Prince's Theatre / 柬樂戲院 [1931-1970]
Seating capacity: 1,957. Address: 760 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Allied Plaza is the current occupant at the site.
As with some theatres, the English name of this theatre bears no resemblance in sound or meaning to its Chinese name. 柬樂 can be translated to East Joy/Happiness. The theatre sat on prime location visible to traffic and pedestrians along the busy Nathan Road. At one time its closest neighbour was a nullah which I believe still is except it is now covered by the roadway.
Prince's Theatre began operating on July 17, 1931 until January 1, 1970 when it closed its doors for the last time. In the 1950s, its advertisements continued to claim having the largest screen in the entire Hong Kong.
The theatre generated warm memories in this boy when in 1953 our family watched a black and white sci-fi movie entitled 飛人大鬧月球國, loosely translated to "Flying Man Causes Big Disturbance to the Lunar Kingdom". In it, the hero straps a rocket to his back, puts on his helmet, hops onto the back of his pick-up truck, runs along the floor towards the rear and jump-flies up to the sky with white smoke jetting from his rocket . Simple and crude compared to today's sci-hi movies, yet those were our thrilling and imaginative moments.