Sai Yuen Theatre / 西園戲院 [1924-1954] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Sai Yuen Theatre / 西園戲院 [1924-1954]

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

Seating capacity: unknown.

Address: 7 Water Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.  A Google street walk was taken to identify the location of the theatre using the above address - on the west side of Water Street where it intersects with Second Street.  Cheong Wing Court is the current occupant at the site. (please see edit below)

Edit: May 29, 2017 - David's research has revealed (see comments section below) that the cinema was most likely located across the street to the east.  Accordingly, I have moved the location marker to the east side of Water Street.  

The Chinese name of the theatre is 西園 meaning west or western garden.  Its English name is not available so Cinema Treasures named it Sai Yuen to match with its Cantonese pronounciation.

Sai Yuen opened to business in June 1924 showing silent movies until talking movie apparatus was installed in the 1930s.  It continued to operate during the war years but showing only films censored by the Japanese Army.  It was closed sometime after October 17, 1943, and returned to business after WWII (1945).  It closed its doors the last time in late 1954.  For the purpose of this page, its closing date is July 1954.




The location of the cinema was a little bit to the east of the current marker. 

Item 42 in the 1924 Public Works Report says that the cinema was completed that year, and gives the location as Section A of IL 816:

A Cinematograph Theatre on I.L. 816, Sec : A, Water Street, was completed.

We can see IL 816 on the old map:

Hi David,  thanks for the new information.  I have moved the marker.

Given 7 Water Street, GeoInfo Map located the theatre on the west side of Water Street facing straightly along Second Street.  The GeoInfo Map shows the odd number addresses on the west side of Water Street.  Next, Google Maps showed 7 Water Street in the middle of the road (not much help); and showed a street sign on the west side of the street with numbers on it 47-9 to the left (south), and 5-1 to the right (north).  I took it that the cinema must have been located behind this street sign.

Cinema Treasures has its marker on the street.  It shows a photo of a building believed to be occupying the site of the former theatre.  But it conflicts with Number 7 so I did not use it.  This building is still there (January 2017), and given your research results, I have placed the marker at this spot.  I wonder about the Number 7.

Regards, Peter,114.1391022,3a,75y,283.29h,76.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6Q0DC65V4cOSstLd49OyHA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656   

Hi Peter,

I see what you mean - number 7 is definitely on the west of Water Street today.

Given the choice, I think the government report is more likely to be accurate. Another possibility is that Water Street has been renumbered at some time.

Hopefully other maps or photos will turn up that confirm which location is correct.

Regards, David

Thanks David.  Regards, Peter