Where did these patterns come from?
Not from an old blanket but from Fairfield Methodist Church (花菲卫理公会). This church is located at the junction of Maxwell Road and Tanjong Pagar Road. The building has been conserved. (Owners of conservation buildings cannot demolish the buildings or make major alterations to their structures or facades.)
Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development at the 2005 URA Architectural Heritage Awards Presentation Ceremony at Malay Heritage Centre on 26 Sep 2005 said:
"Another post-war building approved for conservation is the former Metropole Cinema, otherwise known as Jing Hwa Cinema. Together with the Majestic and the Oriental, Jing Hwa Cinema, built in 1958, was one of Chinatown’s three famous cinemas. Some of you may recall traveling from outlying areas to catch your favourite Chinese movies there. Its successful new life as Fairfield Methodist Church today shows that modern-style buildings can be retained and modified for new use."The building was built in 1958 as Metropole Theatre (金華大戯院). It was one of three famous cinemas in Chinatown - the other two being Majestic Theatre and Oriental Theatre. In the 1990s, Metrolpole Theatre was converted into Fairfield Methodist Church.
As I mentioned in one of the clues, I took the photos from only one side of the building. As indicated by the red arrows, all the 4 patterns appeared in this photo:
Metropole Theatre (1958-1985):
The following description of Metropole Theatre was taken from 4 posters displayed on its ground floor:
This was the main ticketing booth of Metropole Cinema. Patrons could purchase $1 and $1.50 tickets for seats in the main cinema hall at Level 2. The cheaper $1 seats were in the first few rows.
Kuehn Hall [entrance door in the centre of the above photo] was part of the cinema's basement car park. This car park is significant because it is the first basement car park ever constructed in an air-conditioned cinema in Singapore!
The front of Kuehn Hall was the ticketing booth for the more expensive $2 and $2.50 circle seats at Level 4.
At both ticketing booths, cinema goers would choose their seats from a piece of paper that displayed the overall seating arrangement before the seat numbers were manually written on the tickets.
A typical cinema seating plan in those days looked like the one in the above photo. The ticket seller, usually a woman, would cross out with a blue or red colour pencil the seats on the plan for which the tickets have been sold.
To get to the various levels of the cinema, patrons could either use the main spiral staircase...
...or the lift which was manually operated by a dedicated lift operator. (You can see the current lift in one of the photos above.) The lift had a foldable iron gate as the lift door. (Please see this post for a description of a similar cage lift.)
More Recent Photos of the Church
But How Did The Interior of the Cinema Look Like in the 1960s?
All the black-and-white photos below are by courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore:
The above photos were taken at a speech by C.V. Devan Nair, Member of Education Advisory Council at the Metropole Theatre in 1964.
Do you recognise this very famous Cantonese star who made an appearance at the Metropole Theatre in 1967? She was only 16 then.
This is how she looks like today:
Yes, she is Sit Kar Yin, also known as Nancy Sit. She is still pretty and charming after all these years, just like the Metropole Theatre.
BullockCartWater's Metropole Cinema (Kum Wah)