Jhongdu Theater 中都戲院

** UPDATE Zhongdu theater is being demolished. So no entry**

I put some new pictures at the bottom of the blog

**UPDATE Zhongdu Theater has been fully (pictures at the bottom) demolished.**.

Saw some news that the theater was ordered to be demolished. With the terrible fire at the Cheng Zhong Cheng building, this is not surprising news.

Jhongdu Theater doesn’t have many “theater” stuff left in it, but it does have one of my favorite designs. It has a public market on the ground floor with the theater on the upper level. It was designed this way to drive local development.

It was built in 1966 and designed by Xiao Fozhu 蕭佛助. He designed a number of movie theaters in Kaohsiung. Unfortunately, this is the only building of his that is left standing.

Silver Screen.

Amazingly the market is still going. And still quite busy with lots of stalls and people still working and shopping there every day. The theater closed down in 1989 though.

Projection Room.
Main Entrance to the Market.
I’m usually there later in the afternoon, so I miss a lot of the market action.

I have read that the owner of the building does want to demolish the building, but can’t until some relocation happens with the market stall operators. That article is from 2012 so pretty sure that the building is here to stay.

A braised pork rice restaurant 肉燥飯 with cool street art on the door showing some of the history of the building.

Art was done by local street artist Patter.

Some of the traces of the theater are on the bottom level of the building.

The theater’s heyday seemed to be the mid-1970’s with many people going to watch the newest movies, but also to enjoy the air-conditioning.

However, with changing consumer tastes and with the rise of many theaters becoming porno theaters, striptease shows at theaters and the growing MTV rooms (like a KTV room but with movies) fewer people started showing up. It doesn’t appear that the theater went the porn movie route of many theaters of this time. It finally closed in October 1989.

The area around the theater is a cool area of Kaohsiung. If you are ever checking out the Jhongdu Tangrong Brick Kiln Factory 中都磚窯廠 or other places around there, stop by the old theater and market and say hi! Go soon since it will be gone soon.

And now that day has come. Demolition has started.

The fence is up.
Vendors kicked out.
The fridge and other junk were removed from the old entrance.
Machines are in.
Now just an empty lot.

7 thoughts on “Jhongdu Theater 中都戲院

  1. I was in Kaohsiung today (Jan 16) and thought of you. In the building across Wu Fu Rd from Ta-li Isetan Dept. Store there’s a theater or 2. It’s the building with the wig store on the ground floor. Also, should you get to Tainan, there’s one on Min-chuan road a block from the circle where Pei-men, Tong-men and Da-tong road all join, and another just north of the intersection of Changrong and Tong-men roads. The one on Min-chuan is a stand-alone building. The one on Changrong is over a market. The one in Kaohsiung on Wufu is in a big multipurpose building.


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