A Brief History of Yau Ma Tei Theatre and Red Brick Building


Yau Ma Tei Theatre

Built in 1930, Yau Ma Tei Theatre is the only surviving pre-World War II theatre in Kowloon District. Its characteristic features include the two pillars at the front entrance, the Chinese pitched roof, the Art Deco façade and Dutch gable walls, the steel trusses and timber purlins for roof support, and the original proscenium and interior walls of the stage. Yau Ma Tei Theatre ceased operation in July 1998. It was accorded as a Grade 2 historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in the same year.

Yau Ma Tei Theatre was officially opened on 17 July 2012, designated for promoting Chinese opera activities, in particular Cantonese opera. The venue is equipped with performing and rehearsal facilities to encourage and support the budding and upcoming Cantonese opera troupes.


Yau Ma Tei Theatre before Revitalisation
Yau Ma Tei Theatre before revitalisation *
The roof’s steel trusses and timber purlins
(from left to right) the roof’s steel trusses and timber purlins; the two pillars engraved with crying and laughing masks


Red Brick Building

Built in 1895, the Red Brick Building was formerly the Engineer’s Office for the old Water Pumping Station on Shanghai Street. It is the oldest surviving building of a water pumping station under the Hong Kong Water Supplies Department. After the station ceased operation in 1911, various buildings in the complex were either demolished or converted for other purposes, with the exception of the Red Brick Building which was classified as a Grade 1 historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2000. Its special features include the red brick façade, cast iron rainwater pipes, cast iron hopper heads, arched verandahs and granite coping stones, knee stones, skew corbels, and pad stones to gable.


Red Brick Building before Revitalisation
Red Brick Building before revitalisation *
Arched verandahs & wooden window blind
(from left to right) arched verandahs; wooden window blind

* Photos are provided by the Antiquities and Monuments Office.