Bye Bye To Hollywood Theatre And Lion City Hotel Part 2

…continued from Part1.

Sorry for the long delay in the second part of this post.

After 43 years, the Lion City Hotel was gone…Yes, this Lion City Hotel costing $4.2M then was opened in 1968 by the late Dr.Goh Keng Swee, the Minister for Finance. Construction of the hotel started in 1965 at the junction of Tanjong Katong Road and Geylang Road by Wee Thiam Siew Co. Ltd.

C redit : Singapore Press Holding, SPH

It was a 10 storey hotel with 168 fully aircon rooms. It was then near to the Singapore Airport which was at the Paya Lebar then and the city. You will be surprise with the rate then : $30 to $35 for Single Room, $40 to $45 for Double Room, $60 for Family Suite and $90 for Deluxe Room.

Those who had been to the hotel, the shopping complex below was considered an unique feature and one of the largest then. It housed an emporium which sold China products, and there were also a snack-bar, and finance company and bank. There was even a first class restaurant then on the first floor catering both European and Chinese dishes in the evening with a live band playing soft music for dancing. On the ground floor, there was a cocktail lounge too. Maybe many may not be aware that there was even a swimming pool located on one of the floor in the hotel but in the later years, the pool was removed.

It is sad that the Lion City Hotel together with the Hollywood Theatre had to make way for new developments. When you are reading this post, the hotel and it’s surrounding are gone;

Above : Lion City Hotel then

Above : Lion City Hotel going

And the surrounding Hin Hollywood Canteen also disappear;

Above : Then

Above : Gone

So what is left now is probably the Thank You note from their website;

Credit : Lion City Hotel

I remember when I moved in to Haig Road in the 70s, there was the Oriental Emporium on the ground and 1st floor on the Lion City Hotel;

Above 3 Credits : Lee Kip Lin and National Library Board, taken in 1994

Oh the McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken were there too! The KFC was opened in 1982 and you can see their ads looking for helpers for the 20th outlet at Lion City Hotel;

Credit : SPH, Straits Times

Of course at one time, the 人民百货公司 (People’s Emporium) was there in place of the Oriental Emporium. Only until the later years, it became a furniture showroom and the ground floor with a mixture of shops;

I still preferred the Oriental Emporium as I liked window shopping there after my dinner as they had a more variety of goods.

Some of the shops already moved out during the last few weeks;

The Happy Restaurant (双喜楼) just besides the main entrance to the hotel;

The restaurant was located upstair on the 1st floor;

In fact almost every year during the Chinese New Year, I would still go there to buy the Yu Sheng (鱼生). I also got mix-up and confused with the other similar names of the restaurant nearby – one at the Tanjong Katong Complex, while the other one in Lion City Plaza.

Even my father like the claypot rice in the Lion City Cafe;

I remember there was once Filipino live band playing in this cafe/snack bar;

The Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet was just round the corner;

The main entrance to the Lion City Hotel;

The hotel lobby;

The hotel back entrance;

The ‘sheltered carpark’ of the hotel;

The linkway joining the shopping complex and the hotel;

You can see a spiral staircase joined to it;

You can see the other spiral staircase on the right side partially hidden by the tree;

In the past, I like to walk to the Oriental Emporium via this back entrance;

The aerial view of the Oriental Emporium from the Haig Road flats (I supposed) in 1984;

Credit :  PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

I’m trying to get the same aerial view from the top floor of the flat;

The demolishing of the government quarters in 1974 to make way for the Haig Road Hawker Centre and flats. In the background is the Lion City Hotel with the linkway;

Credit :  PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

Looking at the Hollywood Theatre from the demolished government quarters in 1974;

Credit :  PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

When I first look at the above photo, the Hollywood Theatre was not so obvious until I compared it with the below photo;

Distant view of the Lion City Hotel probably from the Sims Avenue or Geylang Road junction;

A 1970 photo of the Lion City Hotel;

Above 2 credits : PICAS, Naitonal Archive of Singapore

Current View;

1994 view of the hotel from the overhead bridge;

Below is one I took from the overhead bridge in 2011;

What my father wrote;
 
“A Stumble May Prevent A Fall.”
“小惩大诫”
About these ads

24 Responses to “Bye Bye To Hollywood Theatre And Lion City Hotel Part 2”


  1. 1 YC Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    yeah we used to walk by to the hollywood canteen; i also remember eating lots of KFC meals there. BTW i watched Hwang Fei Hong by Jet Li in the Hollywood theatre! Ah, memories…

  2. 2 imlumlum Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    When did Lion City Hotel close?? which date??

  3. 3 J.L Situ Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 5:11 am

    There goes Lion City Hotel, where my parents had their wedding. Kinda sad that it’s no more.

