to its sub-arctic air-conditioning). If truth be told, none of them were superb facilities -- but there is a part of this filmophile that nonetheless does bemoan their closure.
On a happier note, the Cine-Art House didn't completely cease operations -- as two and half years after the one in Wan Chai closed down in November 2006, a new Cine-Art House opened in Kowloon Bay. Although its location is not the most convenient for me, I've indeed gone and watched movies there -- and am glad to be able to report that the air-conditioning level there isn't set as high as the Cine-Art House in Wan Chai.
On an even more positive note, the Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei isn't only still going strong but in the past year or so, it's undergone renovations that has enhanced the movie-going experience. More specifically, the individual seats are now significantly more comfortable and have been pitched at a more conducive angle for one's viewing pleasure. In addition, I'd like to state how pleased I am that its designers didn't opt to follow the example of The Grand Cinema at Elements (that came into existence the year after I moved to Hong Kong) and install vibrating seats in any of its theaters -- this since, as I often tell people, I like to watch movies but I don't necessarily want to be made to feel like I'm in them!