Sunday, 2 June 2013

Memory Lane of Q'town/Queensway Cinema & Bowl, Polyclinic and Food centre

Reminiscing the old Margaret Drive(Then)
Disappearing in the face of Modern Singapoe (Now)
Gone were the days, long unforgotten places where I, in my late teens watching movies and playing bowling in those good olden days along the streets of busy road to where one of the good old friend's old block 96 (demolished) at Margaret Drive. She stayed at Blk 96 in 1975 till it demolished
Former NTUC Fairprice and Q'stown/Queensway Cinema and Bowl
Apart from Queenstown/Queensway Cinema and Bowl centre, there was once former NTUC also demolished early 2012, whereas Singapore pools (NTUC FP Queenstown) was located.
 Queenstown/Queensway Cinema & Bowling Centre
Old Queenstown Bowl
My usual hideout was Queenstown/Queensway bowling & cinemas since early 1985 when my childhood friends and I went for a show and makan session at Queenstown after the closure of the two former cinemas - Golden City Theatre and Venus Theatre (both opened 1965 was the 1st cinema in Singapore) in mid 1980 (around 1984).
Queenstown/Queensway Cinema and Bowl Centre
Fenced up really to demolish in June 2013
Queenstown/Queensway Cinema and Bowl was my usual hangout spot for decades since it opened in 1976 till it closed in 1999 and 2000 respectively and was expected to be demolish in June 2013 in the face of modern Singapore.
Huge Caterpillar Excavator
Huge Caterpillar excavator started to pull part of the rooftop down this morning on 28 Jun 2013.
Large Hydraulic Excavator
While the two Hydraulic excavators are clearing the chunk of  debris Q'town/Queensway cinema and bowl.
Fallen Roottop of Q'town/Q'way building
Now 3/4 of the Q'stown/Queensway building being extreme excavating on the ground.
Construction workers untie the ropes after demolishion
After demolition of Queenstown/Queensway cinema and bowl, construction workers already started to untie the ropes of the poles.
Clearing of building rubble
While the excavator removed building rubble and bricks on the demolished site and worker squats down next to excavator checking some piles and bricks.
Construction worker squats down on the rubble
Overview of demolition site
Now Queenstown/Queensway cinema and bowl is gone and what left spattering rubble and debris along on the site ready to clear up.
2nd Floor of the Q'town Cinema exit
The upper floor of the Queenstown cinema exit somehow dilapidated and the steel gate being opened for workers to clear the remaining items. 
Abandoned of items
I remember that I saw some items (table, food flask, wooden boards, bottle and other items) left inside the wooden locked doors basement of Queenstown building.
Facade of Art Deco in distress (Then)
Dilapidated wall facade taken in 2013 (Now)
The fa├žade wall art Deco of Queenstown/Queensway cinema has been declining over the years after it closed in 1999/2000. 
LDE Palace Entertainment (KTV)
Queenstown residents would remember this building during their olden days with full bast of entertainments including LDE Palace Entertainment (KTV). During my olden days, I went for bowling practices for coming tournament every year since 1988 but I started playing bowling in 1984 and have been playing in various bowling centres including Jackie's Bowl which is the first bowling alley built in 1965.
Former Queenstown Bowl
Queenstown Bowl, being built in 1976, located at the heart of the estates which comprised of an emporium, 2 cinemas and other recreation facilities, it upped Queenstown's 'cool' factors by many notches. The 18-lane bowling alley was my favourite among the young like me living in the Queenstown estate as many local residents would try their luck for strikes and turkeys. I ever strike for two turkeys in the row.
Close-up of Q'stown Bowl at the corner entrance
Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of an Indian lady who worked at the Queenstown Bowl for years and we had make friends during bowling sessions. The Indian lady stayed at former blk 27A Margaret Drive (demolished in 2012) just opposite Queenstown Mrt Station.
Queensway and Queenstown Cinema's ticket counter
The first thing in my mind that I was used to watch movies of all times when I was in my teens years until I worked and this has been going on for decades. These cinemas might not survive for long when there are gossips about many multi-corporations that built in several locations like Orchard Cineplexes, Cathey cineplexes and Golden Village since 1998 and there was a hot spot entertainments around the cineplexes.
Corridor of quiet zone 
I walked towards the corridor of quiet zone that emptiness, with broken wooden locked doors and commercial steel roll up window. Red brick would still intact till the last to be demolished.
Former Margaret Drive Food Centre

Close-up of 40A Margaret Drive food centre

Margaret Drive Food Centre (Blk 40A Commonwealth Ave cooked food centre) built in 1969 and was home to numerous food stalls which started off as itinerant hawkers peddling in pushcarts around Queenstown and Queensway. Over the years, the food centre has become the most favourite spot for Queenstown/Margaret Drive residents who lived nearby.

