Lights out for cash-strapped Bruce Lee Club

July 19, 2016 11:22
This fan club in honor of  Bruce Lee (inset)  has occupied the same premises in Yau Ma Tei since its founding in 2001 when it paid just HK$1 rent. Now the rent is more than HK$10,000. Photos: Facebook/Bruce Lee Club, Wikipedia

Bruce Lee memorabilia are up for sale after a fan club that houses them decided to close, unable to make ends meet.

The Hong Kong Economic Journal is reporting that the club in Yau Ma Tei will shut its doors for the last time on Sept. 4, two months after it marks Lee's 43rd death anniversary. 

Dozens of items including books, posters, dolls, T-shirts and movie stills will be offered at a discount to the club's 600 members.

A tourbillon watch signed by the martial arts icon will be auctioned off in late September, club president Wong Yiu-keung said.

Wong said the club faces a HK$100,000 (US$12,900) deficit, mostly from rent.

It occupies 200 sq. ft. in IN's Point which it had rented for HK$1 when it opened in 2001 and less than HK$10,000 a month until last year.

Since then, the rent has been put up 37 percent by the new landlord, swelling the accumulated shortfall to HK$100,000, Wong said.

The club makes money from membership fees of HK$200 and from the sale of Bruce Lee-related items.

Admission is free.

Wong said the business model is no longer sustainable.

Meanwhile, fans have been asking why the club has failed to find a more suitable venue.

HKEJ has learned that the late Chinese tycoon Yu Pang-lin, who owned Lee’s former residence, had offered to turn it into a permanent memorial but years of talks with the government collapsed over differences in design.

The plan has been suspended since 2013.

The owner of Lung Wah Hotel in Sha Tin, which Lee used to patronize, wanted to remodel some floors into exhibit halls two years ago but dropped the idea due to license issues.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal