Hsin Kang Theater 新港戲院

Scoping out another derelict theater in small town Taiwan.

Hsin Kang Theater 新港戲院 is located in the small town of Xīngǎng 新港, Chiayi 嘉義, not far from the famous Fèngtiān Temple 奉天宮. Multiple sources agree it went out of business in 1988—a victim of shifting consumer preferences and demographic changes in small town Taiwan 台灣—but the actual age of the building is somewhat uncertain. This academic reference suggests it was founded in 1929, in the midst of the Japanese colonial era, but the theater was almost certainly renovated or completely rebuilt in the post-war period.

This is supposedly of Japanese colonial vintage but the architecture is pure post-war KMT.

After many idle years the theater is now rented out for use by the big Mazu temple in town, the halfway point of the immense Dajia Mazu pilgrimage 大甲媽祖遶境進香活動 (also see my account here). There is some talk of turning the old theater into a traditional arts center or something but presently the interior is only used for storage, as can be seen in this television news report. With a horseshoe-shaped balcony level it reminds me of another post-war theater, Xinxing Theater in Xinpu 新埔, albeit with a recently renovated rooftop.

There aren’t any good angles on these cramped streets behind the big temple.
The old ticket booth and signboard.
30 NT full fare, 15 NT for veterans and students.
A parting glance at the old theater. The old man out front obviously knows a lot about its history but he was dozing off and I didn’t want to disturb him with my lousy Chinese.

Finally, a note about naming conventions: usually I roll with standard pinyin but in cases like these where there’s an official Wade–Giles romanization out front I’ll use that instead. If you’re interested in more information about this theater you’ll find it mentioned here, here, here, and here, all in Chinese of course.

Taiwan Summer Road Trip 2017 台灣中南部機車旅行

Throughout the summer of 2017 I undertook a series of scooter trips around central and southern Taiwan, eventually visiting Nántóu 南投, Changhua 彰化, Yúnlín 雲林, Tainan 台南, and Kaohsiung 高雄 before returning to Taichung 台中. I had no specific objective apart from visiting more places I had encountered in ongoing research and stopping to check out anything interesting along the way.

  1. Taiwan Summer Road Trip 2017: Taichung to Nantou
  2. Dongping Tobacco Barn 東平菸樓
  3. Puli Tuberculosis Sanatorium 埔里肺結核療養所
  4. Kezikeng New Community 柯子坑新社區
  5. Nanyun Gas Station 南雲加油站
  6. Jiuqiong Village Tobacco Barn 九芎村菸樓
  7. Yixin Vocational High School 益新工商職業學校
  8. Postcards From Ershui 二水明信片
  9. Ershui Assembly Hall 二水公會堂
  10. Xizhou Theater 溪州戲院
  11. Xiluo Bridge 西螺大橋
  12. Postcards From Xiluo 西螺明信片
  13. Xiluo Yisheng Theater 西螺一生戲院
  14. Beigang Theater 北港劇場
  15. Liujiao Brick Kiln 六腳磚窯
  16. Shuangxikou Brick Kiln 雙溪口磚窯
  17. Hsin Kang Theater 新港戲院
  18. Dalin Xinxing Theater 大林新興戲院
  19. Lingxiao Temple 凌霄殿

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1 Comment

  1. At first glance I thought that it is located in Hong Kong xD
    This website is an invaluable masterpiece where treasures hid therein. I definitely will stroll along this site whenever I am available. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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