Jinsha Theater( Golden Sand) Theater 金沙戲院 is located in Shamei 沙美. Shamei is now famous in Taiwan for its old street 沙美老街 that apparently looks like Morrocco 沙美摩洛哥. While I am not sure if it actually looks like Morrocco or not it still does look pretty cool.
A bunch of abandoned houses have been turned into an internet beauty 網美 must-see.
Shamei was also a busy market town for the soldiers stationed on Kinmen and it also had a nice large movie theater.
But unlike the theater in Penghu, this theater stayed open a long time. It was the center of economic activity in Shamei for many years. But with the need for fewer soldiers in the area and an aging local population, unfortunately, the theater closed in 1987
I first went to Kinmen in the mid-2000s and didn’t fully explore the island as well as I could have. So I was happy to go back a couple years ago with more information and Google Maps rather than just a tattered Lonely Planet.
I love seeing and finding the old projectors still there. I always have trouble sharing places because people can find out and vandalize or steal stuff. But a theater such as this is famous enough and blogged about enough on Taiwanese blogs that I don’t feel that I can do any damage to a place as known as the “Gold Sand Theater”.
I went back in April 2022 to check it out. It’s still there and looking good. We didn’t go in, although from what I’ve seen online it still looks the same.
Also in nearby Yangzhai on Yangzhai old street 陽翟老街 is the Jindong Theater金東電影院. It was built in 1960 with funds given by a Taipei politician Mr. Zhang 台北市議會議長張祥傳先生 to help give the soldiers in the nearby area some form of entertainment.
It helped drive the local economy of Yangzhai also and a nice little market street open up nearby. As the soldiers left the theater and street went downhill and the theater and many shops closed.
A movie was looking to film in Kinmen about some soldiers living in Kinmen during the 1960s and they chose Yangzhai as a location. They fixed up the street and made it look like Kinmen in the 1960s. Paradise in Service 軍中樂園 is a pretty good movie and a nice look at Kinmen during those days.
Shamei Old Street 沙美老街 and Yangzhai old street 陽翟老街 are pretty popular tourist spots on Kinmen now and if you are there don’t forget to stop by the theaters and say Hi!