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XXX Restricted Access @ MyQueenstown #2 - Palace KTV

By my queenstown on Sunday, October 3, 2010 with 5 comments


Situated at the ground level (or basement for some) of the Former Queenstown Cinema and Bowling Alley, Palace KTV was one of the most contemporary entertainment hotspots in the country. Opened in 1980s, it was the premier location for the booming karaoke culture where any amateurs could sing along with recorded music using a microphone! Palace KTV was also the first generation Karaoke Box which descended in Singapore from Japan. Today, the interior of the once proudest establishment in Queenstown was a shadow of her past. There were neither addictive dance beats nor soothing sentimental ballads. Only dust, dangled wires and broken mirrors remained.

The iconic sign board of Palace KTV

Karaoke singing was one of the most popular pastimes in the 1970s and 80s (even today). A room at the KTV cost $2/hr and throngs of crowd could be spotted along foyer in front of the KTV every weekend nights. Of course, Palace KTV was also a place for the imperious teenagers and gangsters and there were accounts of fights and quarrels outside the KTV. 

Entrance of Palace KTV

There was no single voltage of electricity when the correspondent entered the popular hangout spot. Torches were used but it remained pitch dark. It was quite difficult to locate within the giant hall. 

Wooden Partition that leads to the Main Hall

Victorian style wooden doors greeted the correspondent as he walked his way into the main hall. Just like the cinema theatre featured in Restricted Access lasted week, the concrete floor was wet and there were muddy puddles in the hall. Electric wires hanged aimlessly in the air and spotlight holders were rusty. The hall, which used to be a central karaoke point, was visibly bigger as the sofas and chairs were removed.

Spacious Interior of the Hall

Location of the Bar Counter

What's left of the bar counter were greased walls and protruding wires. The concept of a bar counter were novel during the 1980s. Until that time, beer establishments used to bring the beer to the patron's seat. A bar enabled the manager or bartender to do his paperwork while keeping eye on his customers. Customers could be served more efficiently and the other more private lounges and rooms could still retain their privacy.

Dangling Wires and Wet Concrete Floor

Unlike the main hall, there were many private lounges at the other end of Palace KTV. Some of the private lounges were destroyed and there was 6 such rooms left. A peek into the karaoke rooms revealed the stage of modernity. The walls were sound proof and there were numerous spotlight holders.


One of the Karaoke Rooms

Modern Soundproofing Equipment Used

Early karaoke machines used cassette tapes and manual track changing functions of the television. As MyQueenstown Team understands, technology was not advanced at that point and many low-end entertainment systems have a karaoke mode that attempts to remove the vocal track from regular audio tapes or CDs. The crudeness of this approach is reflected in the reverberation of the voice track and other musical instruments were inadvertently removed. Laserdiscs were introduced in the late 70s and compact discs in the mid-80s. 

Entrance to another Lounge in Palace KTV

The Huge KTV Room

This is the Largest Room

Hexagonal shaped mirrors and glass windows line along the corridor which leads to the other entrance of the KTV. The walls are corroded and it seemed as if the wall was going to fall anytime.

Corridor in Palace KTV

Another Entrance of Palace KTV

All the Credit Card Signs Remained Clear

Much of the ceiling in the complex were weathered and rain seepages had caused the floors to be slippery and smelly. Although there were no lights, no stereo equipment and no furnitures, the wooden entrances remained stout and firm as they creaked open. The signages and the display windows were covered with a thin layer of dust but it did not conceal its glorious past. 

Display Windows at the 2nd Entrance

The Entrance along Commonwealth Avenue

The metal shutters blocked daylight from entering the complex, just like how it had terminated the KTV's request for continued glory and shut it from youths, vibrancy and energy. There were several branches of Palace KTVs in Thomson and Orchard operating at the moment, therefore, it would be rude for us to condemn this leisure spot as a unworthy competitor to those mega KTV chains.   Whatever happens, Palace KTV was once the symbol of our youth and our grace. 

Queenstown was young before...

Read also: Restricted Access@MyQueenstown: Former Queenstown Cinema

What happened to the Bowling Alley and KFC outlet? Don't Forget to Read Restricted Access@MyQueenstown next Sunday!

What are your memories of the KTV? Tell us at our facebook page!


Category: Places , Restricted Access

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5 comments:

Liam said...
October 3, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Good post! keep it coming

Colin Tan said...
October 3, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Makes me so sad about the impending destruction of the cinemas and the bowling alley. time flies

Eriane said...
October 3, 2010 at 6:21 PM

I dont think that Palace KTV was opened in 1976. I could strongly recall that Palace KTV was converted from a bowling shop and a some sort of a lobby in late 90s.

Carrie Wong said...
October 3, 2010 at 7:10 PM

It was opened either in late 70s or early 80s. The KTV closes in late 1990s.

mike said...
December 4, 2013 at 12:47 AM

Late 8o to late 9os. I was a waiter cum barman from 93 to 94. Happy hrs 3pm and late nite sessions til 2am. It is actually in the basement and the cinema on the top level. during breaktime i wil go to the rooftop for a smoke and see mrts passing..memories..so sad.

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