Cinema Prosecutions: Interesting Points Raised at Police Court
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A number of summons were heard by Mr. J. R. Wood, at the Police Court this morning, against the proprietors of the Victoria Theatre, the Hong Kong Cinema [sic], and the Empire Cinematograph Theatre. The summons against the Victoria Theatre was for failing to keep two buckets of water and a wetted blanket immediately outside the box containing the cinematograph machine during the performance on the night of July 27, and there was a similar complaint against the Hongkong Cinema. This theatre was also summoned for not operating the machine in a box constructed of sheet iron or of wood lined with sheet asbestos. Mr. Lai Wing-kee said the Hongkong Theatre was altered specially for a cinema and approved by the P.W.D. It was inspected periodically, about once a month. The Empire Cinema: Mr. Gardiner appeared to defend the licence-holder and Mr. Jenkin, the prosecutor, who said that in this case performances were being given whilst entirely without a licence. The licence had expired and had not been renewed because of failure to comply with certain provisions against fire asked for by the C.S.P. Mr. Gardiner made an explanatory statement saying that his client thought that the licence expired at the end of July, whereas it really expired at the end of June. To get a renewal, certain alternations and an additional fire hydrant were required by the C.S.P. and a letter was sent to Mr. Caer Clarke, the architect, some time ago. Owing to the failure of his clerk, or of himself, Mr. Clarke had overlooked the matter and nothing had been done when the licence expired and therefore a renewal had not been obtained. Mr. Clarke had promised to come into Court and state the fact.