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Where to watch arthouse films in Hong Kong

By Min Ji Park 10 May 2022

Header image courtesy of Movie Movie Cityplaza (via Facebook)

As Hong Kong begins to open up, so do the cinemas—much to the joy of movie-goers everywhere. While there are many places where you can catch the latest blockbusters, the silver screens for arthouse films are a little harder to find.

Largely independent, sometimes foreign, and typically aimed at a niche market, arthouse films have a devoted following of their own. Here are some of the best places in Hong Kong to catch these cinematic works.

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Photo: Broadway Cinematheque (via Facebook)

Broadway Cinematheque

Walking into the Broadway Cinematheque evokes sense that you are entering a cinema. Its décor is a mosaic of posters, accented with dark wood and black tiles. Founded in 1996, this asymmetrical white building has remained one of the most eccentric places to see films in town, primarily functioning as an arthouse cinema. In addition to four screens, there is also a store and café called Kubrick—named for the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick—where you can browse books, DVDs, CDs, or have a coffee and discuss your favourite films.

What’s truly unique about this cinema is that it organises its own film festival, the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. It also screens selected works from almost every other film festival in Hong Kong. Showing the latest and internationally renowned arthouse films as well as mainstream features, Broadway Cinematheque is the place to be for any type of cinephile.

Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei

Hong Kong Film Archive

The Hong Kong Film Archive is the premier place for Hong Kong cinema buffs. Located on the waterfront of Sai Wan Ho, this is a place dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of Hong Kong cinema, and one of the few places where you can watch more obscure Hong Kong arthouse films. If you apply for an “audiovisual materials viewing card,” you can even view select materials from the vast collection of films at your own convenience.

Collecting, conserving, and cataloging film materials, the Hong Kong Film Archive is bursting with audiovisual materials, books, and magazines all about Hong Kong cinema. For a more traditional cinematic experience, check out the official website for film screening schedules in its 125-seat cinema and even a few outdoor screenings.

Hong Kong Film Archive, 50 Lei King Road, Sai Wan Ho | (+852) 2739 2139

Photo: Movie Movie Cityplaza (via Facebook)

Movie Movie Cityplaza

Movie Movie Cityplaza combines culture and lifestyle to create a singular cinematic experience. From mainstream to foreign and arthouse flicks, there’s something for everyone, and you can catch arthouse films here when they are commercially released or when your favourite film festival is going on—just check their website for the latest showtimes!

Decorated in warm wood and shiny brass, this cinema is the right balance of refined and cosy. If you have time before or after your feature, check out the culture and art space, House by Kubrick, for coffee and baked goods while browsing through books and souvenirs.

Movie Movie Cityplaza, 5/F, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2388 0002

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Palace IFC

If convenience is important to you, there’s a cinema right in the middle of the bustling IFC Mall where you can catch arthouse films. With five screens, Palace IFC is as regal as the name suggests, replete with marble interiors, a concession stand, and a bar.

What sets this cinema apart from the rest is its state-of-the-art sound system, which redefines surround sound by pinpointing each speaker’s location for an immersive experience. While Palace IFC screens a good selection of mainstream films, it also leaves room for independent and foreign movies, as well as select features from film festivals.

Palace IFC, Shop 1058B, Podium L1, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 2388 6268

Photo: Hong Kong Arts Centre (via Facebook)

Hong Kong Arts Centre

Founded in 1977 as a non-profit organisation, the Hong Kong Arts Centre is devoted to bringing arts and culture to the local Hong Kong community. Its Louis Koo Cinema, equipped with 119 seats, hosts screenings of alternative and non-mainstream films, as well as seminars, recitals, performances, and ceremonies.

Specialising in showcasing all art forms, you can also take in various art exhibitions and education courses located in the Hong Kong Arts Centre when you swing by to watch your film. Grab a bite or coffee at the restaurant and café before or after your event.

Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2582 0200

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Min Ji Park

Writer

Born in Korea and raised in Hong Kong, Min Ji spends most of her time wishing it were a little bit colder. A fan of low-key yet meaningful experiences, she can be found watching movies with her dog, taking photographs, and listening to any and all kinds of music.

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