Queenstown Cinema and Bowl

Text by Stefan Landøy

Wanted: images of Queenstown Cinema and Bowling Centre with bowling balls, bright lights, carpet floors, sunny skies and happy people.

Scale model of Queensway Cinema and Bowl (Photo credit: Chee Soon Wah Chartered Architects)

Queensway Cinema and Bowling Centre was opened in 1977. It was situated in the heart of the Queenstown estate and contained a 1715-seat cinema, 18 bowling lanes, together with KFC and private karaoke lounges. The architect Chee Soon Wah was inspired by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The similarities can be seen in the overall geometry of the building and the facade material that initially consisted of exposed brick. At a later stage the facade was painted in light pastel colours that changed the building’s overall expression.

Brick facade of Queenstown Cinema and Bowl

Queenstown Cinema and Bowl in the 1970s

Inside, the Centre consisted of a set of large interior spaces separated by smaller rooms. These rooms can be seen in the external geometry of the building. Smaller geometric features are added on to the big volumes.

Bowling alley in the 1970s at Queenstown Cinema and Bowl

The structure of the cinema and the bowling alley were separated so that the noise transmission from the bowling alley to the cinema is reduced to a minimum. At the same time, the cinema and bowling alley were complimentary programs and therefore the main circulation for these two elements were directly connected.

Abandoned cinema at Queenstown Cinema and Bowl

Abandoned bowling alley at Queenstown Cinema and Bowl

Queenstown Cinema and Bowl before demolition in 2011

In 1999 the building was abandoned. With some claiming it to be structurally unstable, it remained unused until its eventual demise in June 2013. Still zoned for commercial use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2008, the land will most likely be part of a new housing estate.