UA Cinemas announces closure, ending 36 years of operation in Hong Kong

The UA theater at Amoy Gardens in Kowloon Bay was one of six remaining outlets in the city. Photo: Mocha Wong
The UA theater at Amoy Gardens in Kowloon Bay was one of six remaining outlets in the city. Photo: Mocha Wong

UA Cinemas announced Monday that it is ceasing all operations, marking an end to its 36-year run in Hong Kong.

Photos on social media showed gates fencing off the theaters, with notices taped outside stating that the cinema is closing for good.

“We regret to announce that UA Cinemas will cease business with immediate effect from 8 March 2021 due to unavoidable and devastating pressure faced by our operations since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,” the signs read.

Founded in 1985, the movie theater chain opened its first cinema in Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza before expanding to major malls including Times Square in Causeway Bay and Telford Plaza in Kowloon Bay.

With locations across Hong Kong island, Kowloon and New Territories, the cinema was the theater of choice for many Hongkongers looking to catch the latest international blockbuster or local film.

Read more: The rise of Hong Kong cinema (INFOGRAPHIC)

But UA Cinemas has seen a number of closures in recent years due to contracts ending and shopping mall renovations. Some, like the original Sha Tin location and the outlet in Tai Koo’s Cityplaza mall, were taken over by other local theatre giants including MCL and Broadway Circuit.

Online, Hongkongers mourned the loss of the household name and reminisced about childhood memories at a cinema chain they had grown up with.

“Quick, before it’s too late, let’s go to the cinema and take a picture for one last memory,” one Facebook user wrote.

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