Wo Ping Theatre
Des Voeux Road Central,
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The Empire Cinematograph was a cinema situated in the Central District on the Hong Kong Island.
The theatre was reportedly to be a rectangular shaped godown like building with triangular shaped iron roof.
It opened at an unknown date before 8th April, 1910, and was in business in the early-1910’s. Its exact closing date is unavailable.
Besides vaudeville shows, films were also shown at the theatre. Some artists performed at the theatre were come from Australia. The theatre claimed to be the "premier hall of the Colony."
In 1919, the Wo Ping Theatre was in business on the site of the former Empire Cinematograph. Whether the Wo Ping Theatre was renovated or rebuilt from the former Empire Cinematograph is unknown.
The Wo Ping Theatre was a live theatre for the performances of Cantonese operas with the exception of July and the first-halves of August of 1921 when films were shown.
From 25th July, 1921 through 12th August, 1921, the theatre was renamed as the Empire Theatre while the Coronet Theatre was closed for renovation. On 16th August, 1921, Mr. Li Siu-lan, the clown of the Chow Fung Nin Theatrical Company was murdered on the stage. On 9th November, 1921,the theatre closed its doors as the land lease of the theatre building expired.
The theatre demolished on 10th November, 1921 and a fire station was built. The fire station had been demolished in the 1980’s and the headquarter building of the Hang Seng Bank was built on the site.
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