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A Derelict Entertainment Complex in Zhongli

Deciphering the names of twin theaters in an abandoned entertainment complex in Zhongli.

Among the many disused and abandoned movie theaters of Zhongli 中壢 is a massive entertainment complex home to twin cinemas: Qīnqīn Grand Theater 親親大戲院 and Láilái Grand Theater 來來大戲院. Located immediately across from the former Sogo department store in the heart of downtown, it remains unexplored insofar as I know. Several businesses still operate out of the ground floor of this hulking ruin and they don’t take kindly to strangers mucking about in search of an entrance to the upper levels.

The twin theaters in context.

Behind the empty frames that would have once held movies posters (much like those of nearby Zhongyuan Theater) the signs for several other businesses are also visible. Apart from the twin theaters this building also housed a western restaurant (親親西餐廳), some kind of gaming parlour or theme park (perhaps 伙伙大樂園, it’s a bit hard to make out), and a sleazy cabaret (愛愛大歌廳). Note the use of double characters in all these names. Public records indicate the twin theaters were in business from around 1978 until the late 1990s or early 2000s. One of the managers, Zhuāng Tíngrén 莊廷仁, appears to have had some connection to a theater on Taipei’s Cinema Street as well as the Cáishén Building 財神大樓, previously explicated here on this blog.

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