Movies – Chin Men Theater

the Chin Men Theater and its hand-painted marquees

the Chin Men Theater and its hand-painted posters

Chin Men Theater (Quánměi Xìyuàn 全美戲院)

While most of Tainan’s movie venues are of the modern cineplex variety, a theater with some history still exists. The Chin Men Theater is in an old three-story building with architecture that looks influenced by old American art deco theaters. You would have to look hard to see the surface of the building, though, as much of the facade is covered by enormous hand-painted movie placards of the current shows. These paintings, by artist Yen Chen Fa, add tremendous charm to both the theater and the city, reminding me of theaters in Myanmar, rural China and other places where even skilled labor is cheaper than billboard-sized posters. They and the building itself likely add a huge amount of nostalgia for the residents of Tainan.

Ang Lee cut-out by the box office

an Ang Lee cut-out by the box office

The theater was frequented by famed director Ang Lee while he was a high school student in Tainan. These days, the theater honors him by displaying posters and press reports, and by the occasional free-showings of his films.

The Chin Men Theater is a second-run theater, showing movies that have recently left the cineplexes. There are three screens in the theater and they show two different movies back-to-back on each screen. Tickets (regular price NT$120, student NT$90, children/seniors NT$60) are good for the two movies that are double-billed. Check here for showtimes.

TEL: (06) 2205151 (06) 2222265

Location: 187 Yong Fu Rd (永福路), Sec. 2, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan

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