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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:10 AM   #1
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HK's Last Cantonese Opera House Saved from Closure

Hong Kong's last Cantonese opera theatre saved from brink of closure
Fri Aug 5,10:57 AM ET



HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong's last traditional Cantonese opera house has been saved from the brink of closure after both the government and veteran singers intervened.

The future of the 33-year-old Sunbeam Theatre had been under threat because the owner of the property planned to double the monthly rent to 400,000 Hong Kong dollars (51,300 US).

But the owner agreed to freeze the rent until 2009, the South China Morning Post reported.

The decision came after Home Affairs Secretary Patrick Ho held a meeting with the landlord, the theatre management and singers.

"We welcome the decision that Sunbeam Theatre will be able to continue to stage performances. We will continue to help develop the theatre," a spokesman for the Home Affairs Department said.

Liza Wang, a Cantonese opera star who was at the meeting, was also pleased with the decision but said the government should provide a venue, the newspaper said.

The Sunbeam Theatre, which holds more than 250 Cantonese opera performances a year, relies heavily on donations and has struggled to attract new audiences. Only one percent of its audience are regulars.

Veteran stars feared Hong Kongers would lose interest in the refined art form if the closure went ahead.

Wang said the opera industry would have lost more than 20 million Hong Kong dollars a year in ticket sales.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:13 AM   #2
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why hker easily forget their traditional culture
its the most attractive things that tourist expect to see,not everyday shopping and street life
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:16 AM   #3
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Historically, Cantonese opera has never been a major focus of Hong Kong life. HK was a fishing village, and hence traditional culture revolved around fishing. To this day, there are several major fishing communities still surviving quite well, notably in Aberdeen and on the outlying islands.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 03:02 AM   #4
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Curtains for the opera
The Standard
Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The historic Sunbeam Theatre in North Point is calling it a day after its last Chinese opera performance on February 19 to give way to a shopping mall.

The 40-year-old venue is run by the Hong Kong Arts Entertainment Company Limited, which has been paying a monthly rent of HK$699,000 since 2009. The old terms were for HK$280,000.

A spokesman said the landlord, private developer Yu Tai Hing, will not extend the lease, which ends this month, calling it a "business decision."

The firm bought the 80,000-square- foot property in 2003 for HK$162 million.

Artists and district council members jointly petitioned the government yesterday, urging it to step into the negotiations with the landlord.

"Given the history and status of the Sunbeam Theatre in Hong Kong's culture, the government has a responsibility to help," Eastern District councillor Jennifer Chow Kit-bing said.

Lydia Chan Wai-see, vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Chinese Opera and Performing Arts Group Association, added: "It is a landmark and - with the nearby food stalls, markets and tram depot - represents the collective memory of the local community."

A Home Affairs Bureau spokesman said there will soon be other venues for Chinese opera.

These include the Xiqi Activity Centre in Yau Ma Tei and the Ko Shan Annex, both of which open next year, and the Xiqu centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District, which will be completed by 2015.
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Old February 12th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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新光戲院難逃結業
2012年02月12日(日)








租金暴漲狂潮再次捲走港人集體回憶!扎根北角四十年的新光戲院,經歷多次籌資續租,努力延續本港碩果僅存的「香港粵劇殿堂」,始終難逃貴租迫遷厄運,正式踏入結業倒數最後一周。新光戲院下周日(十九日)公演兩齣告別劇後,便曲終人散。結業日子逼近,老戲迷紛紛重訪新光,年輕人亦湧至拍照緬懷一番。據了解,業主將以過百萬元月租將原址轉租本地連鎖快餐店集團經營。

七十年代已植根北角英皇道的新光戲院因租約期滿,下周日將是最後一天營業,當日由肇慶粵劇團文武生李秋元主演《鍾馗》及《包公還硯》告別劇後,翌日正式結業。而由本周五的最後三天共四場粵劇,日夜場門票亦已售罄,戲院昨在門牌貼上「全院滿座」字條。

戲迷湧至拍照留念

新光戲院司理王昆穗回覆本報查詢時,坦言港人對新光的情意結甚濃,自結業消息傳出後,近一個月接到不下二十個邀約訪問,包括傳媒及學生組織,但他都一一婉拒,「依家要準備結業嘅嘢,文件呀、工人呀,樣樣都要清算,逐個嚟應酬唔到!」他笑言,戲院內不開放拍攝,但大堂戲院外貌任影唔嬲,絕不「趕客」,歡迎戲迷市民到場拍照留念。

無法趕及新光結業前到場留影的市民毋須失望,王昆穗透露,早前收到港府來信,指康樂及文化事務署、香港文化博物館及電影資料館擬日內派員來新光「檢視寶物」,揀選有紀念價值的文物用作今後公開展出。但王慨嘆新光的文物不多,昔日的五彩花牌已全部拋掉,反而最值得戲迷懷念的是逾千張觀眾座椅,「雖然經歷過重新抹油、換上彈弓,但依舊係四十年前開幕時嘅鐵櫈。」

