Hong Kong hidden gems : the Shaw Villa
This magnificent abandoned villa belonged to the Shaw family and was part of the Shaw Brothers Studio complex which was built in the 1960’s in Clearwater Bay.
The site was also home to the TVB headquarters (1986-2003) and Celestial Pictures but has been vacant since 2003. The new Shaw Brothers studio in Lohas Park opened in 2005 and is dedicated to film and TV series productions for Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Several redevelopment projects were aborted thanks to the Hong Kong’s Antiquities Advisory Board which declared the complex a site of cultural significance – the entire Shaw Studio Compound was accorded a Grade 1 status with separate gradings for each individual building in 2015. Sadly, judging from the construction sites that can be seen there today, it seems only a few buildings will be saved and that most of the site will eventually disappear – to be replaced by a residential project. From the last available information online, only the facade of the Shaw Villa might be preserved.
Shaw Brothers was modeled after the classic Hollywood system, with hundreds of actors signed to exclusive contracts. Their films were highly popular and later influenced many filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, who paid homage to the studio by displaying their logo in his Kill Bill: Volume 1 and 2 films. Shaw Brothers ceased film production in 1986 because of competition from Golden Harvest, which had considerable success internationally with martial arts films.
The complex originally comprised of movie and TV sets, an apartment complex which housed Shaw actors and Shaw House and Villa.
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