The meteoric rise of Hong Kong's entertainment industry took place in the 1970s to '80s, propelled by the city's rapid economic growth.
Facing prosperity but an uncertain political identity, the booming sector morphed into a defining cultural force, shaping the identity of millions of Hongkongers.
At its zenith, Hong Kong stars were household names among the Chinese community worldwide, a source of pride for the city. In the past decade, however, with fans' attention turning to K-pop and local artistes taking their acts to the more lucrative mainland market, some of this lustre has been lost, and with it, an important element of what it means to be a Hongkonger.
This week, City Weekend looks at the rise and fall of the entertainment scene and the fortunes of pop idols in Hong Kong during those glory years when the industry was dubbed the "Hollywood of the East".
HOW DID HONG KONG ENTER ITS GOLDEN ERA OF SHOWBIZ?
In the 1980s and '90s, Hong Kong's film industry was the third-largest in the world after Bollywood and Hollywood. By then, names such as Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and filmmaker Wong Kar-wai had gained international stardom.
But the blossoming of showbiz in Hong Kong came a decade before such heights. Canto-pop took rise in the mid-1970s when "God of Songs" Sam Hui Koon-kit began singing love songs in Cantonese. Marrying the tones of Western music with modern Chinese lyrics sung in Cantonese, the emerging style immediately captured the hearts of Hongkongers.
The city's entertainment industry came together, as television, film and music formed a collective empire. Rivalries that developed between local television powerhouses, such as TVB and what has since become ATV, became one such stage for Canto-pop's explosion.
In the 1980s, all-rounded film, television, and music performers such as Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk, and Anita Mui Yim-fong spread Hong Kong's culture to the world. In an industry where stars can rise and fall with the sun, Hong Kong's first superstars have remained well-loved and revered, some even in death.