月虧30萬難抵貴租

據了解,目前新光戲院月租七十萬元,由港府與香港聯藝機構有限公司攤分二十萬元及五十萬元租金。早前有傳業主開價月租二百萬元續約,但新光戲院現時每月虧損三十萬元,根本無法承租,結業早在意料之內。

隨着新光戲院踏入最後倒數,大批戲迷及市民紛紛到訪及留影。工聯會昨午在戲院門外發起簽名行動,並向戲迷派發新光戲院紀念名信片。立法會議員王國興指,新光戲院身為「香港粵劇殿堂」,四十年來弘揚中華文化藝術,推動中港文化藝術交流,功不可沒,工聯會擬於今日及本周六再收集簽名,將以一人一信形式遞交民政事務局局長,促當局介入及資助新光另覓表演場地。
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Old February 12th, 2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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戲迷街坊 感慨無限
2012年02月12日(日)




「真喺好唔捨得,我喺度做咗三十年,睇住佢(新光)一路變遷,到依家真喺要結業,唉!都唔知點講,你哋記得十八、十九號都嚟睇下啦!唔睇冇o架啦!」新光戲院旁的益壽堂涼茶舖多年來兼任新光戲院的小賣部,將隨着新光一同結業,負責人余先生娓娓道來無限感慨及昔日風光。

余先生說:「我哋好多客人都係戲迷,其他電影院客人鍾意食蔗,新光戲迷鍾意食口笠濕同乾果,我仲記得嗰時汪明荃嚟新光都幫襯我食龜苓膏;不過,要講風光,近年一定要數蓋鳴輝同湛江粵劇團,啲人真喺擺晒櫈仔排通宵買飛o架!」余坦言,現時未決定會否在鄰近找舖重置涼茶舖,「睇吓搵唔搵到舖啦!」

毗鄰牛雜店憂收回

位於新光旁的馳名牛雜小食店「十三座牛雜」亦可能被收回,該店在現址開業逾五年,每逢傍晚新光夜場開演,整條街都是食客,現時卻可能被收回,不禁擔心,「都唔知老細搵唔搵到其他舖位。」

除商舖外,北角的老街坊亦對新光難捨難離,亦抱怨業主要收回院址,七旬的周婆婆在新光戲院上住了數十年至今,她說:「我當時最鍾意就喺睇紅樓夢,鍾意到一個人都要去睇;賣飛員工同我好熟o架,嗰時每次都留啲好位畀我。」有戲迷便把握最後機會搶飛看戲,戲齡三十年的周女士昨展示戲票,自言成功「搭上搭」購入最後兩天的票,爭取最後機會在新光欣賞大戲。
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Old February 12th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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新光戲院話滄桑
2012年02月12日(日)


1972年

9月16日 新光戲院正式開幕,由「華昌企業有限公司」委託「銀都娛樂有限公司」經營管理,初期以電影院為主,兼營舞台演出。

1980年

轉為「新光娛樂有限公司」經營,由霍英東擔任董事長。

1988年

轉為「香港聯藝機構有限公司」接管經營至今。

2003年

裕泰興地產羅氏家族成員、尖東廣場有限公司執行董事羅守輝,以約1.6億元購入新光戲院及僑輝大廈商場業權。

2005年

業主開出加租一倍及續約一年等條件,一度引發新光結業危機,後獲廣東省政協常委黃球出面游說及一眾粵劇老倌誠意打動,業主同意以月租約20萬元續租4年。八和會館主席汪明荃事後召開記者會力斥政府無做過嘢。

2009年

新光戲院合約期屆滿,最終獲業主同意以月租70萬元續約,港府資助部分租金,但續租期僅3年至本月28日,未能配合西九文娛區落成。羅守輝事後解釋此舉旨在向政府發出最後通牒,暗指當局對粵劇發展「懶懶閒」。

2011年

聯藝以商業決定為由,宣布2月約滿後不再續租,新光戲院下周日正式結業。
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Old February 15th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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Liaison office wants Sunbeam show to go on
The Standard
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The central government liaison office has promised to assist in negotiations between the landlord of the Sunbeam Theatre and the government for a new lease.

Eastern District councillor Jennifer Chow Kit-bing said an official of the liaison office made the pledge after she and several artists sought its help yesterday.

Mi Jihong of the liaison office's publicity, cultural and sports affairs department said they valued the theater and would try their best to see it continued, according to Chow.

Chow said the theater in North Point is the only one that stages Chinese opera shows on Hong Kong Island and so it should be protected.

It will stage its last performance on Sunday and will then give way to a shopping mall.

The landlord, private developer Yu Tai Hing, has increased the rent, which is now unaffordable, says Hong Kong Arts Entertainment Company Ltd.

It has paid a monthly rent of HK$699,000 since 2009, compared with HK$280,000 under a previous contract.

"Sunbeam embodies the community's collective memory and has a heritage value in the old district of North Point," Chow said.

The Home Affairs Bureau insists that other venues are available, including Ko Shan Annex in Yau Ma Tei and the West Kowloon Cultural District, which will be completed by 2015.

However, Chow said those venues cannot replace Sunbeam Theatre for its convenient location and accessibility for its elderly patrons. She urged the government to work on a long-term plan.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:14 AM   #9
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HAB's response on Sunbeam Theatre
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Government Press Release

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Bureau said today (February 18), the Government welcomes that the lease of Sunbeam Theatre has been renewed for continuing its operation.

