Situated opposite the Queenstown MRT Station, a white building stands abandoned for more than a decade along Commonwealth Avenue. Forgotten over the years, this is the remnant of the once-popular Queenstown/Queensway Cinema.
Built in 1977 and closed in 1999, the cinema, equipped with two screens, reached its peak in the late eighties. The area used to be bustling with life in the evenings, where long queues were common sights as movie-goers lined up for tickets of their favourite movies.
Countless of blockbusters were screened at Queenstown Cinema, a favourite haunt for the residents living in the nearby neighbourhoods. The building also served as an entertainment center that included a KTV and a bowling alley known as the Queenstown Bowl.
The crowds were long gone, and what is left is an empty building waiting for its fate to be sealed.
The building is expected to be demolished by late 2011 to give way to new development of Queenstown and Commonwealth.
Queenstown was named in honour of Queens Elizabeth when she was proclaimed the Queen of the Commonwealth realms in 1952. Queensway, an arterial road, was named two years later. Commonwealth is one of the 16 sub-zones of Queenstown, and was named after the Commonwealth of Nations, which consists of Singapore after independence.
In early 2011, Queenstown’s NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) Fairprice supermarket ceased operation after more than three decades.
NTUC was founded through labour movement in 1973 when the global oil crisis, triggered by the Middle Eastern oil-exporting countries, caused prices of food and necessities to rise. The first NTUC supermarket was opened in Toa Payoh, and has since grown to be the biggest retailer in Singapore.
The multi-storey carpark behind the cinema has been under-maintained for years. It, too, will be torn down together with the rest.
The flats nearby, such as the prominent Block 27A, which is linked directly to the Queenstown MRT Station, and Block 39A have been chosen for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) in 2005.
By March 2011, most residents and shopkeepers have already moved out of the block. Many of them have moved to the new units at Dawson, which were reserved for them in priority.
Modern studio apartments for the elderly will be replacing these old blocks of flats.
Published: 23 October 2010
Updated: 17 May 2011