Zuoying Theater 左營戲院 : Part 2

I wrote about how the first time I went into the Zuoying Theater 左營戲院 on my very first post. I was lucky enough to meet the owner of the theater and he let me in for short sneak peek. But it was just a quick look around in a large building. I really wanted to explore more of it.

Then on Instagram some friends I follow started posting a few stories from inside the building and I saw the projection room and the whole building and I was like I have to go in again. I found out how they got in and I gotta say, it was awesome inside. Some of these pictures are from those two trips inside and then a few outside pictures are from over the years.

The theater was built in 1952. It was first called Zuoying Theater 左營戲院, the locals called it “New theater” 新戲院 . I’m guessing since it was the second theater in the Zuoying area.

The theater showed Taiwanese Opera 歌仔戲 , and of course the newest and latest movies. In 1979, it changed from Zuoying Theater 左營戲院 to Jinsheng Theater 金昇戲院. In 1979, there was also another big change, they started showing adult films. In 1984, it added a Grand to the name and now was called Jinsheng Grand Theater 金昇大 戲院. That year it also added musical cabaret-style stripping shows called 牛肉場 (beef farms) in Taiwan.

Many theaters in Taiwan, during the great movie theater decline, often moved to these types of shows and movies to try to stay in business. The theater stayed open until the middle of 1991.

Inside was the theater, but it also had rooms for people to live. The outside had many small shops selling food to moviegoers and locals.

This was one of the last shops to remain open. Awesomely named, No-Name Noodle Shop 無名麵店. I took this picture in October 2016 before all the shops here closed down and the building was planned for demolition. Pretty much all the shops were out of there early 2017.

This noodle shop moved to a new location close by and kept the same name. If ya are noodle fan go and enjoy.

The third, and last, name of the theater at the entrance.
When I first started biking by this theater, this was the best view inside. No idea what happened to the car. It was gone whenever I first went inside.

So I went in once alone and saw lots of cool things but just couldn’t figure out how to get into the projection room. But it didn’t really matter since there was lots of cool stuff to see.

Old tombstone.
These old tombstones were on the lower level.
Lobby.
Movie of the day.
Theater Map.
Cigarette machine in a movie theater. Definitely different times.
This drink is often seen in old theaters
Hometown favorite.
Condom machine in a movie theater. Definitely different times.

I wasn’t going to go in again but a friend wanted to go so I showed him the way. I was very happy to take him in since he found the door to the projection room. I had seen it on Instagram before but was pretty happy to see it in person.

Amazing isn’t it. The Chinese character for Buddha 佛 just really ties the room together.

So that was my second and third trip in. I had one last walk around with the owner’s son. I will write up about that trip sometime soon.

7 thoughts on “Zuoying Theater 左營戲院 : Part 2

  1. Why, do you suppose that, the real estate represented by unused old movie palaces in places like Kaohsiung and Tainan, has not been redeveloped into something of current value? There were a couple of these places within a few minutes’ walk of where I used to reside in Tainan’s East district, either of which might well become a tower block. Why hold them off the market for the purpose of breeding mosquitos and other vermin?

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      1. Now I recall. A guy I knew in Kaohsiung in the 90s made his living as an “agent”. He did all of that negotiation between prospective buyers of real estate and owners / prospective sellers. Often he had to get into “family business” to help a transaction along. In some situations he advised the prospective buyer to give up. “That bunch was in such disarray that they were holding the goods off the market to make sure that somebody or other would never benefit from them.” He was more of a marriage and family counselor than a business agent.

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