GB Point (Former Mandarin Theatre)

Places
GB Point, which sits at the junction of Kallang Bahru and Geylang Bahru, used to house Mandarin Theatre—one of the oldest cinemas in Singapore operated by cinema giant, Eng Wah Organisation.
140 Yio Chu Kang Road, Singapore 545587
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Along with theatres at two other locations—Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh—the Mandarin Theatre at Kallang Bahru was one of Eng Wah Organisation’s ventures into the heartlands of Singapore during the late 1970s.

Built in 1977, the one-screen cinema specialised in Chinese films, and catered mainly to the residents living in Kallang Bahru and Upper Boon Keng Road. As it was the only cinema located near the Kallang Basin Industrial Park and Victoria School (formerly located at Geylang Bahru Lane), workers and students would flock to catch a movie after work or school.

As the needs of the residents in the area grew in the 1990s, Mandarin Theatre was converted to a two-screen cinema. This meant that they could have a larger selection of movies. Screenings for newer but lesser known titles from Hong Kong were scheduled on weekday mornings, while more popular titles were screened during afternoon and night shows.

As one of the oldest cinemas in Singapore, Mandarin Theatre faced fierce competition from other multiplexes, many of which featured a larger range of movie choices and better facilities. The cinema gradually became known as one that screened older titles and eventually closed its doors in 2000.

The vacant building was partially demolished and redeveloped as GB Point, a commercial building. Currently, the three-storey modern reinforced concrete building has had new windows added on the facades, and a new coat of paint with a vertical pattern applied on the exterior, to achieve its contemporary look.

Today, people no longer visit the building to catch a late-night show. Yet, the former cinema, which now houses offices, a kindergarten, elderly care centre, a clubhouse and some F&B outlets, still serves the residents in the area as it did before.

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.