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About the Collection

Today, in a consumer-oriented metropolitan like Hong Kong, a movie theatre is forced to become a mere annex of a shopping mall ─ a supplement of the huge consumerism system. Having the film industry moved into the digital age, theatres have also gone through enormous changes: more advanced equipment and modernised décor, but only to emphasise the intent of high-class consumerism, not individuality. It was quite a different scene some twenty years ago, when theatres with different architectural styles stood as independent buildings amid the busy streets.

A chance encounter with movie poster artist Mr. Chow Keung made Hong Kong Film Archive realise that this traditional art form so closely related to the old theatres would soon become extinct. Therefore, the Archive invited Mr. Chow to come out of retirement and pick up his paintbrush for this special exhibition on old movie theatre. In addition to paintings of a skillful artist, precious theatre relics including handbills, booklets, seat plans, screening schedules, signages, tickets and so forth were showcased in the exhibition. We hope to create an atmosphere of nostalgia and give the younger generation a taste of days gone by.

This Collection serves as a digital repository of the thematic exhibition, Down Memory Lane: Movie Theatres of the Olden Days, organised by Hong Kong Film Archive, from 6 December 2013 to 2 March 2014, a time capsule of the culture of old Hong Kong movie theatres.