Hong Kong’s UA Cinema chain shuts down amid Covid-19 pandemic

  • Cinemas were closed for much of 2020 due to the coronavirus and social distancing measures
  • The movie theatre company was opened in the 1980s and had six remaining branches across Hong Kong

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UA Cinemas have shut their doors for good. Photo: SCMP / Edmond So

Cinemas have been reopen for a couple of weeks, but not all of them will be benefiting. Local chain UA Cinemas has become the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic, announcing it will close down for good after 36 years in Hong Kong.

A message on its official website on Monday morning said it would cease business with immediate effect. Its mobile ticketing app was no longer working.

The app was not working as of Monday morning.The company added that its operations had faced “unavoidable and devastating pressure” since the pandemic’s beginning, including the mandatory closure of its venues for more than 100 days last year.

The closure of cinemas forced many movies to be released on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.

UA Cinemas was opened in Hong Kong by late American businessman Ira Kaye in 1985, screening thousands of international and local blockbuster films in its more than three decades of operation.

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Kaye was chairman of Lark International, which owned the cinema chain, and founder of the American Chamber of Commerce in the city.

The chain had six remaining venues across Hong Kong, including Times Square in Causeway Bay, Moko shopping centre in Mong Kok, Maritime Square in Tsing Yi, Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung, and Megabox and Amoy Plaza in Kowloon Bay.

Its branch at K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui closed last month.

There has been no follow-up on ticket refunds from the company so far.