This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shimending (Ximending) Taipei, Taiwan

Just jump into a cab and give your best pronunciation of the place. The drivers knew where we wanted to go anyway, so down to Shimending we would travel.

Although my friend had introduced me to the Silver Carriage and the Barbarian previously, these two destinations were a treat for my wife and me. Just drink the lemon juice to be safe.

Then we were off to a movie. We both liked the old Chinese martial arts films from the Shaw Brothers studios in Hong Kong where over 800 films were produced.

Just read the subtitles and the plot played out. There were other brothers, but the best known is Run Run Shaw. The man is still alive at 103 as of this writing.

When Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon became such a big hit in the US, we wondered what the big deal was as we had seen this type of movie decades ago.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that Cheng Pei Pei played Jade Fox in the film. She was a favorite back in 1968-69 as was (Jimmy) Wang Yu.

The American movies in Shimending were in English with Chinese subtitles.  

Taken from a taxi, this picture may be a theater or possibly an advertisement for a movie. 

Regardless, it's on the east side of Chung Shan North Road as we are heading south toward Shimending.

This picture has been scanned at least ten times, but a bad picture can only be corrected so much.

Taken from the pedestrian bridge leading down into the district, this photo shows the buildup of traffic and the open area around the entrance.

Here we are, ready to enter the theater district.

The Ximending entrance area as it looks today

For those of you who remember the Red House Theater, it's still there.

See it by clicking HERE.

These would be some of the most popular theaters that existed back in 1968.

This may have been the Lux Theater location, even back then.

WuChang Street was the heart of the movie district back in the late 1960s.

We saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, Oliver! and Bullitt at several of the Chinese movie houses.

Just as we were getting settled in our balcony seats to watch Steve McQueen, THE chase started. If you would like to see the reality of the chase, click HERE.

Blown up, it's blurry. But in CinemaScope, this is how the screen appeared. To see a Shaw Brothers movie tribute, click HERE. 

This movie we actually saw at one of the Shimending theaters. For a movie trailer from Golden Swallowclick HERE.

In this general area as well were the dance halls. Usually several stories up by elevator, they were mostly ballroom dancing places with an orchestra.

A fire trap for sure, the one I was in had no windows and not enough exits. My friend and I left in a hurry.

Last thing----check out some Ximending magic---click HERE.


  1. >this picture may be a theater or possibly an advertisement for a movie.

    It's a movie theater called Jinshan(Gold Mountain) Theater(金山戲院), opened on July 14, 1957. Its address is No. 89-1 Section 2, ZhōngShān(Chung Shan) North Road, Jhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan.
    (1957)7.14 位於台北市中山北路二段89-1號的金山戲院(原環球戲院)裝修完畢,重新開幕。

  2. Thank you, Victor. If anyone would know, it would be you. Just think how inaccurate this would be if you were not a contributor. Cheers!

  3. anybody know of the Signal compound taipei reported there in 1960, worked Gold Mountain