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Singaporeans reminisce their good times at The Cathay shortly before it closes for 1.5 years renovation

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The building seems deeply steeped in so many people’s youthful memories

SINGAPORE: It was announced at the beginning of the year that The Cathay, one of the country’s iconic buildings, would be closed for a year and a half for a major revamp, its first in 20 years.

Its cinema closed after 83 years on June 27, 2022, and The Cathay’s tenants were told they needed to close their doors by Aug 18. But the building seems deeply steeped in so many people’s youthful memories.

Photo: Wikipedia/The Cathay

DJ Joakim Gomez posted a video on TikTok of the things he’ll miss about The Cathay last week, writing that the building had been the site of some of his best memories, but it’s now “Its now a completely ghost (t)own, everything’s shut and torn down.”


Student Tickets, Board Games, and Gramophone. Some of my best memories of this place ever since its opening. Its now a completely ghost down, everything’s shut and torn down. #Singapore

♬ What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture “Barbie”] – Billie Eilish

Mr Gomez, who studied at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), said he would visit during breaks or after school.

He also recounted meeting his date and friends there before heading for clubbing.

“This place smelling like SOTA (School of the Arts),” he wrote, adding, “Buying Popeye’s, then playing $6 for off-peak student price movie tickets, and sneaking my Popeye’s into the cinema.”

He also had some romantic memories of bringing a date for Michelin-starred food when he was a “broke a** student” and holding her hand in the elevator after the midnight movie.

He thanked The Cathay for his fond memories.

His video caused many other Singaporeans to reminisce about The Cathay as well.


Others had a special place in their hearts for US-diner-style restaurant Billy Bombers.

Inspired by Mr Gomez, a British TikTok user who had grown up in Singapore, also posted her memories of The Cathay.

Daisy (@daizamazze) wrote that the place had been “such a big part” of her teen years and that it was “so weird so see it empty!!”


so weird so see it empty!! such a historical building, and was such a big part of my teen years. 😭 #singapore #tiktoksg #singaporetiktok #cathay

♬ original sound – daisy – daisy

She had studied at SOTA and said a secret entrance on The Cathay’s second or third floor led to the school.

Maybe it’s connected to this one:


👻Exploring The Hidden Staircase At The Cathay: Shortcut To Sophia Hill #singapore #thecathay #sophiahill #staircase #exploresg #hikingadventures #tiktoksg #fyp

♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs – Skittlegirl Sound

Goodbye for now to The Cathay. You will be missed! /TISG

Cathay was much more than just another cinema and building

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