Sunbeam Theatre

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Sunbeam Theatre on King's Road
Lobby of Sunbeam Theatre

Sunbeam Theatre (Chinese: 新光戲院) is a landmark theatre in Hong Kong showcasing Cantonese opera. It is located at 423 King's Road, North Point,[1] near the intersection with Shu Kuk Street.[2]

History of Theatre In the 1950s, many of the Shanghainese people emigrants moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong and settled in the North Point area. At the time Shanghai was known for its leftist revolutions, and many of the leftist supported businesses relocated to North Point. Aside from the China Products Department stores, the Sunbeam Theatre is one of the landmark theatres to have been started by that same group of emigrants.[3] It was established by "Hua Chang Enterprises Ltd" in 1972. Later it was turned over to "Silver Entertainment Ltd" on 1 September 1980 to Henry Fok, chairman of "Sunbeam Entertainment". In 1988 Yao-Hung, chairman of the board of "Hong Kong United Arts Entertainment Company Ltd" took over its operation.

In 1989, the theatre was divided into two auditoriums, with the smaller one converted from the balcony for showing films, while the larger one converted from the stalls for stage performances.[4]

In 1993, Chung Sun Sing Opera Troupe had a season of 38 consecutive full-house shows at the Sunbeam Theatre, winning the theatre the title of "Hong Kong's Grand Palace for Cantonese Opera".[5]

The 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) property was acquired by Francis Law Sau-fai in 2003 for HK$162 million.[6] There were plans to transform it into a shopping mall.[7] The lease of the theatre, ended in February 2009.[8] After much public debate about the possible closure of the theatre and discussions about alternative options, the lease with the operator of the Theatre was renewed for three years, while the landlord had made clear his plan to redevelop the theatre three years later.[9] Legislative Counci Pane on Home Affairs At the same time, the Government was planning to provide HK$100,000 each month, through the Arts Development Council to subsidise the rental of the Theatre.[10] In 2012 an arrangement was made by a mystery person named Mr. Leung to have landlord Francis Law Sau-fai meet with opera playwright Li Kui-ming to talk about the rent situation Law accepted the rent at a cost of HK$1 million a month. This allowed the property to stay a Cantonese opera theatre The mystery man was later said to be Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2012 chief executive election candidate [Leung Chun-ying].[11]


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