Secretary for Development, Antiquities Advisory Board, Executive Secretary of the Antiquities and Monuments Office,
Antiquities and Monuments Office Executive Secretary Ms Susanna SiuAll Antiquities Advisory Board membersSecretary for Development Mr Paul Chan Mo-po
I call on:
1. The Antiquities Advisory Board to make State Theatre a Grade 1 historic building
State Theatre is an internationally unique piece of architecture because of the exposed reinforced concrete roof trusses that soar over the building, which make it an imposing urban landmark. The theatre has retained a good degree of authenticity internally despite its conversion to a snooker club in 2000 – the original internal structure and the former theatre space have all been kept. This precious symbol of the most popular form of post-war mass entertainment recalls the heyday of Hong Kong cinema, and it also serves as a rare reminder of North Point’s “Little Shanghai” in the 1950s and early 1960s. The heritage significance of State Theatre should be duly recognised and protected.
2. The Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) to review the heritage grading system of Hong Kong’s historic buildings
Throughout the controversy over the grading of State Theatre, the AMO’s assessment panel has failed to convince the public that it has the requisite specialist knowledge in such areas as post-war architecture, cinema/theatre architecture and the history of Hong Kong cinema to carry out a fair appraisal of the building. The AMO should reform the assessment panel, which now only has five members, by bringing in more experts from different specialist areas. It should also recognise the fact that different experts will be required depending on the nature of different buildings. Moreover, the AMO should increase transparency of their decisions by giving the public clearer and more detailed definitions of the assessment criteria they follow when grading historic buildings.
Joint statement by Walk in Hong Kong, The Conservancy Association and Docomomo HK to the Antiquities Advisory Board on State Theatre, 15/4/2016
活現香港、長春社、Docomomo HK 聯合聲明 促請古諮會將舊皇都戲院至少評為一級歷史建築 ｜ Joint statement by Walk in Hong Kong, The Conservancy Association and Docomomo HK to the Antiquities Advisory Board
Heritage Value Assessment of the Former State Theatre (in Chinese), 15/4/2016
Docomomo International – Under Threat: State Theatre in Hong Kong by G.W. Grey, S.F. Liu, Hong Kong, 1952, 23/3/2016
SCMP – Hong Kong antiquities body defers decision on historic status of State Theatre Building, 18/4/2016
Hong Kong Free Press – Heritage and architecture group demand preservation of historic State Theatre in North Point, 16/4/2016
The Hollywood Reporter – Inside the Fight to Save Hong Kong’s Last Movie Palace, 14/3/2016
RTHK’s This Morning programme – Investigation into the grading of State Theatre (in Chinese), 3/6/2016
Ming Pao – Report on Walk in Hong Kong’s site inspection of State Theatre, 17/7/2016 (in Chinese)