Kam Ming Theatre (formerly Tai On Theatre) / 金明戲院 [1968-1995] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Kam Ming Theatre (formerly Tai On Theatre) / 金明戲院 [1968-1995]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

Seating: 646

Address: 15 Tai On Street,  Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong.  Tai On Building is the current occupant at the site.

When the theatre first opened to business on December 23, 1968, it was named Tai On Theatre.  On December 23, 1976 its name was changed to Kam Ming Theatre.  The theatre was closed in the second half of 1995.  For the purpose of this page, the closing date is assumed to be September 1995.




Robin Bridge wrote:

Should you again find yourself in Sai Wan Ho you might pop in to Tai Hing Restaurnt, the SWH branch of the chain. It's at the back of Tai On Building, which at the time it was built I was told was the largest residential single building in the British Commonwealth. But I digress. 

Tai Hing was converted to a restaurant from a cinema. I have no idea of the date of the conversion nor of the name of the cinema but what is interesting is that the renovation was achieved with minimal damage to the original cinema ceiling. Worth a look if you happen to find yourself that way. 

Looking at the address of the Tai Hing restaurant, I think this should be the cinema that Robin is describing.

I will certainly pop into Tai Hing soon to check out its ceiling.  In previous visits all I ever noticed was that it had an unusually high roof.  I may even try to point the camera upwards instead when the food arrives on the table. 

1968 was of course the year when Tai On Building was built, so it seems like this theatre was designed to be part of its shopping area.    

As a teenager, I could see clearly the front entrance of this theatre from my bedroom, and they had a billboard not just at the front entrance, but another one at the junction of Shau Kei Wan Road (where the trams run) and Tai On Street, sometimes with different pictures too.

The few years that I lived there were toward the tail end of its life, and at that time it showed only X-rated films.  Naturally, this teenager wanted to know what went on inside, but never had the chance to enter it.  When bored at home, I sometimes sat by the window sill in my room to count the number of people who entered it, and also the gender distribution too. 

Another side effect of living practically next to one such cinema was that by seeing the billboards, I learnt a good number of colloquial Chinese expressions that - put it this way - you wouldn't otherwise learn in school.


Hi there,

Today I went to the Tai Hing Restaurant that occupied part of the old Kam Ming Cinema to have a look.  There was not much to see, I am afraid, apart from my earlier observation that the ceiling was very high.  I think they must have done some renovation work on it at some point and put up a false ceiling to conceal whatever was left of the original ceiling of the cinema.

Here are some snaps I managed to take.  The first one is a (somewhat) panoramic view of the ceiling:  

Tai Hing 1.jpg

Tai Hing 1.jpg, by breskvar

The next two show how high the ceiling is:

Tai Hing 2.jpg
Tai Hing 2.jpg, by breskvar
Tai Hing 3.jpg
Tai Hing 3.jpg, by breskvar