One last hurrah for the cultural landmark before restorations, courtesy of New World Development, begins.

The show goes on for this Grade 1 Historic Building. From now through 30 April, the State Theatre has its stage set for an immersive experience; inviting patrons to discover the cultural monument in its heyday.

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The very presence of the State Theatre (formerly Empire Theatre) makes tangible the once-thriving cultural landscape in Hong Kong’s North Point; affectionately dubbed ‘Little Shanghai’. Having opened its doors almost seven decades ago amidst the golden age of entertainment, the State Theatre boasted an impressive 56-feet cinema screen and served 1,400 seats; its neon-lit parabolic roof trusses were iconic architectural achievements.

It wasn’t just films, however, that were shown at the State Theatre. True to its name, live performances like classical music concertos also headlined.

This specially curated ‘Discover the State Theatre in All of Us’ experience will feature over 100 historical artefacts — relics and memorabilia like handbills from the 1950’s, vintage movie tickets, staff uniforms, postcards, aerial photographs and more — and a complete restoration of the movie palace’s interiors and exteriors. In symbiotic alignment with the State Theatre’s role in revitalising and cementing Hong Kong’s cultural prowess in its heyday, this experience will, too, feature talented home-grown artists like Lam Ka Hang, a film poster painter; Sam Chan, an award-winning calligrapher; and musicians Fung Ming Ng, Quinn Lui and Byron Cheung.

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“I hope the public will experience the glorious past of the State Theatre first hand through this immersive event,” said Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development and founder of Culture for Tomorrow and the K11 portfolio. “Its history may have faded through time, but its story is far from over. With our conservation project, the State Theatre will return once again as a culture and arts landmark with more riveting stories to tell. As we continue our mission to connect business success with social progress, this marks an important chapter for New World Development, in which we orchestrate creativity and social innovation to create a cultural oasis for our next generation.”

Interested Culture for Tomorrow members may email info@culturefortomorrow.org with the first four digits of their HKID for available time slots. Virtual guided tours are also available. Learn more here.

State Theatre Shopping Arcade, 279 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong

Joey Wong
Editor
Constantly in pursuit of a multi-hyphenated career, Joey has written her way through fashion trends, youth culture and luxury retail in New York and Hong Kong. Beyond internet adventures tracking down the perfect vintage find, you can probably catch her sipping on her third oat milk latte of the day in the city’s newest café. She’s currently mourning the loss of TikTok in Hong Kong.