The building at 410 Telok Blangah Road possesses a rich history. Once a cinema, it is occupied today by the Christian Community Chapel.
The Rise and Fall of Cinemas
The building was first constructed as Ciros cinema in 1958 by film distribution company Shaw Organisation. The $750,000 project culminated in a 744-seater cinema that screened mostly Tamil and Malay films.
According to Shaw Organisation’s website, by 1979, cinema attendance in Singapore had grown to 46.1 million attendees per year. This growth was short lived, however, as widespread video piracy and a global recession halved these numbers by mid-1980s. Singapore saw a wave of Shaw cinema closures, many of which were sold or leased to churches. Ciros Cinema was one of five cinemas which closed down in the 1980s.
A New Lease of Life
When Ciros Cinema closed down on 15 December 1983, Christian Community Chapel leased the building and later purchased it in 1987. In the church’s early days since its founding in 1977, worship meetings were held at various hotel conference facilities in Singapore. After moving into the building at Telok Blangah Road, the church conducted several renovation projects, with the most recent one happening in 2012.
Today, the church is a double-storey reinforced concrete building, with three tiers of double-pitched roofs and a flat roof lined with solar panels. It boasts a sleek exterior façade defined by elongated rectangular windows, a cantilevered canopy and a feature wall of vertical lines and a concrete frame.
The building’s striking architectural style is one of corporate modernism, characterised by the use of modern materials, minimal decoration, repetitive rectilinear geometric elements and subdued colour tones. The lack of traditional signs and symbols signify a transformative attitude away from Christian iconography. The retention of the cinema’s tiered seating also indicates the extent of modern influence on the church.
As of 2019, the church actively participates in regional and international missions, in countries such as Indonesia, China, Russia and Papua New Guinea. Short-term Outreach Mission teams have also ministered in Philippines, Mexico, Malaysia and India. The church also conducts weekly Sunday services as well as services for children and youth.
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 July 2020 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.