Ocean Theatre~Grand Ocean Cinema / 海城~海運戲院 [1969-2000] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Ocean Theatre~Grand Ocean Cinema / 海城~海運戲院 [1969-2000]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
1969-02-14
Date Place demolished: 
2000-01-01

The operating period given on this page applies to Ocean Theatre only and its closing date is an estimate.

Address: 3 Canton Road, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Seating capacity: Ocean Theatre (retired) 1,772; Grand Ocean Cinema 432

Much of the information presented below is found in the Cinema Treasures web site.

The first cinema to operate at the site was Ocean Theatre starting on February 14, 1969.  It was located on the first floor of a hotel building.  In August 1994, operation was suspended for the rebuilding of the theatre, the date considered to be the last day of operation for Ocean Theatre in the Wikipedia source.  However, the Cinema Treasures discusson states that the renaming occurred later but no precise date is available.

The 1994 rebuilding converted the main level of the theatre to a restaurant and its balcony section rebuilt. (I assume the rebuiding took several months so operation likely resumed in early 1995.)

Some time later (date unknown), the restaurant was closed and the site was rebuilt as a department store.  The theatre lobby was relocated and its seating capacity was reduced to 576.  It was later renamed (source: Cinema Treasures) as Grand Ocean Cinema. ( I assume this rebuilt occurred five years after the 1994-1995 rebuilding, which would place the renaming date to 2000, which is used for the purpose of this page until better information becomes available.)

Grand Ocean Cinema was closed in autumn 2013 for renovation, and reopened in December 2013 with seating capacity of 432. One current ad gives its capacity as 456.  Grand Ocean Cinema continues to operate today.

Sources:

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Comments

"The 1994 rebuilding converted the main level of the theatre to a restaurant..."

That particular space was converted into what became Planet Hollywood for a while before that went out of business and the space was then turned into the current Lane Crawford store operating out of the first two floors of the Hongkong Hotel.

I remember this one. My first job in Hong Kong was in an office in Star House, around 1989-90. It was still half-day work on Saturdays, so often we'd go and see a film at Ocean Theatre on the Saturday afternoon.

Those were the days before online booking, so one of us would go to the cinema to get tickets. The ladies had a paper sheet for each show, so they'd find your show, then use a thick crayon to cross off the seats you booked, and write your seat numbers on the tickets they handed back.

I remember it had a grand entrance with a staircase up, but it would be good to see a photo if anyone has one. 

As Phil says, the theatre's stalls were cleared away and the space was converted into Planet Hollywood. I think the seats in the current Grand Ocean Cinema are where the seats were for the Ocean Theatre's balcony.

Greetings.  Yes, David, the current seating area was once the balcony level of the former theatre.  Your recount of seat booking is similar to my experience.  The man operates in a tiny enclosed space with a small window, after all, he keeps a lot of cash.  We could book seats up to two days ahead, and you put your finger on the un-crossed seat you want.   One day in school class, I boasted about the coming weekend going to see a popular movie.  One classmate looked at my ticket and said "Oh, it's today!".   That same afternoon, I skipped class and took a ferry to cross harbour.  Good and naughty days, we remember them. That was 57 years ago and my long-time friend now lives near my city.   Regards, Peter.