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A Busy Day at Nantou Theater 南投大戲院

Long line-ups outside an old school theater in Nantou City.

Nantou Theater 南投大戲院 is one of a small number of old school, second-run movie theaters still operating in Taiwan 台灣. Hundreds of others have been abandoned since the turn of the millennium, victims of changing consumer habits (read: downloading) and strong competition from more interactive and engaging forms of entertainment such as video games. Why some theaters hold on while most others fail is a bit of a mystery at times. In some cases there is an obvious explanation—for instance, that there is a huge student population within easy walking distance, as is the case with this theater in Zhongli 中壢. In other cases, like this one, the reason eludes me. Nostalgia alone cannot explain why this vintage theater in Nantou City 南投市 was so busy when I wandered by sometime in December 2013.

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