Unfortunately in 2011, the government decided to demolish the food centre after closure of cinemas,  NTUC fairprice

Blk 40A Commonwealth Avenue
There were 'Tai Chong' emporium, Blk 40A, Commonwealth Ave cooked food centre. I usually hanged out at the small fountain that surrounded by two cinemas in front that once stood in early 1980s.
The Fisherman of Christ Fellowship (1985)
Gone by the days, these two former cinemas now occupied by two churches - The Fisherman of Church and The savours of Jesu (1986)s. Both cinemas were opened in 1965. The cineplexes added charm to the town’s multi-faceted identity. They were well known for screening Taiwanese movies and gongfu flicks as well as graduation ceremonies of neighbouring schools. Every evening, itinerant hawkers would line up near the fountain in front of the cinemas.
Under construction of diversion of 4.4m drainage reserve
Drainage reserve at Q'town Churches
I saw the road being under construction for diversion of 4.4m drainage reserve and expected to be completed in 4th quarter 2013 surrounding the two churches.
Former Q'stown Polyclinic took from Blk 40A foodcentre
Took from Blk 40A Q'town food centre
Close-up Queenstown polyclinic dispenser counter
Among these old Q'stown food centre, there was once Queenstown Polyclinic where I usually pay a visit to the doctor for decades till it closed. Now it is occupied by Margaret Drive Dormitory. In 2008, the authorities have identified 10 more sites for temporary foreign worker dormitories, with the Q'stown Polyclinic site in Margaret Drive being the closest to residential areas.The former Polyclinic is across the road from former site of 3 blocks of HDB flats, a Queenstown food centre and the Queenstown library.
Above photos were taken from 2nd level of former site of Blk 40A Queenstown food centre where I stood to snap a few shots of Queenstown Polyclinic in 2010 before the food centre demolished.
Blk 38 Food Centre still stands and operating
Now the site leaves only two remaining buildings - Queenstown Library and Blk 38 food centre which will soon to be and who knows.
Towards the Margaret Drive, there were the former schools which was built in early times before the new schools developed or renamed. More than two decade ago, I walked to the three primary schools at Margaret Drive, separated just by a fence, in a 3-storey SIT flat where the "New Optometry And Ocular Care Centre stands. There were three primary schools then - Birkhall Primary School, Strathmore Primary School and Queenstown Primary School. They all existed in the same school grounds, the first thing was Birkhall Primary School where the present Queenstown Primary School is, followed by the other two primary schools in tandem.
Margaret Drive Primary School, a school then for normal children but it was later demolished. On the same site a new building named Margaret Drive Special School was rebuilt for autistic children. Currently, it is renamed Rainbow Centre. Hua Yi Primary School existed on the same grounds as Margaret Drive Primary School but was built much later.

I would assume that the area of Queenstown along Margaret Drive is like a 'Deadtown' to me.
You can watch my video - Queenstown/Queensway cinema and bowl


  1. I saw that Indian lady who used to work at the bowling alley some years ago, it was a nice jolt to my brain. Brought back a lot of memories, can still recall the face of the other Chinese lady who looks quite "scary". There's also that skinny, balding Chinese guy who does the maintenance of the lanes and equipment..

    One other memory I have of the Q'town area is the Golden Crown Restaurant (Kim Kwan), it used to offer dim sum on pushcarts during weekend mornings.

    1. Yup...I remember it too...the fierce Indian lady but she is a friendly lady I used to chat with her.
      Also I remember there was once 'Queenstown' branch - OUB bank where I opened my account in Jan 1984 and still keep it since. Beside OUB bank, there was a Jewellery shop where I had 'ear-piercing'used by ear piercing gun in 1982..

  2. My memories of Queensway Shopping Centre do not seem to include the Queenstown Cinema and Bowl. Too bad I will not get to see it now. Certainly, I remember the Venus and Golden City cinemas, Tah Chung Emporium, Golden Crown Restaurant and their dim sum, Margaret Drive food centre, Queenstown library and polyclinic, even the swimming complex.

  3. Hi Catcat,

    You happen to have any pictures of the flats around Queen's Close vicinity which were demolished in mid to late 80s ?

    Much appreciated


  4. Well done, Sista. A well researched on Margaret Drive and focus on the Queenstown Bowl to capture the photos as the building to be demolished. You have taken lots of patience and efforts to witness it go, going, gone. A splendid blogger with passion and love to inspire us. Pls keep it up!