“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

The Hongkew Theatre, 1908-1988

Posted: September 1st, 2019 | No Comments »

The 250-seat Hongkew (Hongkou) Theatre, China’s first professional cinema dates back to 1908, though this picture is from 1915. It was one of the cluster of cinemas on the North Sichuan Road, including the Isis (which I’ve blogged about several times before). The Hongkew was founded by Spaniard Antonio Ramos (who ran a lot of cinemas and amusement arcades around Shanghai at the time) and, after 1945, became an opera house. A beautiful building, a wonderful cinema, pure Shanghai heritage – and so of course the site was demolished in 1988 to make way for the expansion of Haining Lu!

Antonio Ramos
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