Founder of Eng Wah cinemas passes away

Writer: Florey DM

Founder of Eng Wah Global, Mr Goh Eng Wah.

9 Sep – Touted as the pioneer of local cinema industry in both film distribution and exhibition, founder of Eng Wah Global Goh Eng Wah was revealed to have passed away recently.

According to the company's statement, Eng Wah breathed his last on 5 September 2015.

Eng Wah founded his company in 1946 and for the next 70 years, he had successfully built it to become one of Singapore's major brands. The company's business spans entertainment, properties, hospitality, and lifestyle in both Singapore and Malaysia.

In post-war Singapore, he managed several iconic entertainment businesses including Happy Theatre, Victory Theatre in Gay World and Silver World Theatre, which eventually led to his management of Happy World.

The company currently manages brands such as WE Cinemas (was known as Eng Wah Cinema prior to a rebranding in recent years), Hotel Fort Canning, Jubilee Square, 321 Clementi, and The Legends Fort Canning Park.

As a pioneering film producer, Mr Goh played an integral role in the cinema history of Cantonese films in Hong Kong as he brought Hong Kong and Taiwanese stars for movie promotions in Singapore. He also financed several movies including 1974's "Hiroshima 28".

Earlier this year, Eng Wah received the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) SG50 Outstanding Chinese Business Pioneers Award in recognition of his contribution towards Singapore.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, as well as five grandsons.

He was 92.

(Photo source: The Straits Times)

Cinema Online, 09 September 2015