Yau Ma Tei Theatre (YMTT), which is a Grade 2 historic building, and the Red Brick Building, listed as a Grade 1 historic building, have been revitalised into a contemporary performing arts venue, in particular for the promotion of Cantonese opera. The external appearance of the original buildings, as well as some of their structural elements and architectural features, has been carefully preserved.
Guided tours will be arranged from December to March next year for the public to tour the two buildings, walk down memory lane and learn more about the architectural features and interesting findings behind the revitalisation project.
The guided tours, to be conducted in Chinese, will be held on December 15 and 30, January 12 and 27, February 2 and 3 and March 16 and 17. Two sessions will be held at 10.30am and 11.30am on these days. Each session, for 15 to 20 persons, will last for about 45 minutes. Admission is free and the quota is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For advance registration, please call 2264 8108.
YMTT was once a popular spot for film buffs and has provided space for leisure and entertainment for the area's residents, who have fond memories of the venue. It was meant to be a modest building and was built with brick and granite, the most basic and common materials at the time.
It is characterised by mixed Chinese and Western design including its Chinese pitched roof, an art deco fa?ade and Dutch gable walls, and the most striking features are the two pillars at the front entrance, engraved with crying and laughing masks, as well as the theatre's proscenium arch. The YMTT opened in 1930. It is the only pre-World War II cinema building that remains in the urban area. It was listed as a Grade 2 historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 1998.
The Red Brick Building adjacent to the YMTT was built in 1895 as an engineer's office for a major pumping station in Kowloon. It is the oldest surviving water pumping station building of the Water Supplies Department. The station ceased operation in 1911 and the Red Brick Building was accorded Grade 1 historic building status in 2000. Its special features include a red brick exterior, cast iron rainwater pipes and hopper heads, arched verandahs and granite coping stones and pad stones to gable.
For details of the guided tours, please visit the YMTT's website at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/ymtt/en/tour.php .
Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Issued at HKT 11:00