The Yau Ma Tei Theatre (YMTT), which is classified as a Grade 2 historic building, is the only pre-World War II cinema building that remains in the urban area. The building, which opened its doors on June 14, 1930, is characterised by mixed Chinese and Western design, with a Chinese pitched roof, an art deco façade and Dutch gable walls. For several generations, it was a popular place for film buffs and, according to existing records, its first film, "A Plum with Him", was shown on June 21, 1930.
To commemorate the opening of the former Yau Ma Tei Theatre 82 years ago, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will present two "Cantonese Opera Excerpts" at 2.30pm on June 16 (Saturday) and 17 (Sunday, also Father's Day). Elderly people born in 1930 and a companion are invited to enjoy these free performances, to reminisce about the fond memories of the cinema and to celebrate the YMTT's conversion into a performance venue as well as Father's Day.
The "Cantonese Opera Excerpts" are one of the commissioned programmes before the opening. The excerpts, entitled "Stealing of Immortal Herbs" from "The Legend of the White Snake", and "Leading Good Fortune to Home" from "Zhong Kui Marrying His Sister Off", are organised by the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong. Well-known Cantonese opera star Law Kar-ying is the artistic director of the programme and the performers will include experienced Cantonese opera performer Cheng Wing-mui and budding artists.
The YMTT (including the Yau Ma Tei Theatre and the Red Brick Building) will have its official opening in mid-July. The venue has now been converted into a performing arts venue for the promotion of Chinese opera, and in particular as a training and performance venue for nurturing Cantonese opera talents. The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, the venue partner at the YMTT since April this year, has the mission of nurturing upcoming and young Cantonese opera performers.
Members of the public who have elderly family members or friends born in 1930 may send a stamped self-addressed envelope together with a copy of documentary proof (such as the senior citizen card to show the year of the birth of the person eligible for the tickets) to the Administration Office of the YMTT, 1/F, Red Brick Building, 8 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, on or before June 6. "Show for the Elderly" with the choice of performance date should be marked on the envelope. Please also indicate whether seats suitable for wheelchair users are required.
Each eligible elderly person will be entitled to two tickets for either performance. In view of the limited tickets available, successful tickets will be allocated by drawing lots and tickets will be sent out by June 13.
Some tickets will be allotted to 1930-born elderly persons living in Yau Tsim Mong District through the nine district elderly community centres or neighbourhood elderly centres subvented by the Social Welfare Department. Interested and eligible elderly persons or their family members may approach their respective centres for details.
The programme is in Cantonese without subtitles. The programme leaflet is now available at the YMTT and LCSD performing arts venues. For details, please visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/ymtt/en/c_programmes.php. Enquiries can be made on 2264 8108.
Ends/Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Yau Ma Tei Theatre after conversion.
The Theatre of the Yau Ma Tei Theatre after conversion.