Lai Yuen (Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park) Cinemas 1-5 / 荔園劇場 [1950-1997] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Lai Yuen (Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park) Cinemas 1-5 / 荔園劇場 [1950-1997]

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

Location: Lai Yuen, also known as Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Seating capacity: unknown, estimated in the low hundreds for each, and one up to 1,000

Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park (1949*-1997), commonly known as Lai Yuen / 荔園, operated several cinemas.  The park was surrounded by small hills and water.  Given the limited space, these cinemas are believed to have operated under one roof.   They were named by number, for example, No. 5 Theatre / 第五劇場 - .
In their glorious days, we could go swimming in the beach, rent a row boat, play in the park's swimming pool, pay a bit more for their special pool (more quiet and cleaner water), play games, and watch movies.  There, I had my first and unforgetable hot dog.  Truly a one stop family outing!  
The first one came into existence shortly after the park was opened*, and their number gradually increased over the years.  For the purpose of his page, I have selected the time frame after reading the following Hong Kong Sunday Herald 1950-04-02 article(thanks to Moddsey's advice):

* The park was originally opened by businessman Cheung Kwan On in 1949.  This information appears in various internet sites.  However, the origin of the park took place a bit earlier.  The April 2, 1950 Hong Kong Sunday Herald article, reads, in part -

"​The Laichikok Amusement Park is to undergo a $1,000,000 expansion, ... The elaborate project involves the erection of two stage and cinema theatres - one in the open air - a floating dance floor and a Fair Playground with wheel rides, coasters and merry-go-arounds... that equipment including the latest type cinema projector ordered from Western Electric is on the way.

​Plans for the new park have been completed and work on the project will begin in about three months' time and should be completed in August (1950).  The park will have cinema and stage-show amenities.  An enclosed auditorium; planned to hold 1,000 customers, will feature Chinese operas to be presented nightly.  Adjacent to this, an open air theatre will be erected.  The theatre will run cinema shows three times a night.

​This centre of recreation in Kowloon was opened in the summer of 1947.  The Park started with a flourish and for three summers has been patronised by thousands of local fun-makers. It began exclusively as a swimming pavillion where the numerous bathing pools became the main attraction."

about Lai Yuen -

The April 2, 1950 Hong Kong Sunday Herald news article -

more photos of the area -

Photos that show this place