Today's movie theatres are mostly multiplexes of small screening houses with seats ranging from under a hundred to a few hundred. It was a whole different scene in the grand old thousand-seat theatres of yesteryear, which were usually divided into two levels: stalls and dress circle.
In general, stalls included front, middle, rear stalls and tickets were charged according to views of the sections. Naturally, the front stall was priced the lowest. Dress circle, with the best view, was of course the highest priced section.
Smart audience usually would line up early to purchase seats in the last row of front stall for the maximum bang for their dollar. This money-saving tactic was rendered useless, however, when zoning disappeared.
The distribution of rows in stall section of certain theatres in 1964 was as follows:
|Theatre||Total no. of rows||Front Stall||Middle Stall||Rear Stall||Total capacity|
|State||27||7||9||Loge Seats 11 rows||1,087|
Ticket prices were quite different for theatres showing first-run foreign films, Cantonese films, second-run films and those located in remote areas. The chart below illustrates the differences among theatres:
|1931||King’s||Front stall $0.5; Back stall $1.1; Front Dress circle $1.7; Back Dress Circle $2.2|
|Yaumatei||Front stall $0.1; Middle stall $0.2; Front Dress Circle $0.35; Back Dress circle $0.4|
|1946||Queen’s||Upper dress circle $0.7; Front stall $1.1; Back stall $1.7|
|Prince’s||Upper dress circle $0.35; Front stall $0.5; Middle stall $0.7, Back stall: $1|
|1954||Majestic||Front stall $0.7; Middle stall $1.2; Front Dress circle $1.7; Back Dress Circle $2.4|
|Golden Star||Front stall $0.4; Middle stall $0.7; Back stall $1.2; Dress circle $1.5|
|1968||Princess||Front stall $1.5; Middle stall $2; Back stall $2.8; Dress circle $3.5|
|London||Front stall $0.7; Middle stall $1.2; Back stall $1.7; Dress circle $2.4|
|1977||Theatres (in general)||Front stall $3.5; Back stall $5.5; Dress circle $7|
|1985||Theatres (inside city)||Stall $17; Dress circle $20|
|Theatres (in New Territories)||Stall $15; Dress circle $17|