Retail in Asia

In Shops

Hong Kong’s cinemas squeezed out by luxury retailers

Soaring rents are forcing cinema operators in Hong Kong to downsize, relocate, or even shut down in prime districts, such as Causeway Bay.

And the immediate outlook for the industry is likely to get even bleaker as some landlords opt not to renew tenancies of cinemas on ground- or lower-level floors in shopping malls, in order to relet the space to luxury goods retailers who can pay much higher rents, letting agents said.

UA Cinema Circuit is reopening on the 12th floor of Times Square in Causeway Bay, having failed to secure the renewal of its lease on lower-floor premises with a street-level entrance; and at the IFC mall in Central, Palace IFC cinema and restaurants had little choice but to downsize or be edged out by luxury goods retailers after rents were raised by up to 40 per cent as leases came up for renewal.

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