The Home Affairs Bureau in 2009 allocated $3.6 million to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for implementing the "Sunbeam Theatre Venue Subsidy Scheme" during a three-year lease period. However, it is not suitable for the Government to subsidise commercial operations in the long run, and hence, the focus of our current work is to ensure that adequate public venues are available for use by the Cantonese opera sector. The Government will continue its communication with the Cantonese opera sector, listen to their views, and join hands with them in the promotion of Cantonese opera.

Ko Shan Theatre, which has 1031 seats, is a dedicated venue for Cantonese opera. An annex to it is being built to provide a new theatre of 600 seats. The project is expected to be completed in 2013. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department reserves time slots at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre, Sha Tin and Tsuen Wan Town Halls for priority hiring by professional Cantonese opera troupes. From 2012-13 to 2014-15, the "Venue Partnership Scheme" covers Sha Tin and Tuen Mun Town Halls, Yuen Long Theatre and Yau Ma Tei Theatre, which will be open in mid-2012, with local Cantonese opera organisations as venue partners. In addition, a Xiqu Centre in West Kowloon Cultural District with a large-scale theatre of 1100 seats is being planned and expected to be completed in 2015-16.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 04:51 AM   #10
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Tough next act after Sunbeam inks deal
The Standard
Monday, February 20, 2012

Chinese opera fans celebrated a deal saving the historic Sunbeam Theatre from closure with a parade around the venue.

But many wondered what will happen to Chinese opera - and Cantonese opera especially - further down the road.

Playwright and Prime Splendor Theatrical Troupe chairman Li Kui-ming worked out the four- year deal in which operator Hong Kong United Arts Entertainment Co will pay HK$1 million a month to landlord Yu Tai Hing.

The rent is a 30 percent rise from the current HK$699,000.

The parade was organized by lawmakers Wong Kwok-hing and Pan Pey-chyou, who dressed in Chinese opera costumes.

Wong accused the government of adopting a passive attitude in preserving traditional arts and called for more funds to protect them.

Chinese opera lovers were happy with the deal but stressed a long-term plan is needed to maintain a dedicated venue.

Mariana Chan Pui-lan said the 40-year-old theater evokes many happy memories for both her and her husband.

"The Sunbeam is where me and my husband dated and where we always hung out," she said. "It is quite a special place."

Another fan, Tang Ka-kwan, said the theater not only has historical value but is also the only current venue for Chinese opera.

"After the Sunbeam, there will be nowhere on Hong Kong lsland to watch Chinese opera," he said.

"Elderly Chinese opera lovers are not likely to cross the harbor to get to the venues in Ko Shan or West Kowloon. The Sunbeam is far more accessible."

The opera lovers pointed out that the same problem will arise four years from now when Sunbeam's new contract ends and so a long-term solution is needed for Hong Kong Island audiences.

Officials of the Home Affairs Department have pointed out there will soon be alternative venues for Chinese opera in Kowloon.

The 600-seat Ko Shan Theatre will be completed next year while the West Kowloon Cultural District's 1,100-seat Xiqu Centre is due to open in 2015.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:25 PM   #11
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By error from a Hong Kong bus forum :



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Old April 19th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #12
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新光變身3D戲院
2012年04月19日(四)


北角新光戲院擺脫結業厄運後,將化身為新光戲院大劇場,並於下月二十一日重新開幕,屆時將會邀請候任特首梁振英主持開幕。新光的翻新工程估計涉逾千萬元,更換了全院地氈和洗手間,又引入新款燈光、音響設備及數碼放映機,也會增加人手。該劇場主席李居明表明不會增加票價及場地租金,但會杜絕過往派票陋習,「我都想減票價添,等多啲觀眾嚟睇戲!」他稱新增數碼放映機可播放3D電影,由於可容納一千零三十多人,將會是全港最大的電影院。

新光戲院「復出」已經租出今年九成的檔期,李居明認為反應理想,特意改名為大劇場,打造新光成為東方百老匯。

除每晚上演粵劇,也會有話劇、舞台劇及演唱會。高志森掌舵的翹楚春天劇團,也會為觀眾重現經典舞台劇《我和春天有個約會》、《麗花皇宮》及《南海十三郎》。打頭炮的新劇《俏孔明》將會於五月二十三日舉行首演,而今年底則有「中國京劇名家劇展演週」,集結國內京劇大師交流演出。

國際品牌洽辦時裝騷

李居明重申,新光要保留粵劇文化及培育下一代觀眾,並非為賺錢,預計營運三年才達收支平衡,正與業主商討租足十年。即使新引入數碼放映機,開幕初期只會播放富歷史欣賞價值的粵語電影,如《帝女花》、《父母心》等,直至明年才播放現代3D電影。

劇場行政總監元海不排除將舊片加工,締造全球首部3D粵劇電影,「依家同電影資料館傾緊,亦要同片主傾借出電影播放,如果片主願意,我哋當然可考慮加入3D元素。」他更透露,有國際時裝品牌洽租場地辦時裝展。
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