  4. 4 Jocelyne Sze Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Good job on the post, I loved it!

    Really sad to have to see it go, I used to stay nearby and I still go to the Catholic church down the road. The food at Hin Hollywood Canteen was great and my mom used to reminisce about the place everytime we went there. All these wonderful places disappearing, and in their place, towering, spanking new shopping complexes or condominiums instead. Really tragic, I think :/

  5. 5 SingaporeanLifeStyle.com Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Hi mate,

    Thanks for the the post. I guess the current “Thank You” note at the website will bring some tears to the eyes for all who still remembers this place.

  6. 6 Sharifah Friday, May 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

    As someone who grew up in the area, I’m going to miss the Lion City Hotel.
    More recently, I enjoyed sitting and writing at the Banquet food court there.

  7. 7 Old Lim Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

    The Oriental Emporium was preceded by People’s Emporium (人民百货公司), which was owned by an Indonesian tycoon. The first store I visited that had auto-doors. Those doors were operated by weight sensors beneath rubber mats in front of them, very novel then.

  8. 8 Ramli Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    If I remembered correctly, this hotel is nearest to Paya lebar Airport in the 60’s and 70’s. There was also a hotel that stood at the location where City Plaza is now (not sure if it is Singapore Hotel? or Hotel Singapura?)

  9. 9 chung Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    thank you for sharing pics, bring back fond memories

  10. 10 Philip Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Thank You so much for the write up on the hotel.I had no idea it was going to be demolish.Thats one of the few hotels in that area that i thought was reasonable /cheap for me as a malaysian when i visit singapore.I found out the hard way when we went by it a few months ago in a cab!All the memories suddenly come rushing to mind.I look at my wife with a big smile on my face for all the memoriesThanks lioncity hotel!What are they building there in its place?

  11. 12 Wes Monday, November 12, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Great blog. Over the past 15 years I have stayed near Haig Road so Hin Hollywood Canteen, Hollywood Theater and Lion City have been places I have been or part of my Singapore. Sad to see all these places go away especially the prata stall…

  12. 13 Sandy Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    thank you for these posts. they will be precious in future!

  13. 14 Singapore Memory Project Monday, December 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

    The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research.

    By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.

    Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.

    If you are keen to pledge your blog to SMP, simply fill up our response form at this following URL: http://singaporememory.simulation.com.sg/Public/Pledge.

    You may find out more about this initiative at http://www.iremember.sg/?page_id=2822.

    We are looking forward to your contribution.

    Krishna |Social Media Analyst|Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd 583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884), Singapore o: +65 61006747 | f: +65 62341956 | w: http://www.simulation.com.sg

  14. 15 MOHAMED MARZOOQ Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Its really sad to see the lion city hotel demolished.i stayed in lion city hotel for three months in 1990.It’s a very nice hotel with friendly staff.
    Marzooq
    Maldives

  15. 16 Lau Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    While I was searching the web for old Singapore photos. I came upon this site. I remembered that I held my wedding dinner at the Double Happiness Restaurant in 1999 and we were given a complimentary night stay at the hotel. Whenever, my wife and I drove past that place I would tell my children that we had held our dinner there. Thank you for the photos of the place!

  16. 17 Owen Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive
    the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great
    blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  17. 18 PoE Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I know this site gives quality depending articles and additional
    material, is there any other web site which offers such stuff in quality?

  18. 19 Jed Mitter Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Very well written. Used to have People stay in the Hotel especially Malaysian Athletes whom our company used to sponsor for Sporting Events at the National Stadium. The Cafe had great local food

  19. 20 LMS Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Anybody know if happy restaurant (shuangxi lou) open anymore? If yes, where?
    Thanks!

  20. 21 Chuang Shyue Chou Monday, September 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

    It is such a pity to see this landmark disappear. I remember the distinctive feel of the concrete block. It stood out as an example of a building of its time.

  21. 22 hotel booking Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Superb, what a web site it is! This web site presents useful information to us, keep it up.

  22. 23 70's Katong Boy Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    For so long I have had not passed by that road although I stay in the eastern part of Singapore. Most of the time I go by the expressway, either TPE, ECP or PIE. It is so sad that such a wonderful place being demolished and have to make way for new development.

    When I was schooling in Katong in the early 70’s, these two places ( Lion City Hotel coffee house and the Hollywood theatre, are among few of my favourite places to go after school.

    I also miss the Double Happiness Restaurant which I had attended few wedding dinners there in the 80’s and 90’s.

    Well, this can now only be in our memory.

    70’s Katong Boy

  23. 24 70's-80's Haig Road Boy Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for this post. It really is a walk down memory lane for me. Missing that place now :(

    70’s-80’s Haig Road Boy ;).


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