New tenancy agreement forces West Kowloon cinema to close
Film fans on Tuesday bid farewell to a cinema in West Kowloon which has served residents in the area for 12 years.
The Broadway Circuit closed its theatre on the first floor in the Olympian City 2 shopping centre on Sunday after its tenancy agreement expired.
“Due to the expiry of our tenancy contract, Broadway Olympian City will stop operating on September 15,” the cinema operator said on its website. “Thank you for your support over the years!”
The six-house theatre with some 1,200 seats opened it doors in late 2001 shortly after the shopping centre on top Olympic MTR station in Tai Kwok Tsui opened.
The mall’s landlord Sino Group said a new cinema would open in December. A floor plan posted on the mall’s website showed a “cinema [coming soon]” was marked for the shop previously occupied by the Broadway Circuit.
There are two other cinemas in the vicinity. One is the dual-hall, 1,900-seats Dynasty Cinema on Mong Kok Road. The other is The Grand Cinema located in the the Elements Mall on top of Kowloon MTR station, one stop from the Olympic. It has 12 halls and 1,600 seats.
Broadway Circuit also operates 11 other cinemas in Hong Kong.
Internet users said it was sad to see the cinema close as it offered spacious rooms, comfortable seats and cheap tickets in morning sessions. They hoped the new operator could retain the settings.
“We have fewer inexpensive and comfortable cinemas by each day,” one user at discussion forum hkgolden.com said.
Some Facebook users were shocked by its closure. “This is so sudden... I didn’t realise… otherwise I would have gone there to bid it farewell personally,” a user named Ada Cheng said.
Others said it was a relief that the theatre had not closed to make way for high-end retail shops or restaurants - an option which might have enabled the landlord to charge a higher rent.
In January, another cinema chain Golden Harvest closed its theatre in the Grand Century Place shopping mall in Mong Kok for renovation until later this year.