Cinema-turned-church named after the River Thames
Chan Cinema circuit
Did you know that this building used to be a famous cinema? Isis Cinema theatre was the first venture of local cinema tycoon Chan. What started with one theatre in the booming 1960s grew into the Newport cinema circuit, the city’s premier entertainment brand. In the early days, Mr Chan rented out the theatres to film distributors. At one point in the 1980s, Isis Theatre was even showing pornographic films! Later Newport bought in mainly English films. At its peak in 1992, Chan’s Newport Circuit owned a total of 17 cinemas!
Isis was a cinema until 1999 when Mr Chan sold the premises to the evangelical Tung Fook Church. But you can still see many of the theatre's original details, like the sloping façade where movie billboards were hung, as well as the four-storey tall street signage.
Follow the river
Not many people knew that the Isis Theatre was named after the River Thames’ lesser-known nickname – The Isis. When visiting the Cotswolds, Mr Chan fell in love with the tranquil and pristine waters of the Isis and named his new cinema after the river.