Built by Eu Tong Sen in 1927 for his wife after an incident in which she was denied entry into a theatre, the Majestic Theatre staged Cantonese operas and was initially named Tien Yien Moh Toi Theatre (天演舞台).
The Majestic’s architecture reflects its connection to Singapore’s Cantonese community, as evidenced by its mosaics depicting dragons from Chinese folklore along with its tiled façade that showcases scenes from Cantonese opera.
It also incorporates Western architectural sensibilities that reflect how the Cantonese community attempted to navigate a Western environment while holding on to their Cantonese roots.
Having a storied past, the Majestic survived the Japanese Occupation, where it was renamed Tai Hwa Opera House, and was used to screen Japanese propaganda films. From 1938 to 1945, it was rented by Shaw Brothers, where it was called Queen’s Theatre and was used to screen Cantonese films.
After World War II, it was rented by another tenant called the Majestic Film Company, and renamed Majestic Theatre. In the 1950’s and 60’s it attracted film stars such as Grace Chang, Lin Dai and Ge Lan, as well as film entrepreneur Loke Wan Tho of the Cathay Organisation who bought the theatre with partners, Wong Siew Leng and Teo Cheng Hay. Subsequently, Cathay Organisation assumed building ownership in 1983.
Following this, it became a shopping mall in 2003, assuming its current name.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of September 2019 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.