Thanks to the memory jots from Algae and Moon, I decided to run down my little memory lane about Kum Wah (in Cantonese) or Kim Hua (in Hokkien). And in English, Metropole Cinema (you can see a picture of it in LaoKokok's blog).
I vaguely remember wandering around that area when they were building this almost circular building. I was curious, but not as curious as with the fish tanks in the nearby open-air fish-shop. It was still beyond my means to buy fishes from the fish shop, I was still in the primary school then. But I could spend hours watching them. And I would gaze at the building with the pole scaffording.
It was a new cinema in Chinatown! I suppose the first could be Majestic (Dai Hua in Hokkien), and then, Oriental (Tong Hong in Hokkien) at the corner of Kreta Ayer St with New Bridge Rd. If my memories did not fail me, a worker during the building of the Metropole Cinema fell and died. It was hearsay as I was still too young and poor to have access to the newspapers. And soon, there was rumour of ghosts. (^^)
But that did not deter the cinema goers from going to watch great Cantonese movies like "Yi Lai Shang Cheong" (The Buddha Hand - a famous gongfu force then) and Mu Lam Sap Sam Keen (The thirteen swordsmen?).
As we grew older and moved to another part of Chinatown, and getting more immersed in the English speaking world, our world was cinemas like Globe (Great World), Orchard (now the Orchard Cinemaplex), Odean and Cathay.
And without realising it, one day I walked by and saw Metropole Cinema being replaced by Fairfield Methodist Church. At one point in my life, my house was very close to the original Fairfield Methodist Church and Girls' School. Until this day, the uniform of Fairfield Girls' School, now Fairfield School (for boys and girls), has been and is still, I think, unique in colour. I couldn't help thinking if this is Methodist churches' colour. (^^)
And so, in various ways, for people like us who lived in this part of Chinatown, that building - be it Metropole Cinema or Fairfield Methodist Church - it has a part in our lives. And for some, it's still to come. (^^)