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Shengping Theater

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Shengping TheaterShengping Theater

About Shengping Theater

Stage

The earliest predecessor of the Shengping Theater was a two-story wooden theater building that hadonly limited space and was built next to Dongshan Hotel (No.106 Jishan Street) in 1914. After years of heavy use as the local population increased, and lacking necessary repairs, the wooden building finally collapsed in strong winds.

Shengping Zuo

In 1934 Wu Shu-sang and Zhou Tian-sheng and others went into partnership to build a two-floor building at the intersection of today’s Shuqi Road and Qingbian Road. Its first floor was made of stone and its second of wood. It was named Shengping Zuo, “Shengping” meaning to sing and dance in celebration of peace in Chinese and“Zuo”meaningperformance venue in Japanese. Upon completion, Shengping Zuo had rotation tracks at the center of the stage, showing just how advanced the theater’s equipment was at the time. To allow easy cleaning, the seats were cleverly designed to be moveable, and four circular holes were made in the floor of the two aisles on the first floor so that cooler air could be blown upwards by electric fans under the floor , giving Shengping Theater a simple kind of “air-con.”

Shengping Theater

“Shengping Zuo” was renamed “Shengping Theater” in about 1951 and it was rebuilt again in 1962. When it was rebuilt, great care was taken when selecting building materials and equipment; the roof had a high quality wooden frame covered in asphalt felt which was then tarred. The original wooden second floor was replaced by a hollow brick wall that gave a sound-proofing and thermal insulating effect.

Theater closes

In the 1970s, with the mining industry in decline, the local population dwindling, the light railway tracks ripped up and the start of broadcasting by the three state TV channels(TTV, CTV, CTS ), the theater’s fortunes gradually faded and the curtain came down for the last time in1986.

Shengpings heyday

At the height of its popularity Shengping Zuo would always be fully booked for Taiwanese opera, film showings, New Drama and Puppet show and other performances for a whole month. Not only would the 600 seats on the first and second floors be filled, the aisles would also be full of standing people. When the toilets couldn’t cope with demand, small urinal buckets would be placed in the corridors, showing just how packed it became. As the audience left when performances were over, the sound of their wooden clogs echoed along Jiufen Old Street and a hubbub of voices could be heard from people lingering in the square ; many restaurants, drinking parlors and teahouses nearby that would be busy until dawn, these being the clearest memories associated with the theater of elderly locals. Shengping Zuo was the most important entertainment venue in Jiufen. It could be easily reached on the local light-railway by the people of Jinguashi and Ruifang. Such was its popularity that, adding together daytime and evening performances, as many as 2、3000 people would watch a show in a single day.

The return of shengping

Commenorative Building

In 1994 the roof of the theater was badly damaged by typhoon. After years left idle, all that remained of the building was its facade, four walls and the second floor arc-shaped floor and gable. The building was donated to New Taipei City Government by C.Y.Lee & