Film fans have a new reason to cross the harbor. Less than two weeks ago, the UA cinema chain opened an IMAX theater in the brand new iSquare shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Previously, those seeking the thrills of the massive IMAX screen had to trek all the way out to Megabox in Kowloon Bay. The new cinema is far more conveniently located, with two exits that spill directly into iSquare from the main Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.
What else does iSquare offer?
Aside from the UA cinema, there’s not much yet to browse because so few shops are open.[photopress:iSquare_shopping_mall_Hong_K.jpg,full,pp_image]
The current occupancy seems only around twenty-five percent. They have a few new restaurants and shops, but most of the tenants are simply new branches of familiar chains.
Roaming the mall I spotted yet another new burger joint (enough already!) – Kraze Burger, in addition to a new frozen yogurt shop, Best Berry.[photopress:Kraze_Burgers_Hong_Kong_TST.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:best_berry_yogurt_Hong_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image]
The mall has a peculiar layout, with a network of long-haul, multi-story escalators that run along the Nathan Road side of the building.[photopress:isquare_shop_mall_HK_TST_Hong.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Isquare_K11_shopping_mall_HK.jpg,full,pp_image]
Since the glass is clear, the view is good, but perhaps it takes you away from the shops, and prevents you from browsing. This is in contrast to traditional shopping centers, where the escalators run along the central interior of the shopping mall, enabling you a view of shops on either side in-between floors.
One interesting technique is iSquare’s ample use of digital projectors. As you ride along the escalators, or pass through certain hallways, projectors beam designs and motion graphics against the wall.[photopress:escalator_advertising_Hong_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:UA_imax_isquare_Hong_Kong_TST.jpg,full,pp_image]
Though this is currently used for beautification purposes, it wouldn’t take much to begin creating advertising opportunities and selling them to the mall’s tenants. Shoppers riding the long escalators are a captive audience after all.
iSquare – the new face of TST?
The iSquare shopping mall stands in contrast to most of the surrounding buildings in Tsim Sha Tsui. Rising up many stories above its neighbors, its mammoth size and modern design are perhaps a precursor to what may soon be commonplace in the neighborhood.[photopress:iSquare_mall_hong_kong_HK_shop.jpg,full,pp_image]
As the height limits of the area have expired with the closing of the old airport, a new vertical building boom has been slowly taking place. One only need to look further to West Kowloon to see what is possible. (Perhaps in a reversal, buildings in Central may be dwarfed by their Kowloon counterparts.)
UA iSquare IMAX movie theater
With its 3D special effects, Avatar is a great first film to christen the iSquare IMAX cinema. In addition to the IMAX, there are several other screens at the multiplex.
Tickets for the IMAX screening of Avatar aren’t cheap at a whopping $170 HKD per seat! The least expensive option is early morning on a Tuesday, which still goes for $120 HKD. Perhaps the reason for the extra high price is that filmgoers must wear 3D glasses for the Avatar screening (which you can keep after the movie.) Normal IMAX films are around $120 HKD. Despite the high price, the iSquare IMAX theater is nearly sold out (except early mornings) for over a week in advance![photopress:UA_IMAX_Hong_Kong_cinema_theatre.jpg,full,pp_image]
Kowloon shopping options to overtake Hong Kong Island?
iSquare is just one of a group of new shopping malls in Tsim Sha Tsui. The neighborhood is experiencing a spurt of new shopping destinations including iSquare, 1881, K11, and a complex under construction at the intersection of Granville and Nathan Roads.[photopress:1881_shopping_Tsim_Sha_Tsui_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] 1881 [photopress:K11_shopping_mall_TST.jpg,full,pp_image] K11 [photopress:granville_Road_shopping.jpg,full,pp_image]
Hong Kong Island snobs will be surprised when they finally take a trip over. Canton Road alone is giving Central a run for the title of best luxury shopping in Hong Kong. More on this topic in an upcoming post!
i Square shopping mall
63 Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
(Exit H from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station)
UA i Square IMAX
7/F, 63 Nathan Road
i Square shopping mall
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon