Wing Lok Theatre / 永樂戲院 [1953-1970] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Wing Lok Theatre / 永樂戲院 [1953-1970]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

Seating capacity: 1,261

​Address:  Bulkeley Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.  Hing Bank Building is the current occupant at the site.  The theatre was located either at the northeast corner of the Gilles Avenue South - Bulkeley Street intersection, or, more likely, the northwest corner of the Bulkeley - Kun Yam intersection.  (Edit: August 3, 2021 - Location marker corrected as per informarion provided by reader below.) 

​Information collected thus far reveals only general information including its address.  One source listed below states that it was opened some time in the early 1950s, and it was closed in July 1970.  The Hunghom Wing Lok Theatre Company Ltd. was incorporated on March 28, 1952 and its date of dissolution was February 14, 1975.  Hence, one may assume that the theatre took about a year to build which would put its opening date sometime in 1953.



Photos that show this place


The address of this theater appeared in an old Chinese newspaper 大公報, 1970-05-18, page4. There was an assault incident on theater staff the day before. The address was given as Walker Street. So it must be at the site of one of the residential buildings there at the intersection of Walker and Bulkeley Street because most sources put the location at Bulkeley Street too.  There is one other source which has the location on a 1960s map at the south-west corner of that intersection (second link below). The photo showing the theater at Chatham road is quite puzzling. Possible explanation is that it has moved in the 60s.

Thank you simtang for the information.  I have moved the marker as per your advice.  The map (your second link) was helpful.  While it was difficult to see clearly the names of the old streets, the curved Ping Chi Road  just to the north confirmed the location.  The sign on Chatham Road was likely placed there to attract travellers.  Regards,  Peter

That photo showing the "Wing Lok theater" sign is really old.There is a photo showing a gate built around that location on Chatham road celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II with that sign in the background. That means the theater existed already before June 1953. Your photo is also quite old, possibly taken in the 50s because it shows a bus coming out from Bulkeley street. We know there was no traffic on Bulkeley street in the 60s because the road was occupied by street hawkers. That place was known as the "Bulkeley Market". Looking more carefully, your photo also shows part of that gate built in 1953 (the column of the gate on the right). It is also possible the bus is coming out from Wuhu street. 

The other day I came across a 1968 aerial photo of Hunghom village published by the Hong Kong Housing Society. I discovered that it also has captured the Wing Lok theater. Though it is from a distance, it doesn't look like the residenial buildings surrounding it. It is at the southwest corner of the walker-bulkeley junction. There is also the Bou Lee building built in 1964 at the northwest corner of same junction which still exists today. The Bou Lee building in the photo can be compared with the one on Google map. Therefore the building with a yellow circle around it should be the Wing Lok theater. Note that the camera was facing south. One can see the Hunghom pier or rather a ferry boat at the upper left corner of the picture. I am also wondering what that huge building at the upper left corner of the picture is. Looking at Google map, it actually is the Whampoa building built in 1967. I never realized it is that tall.

永樂戲院 photo.png
永樂戲院 photo.png, by simtang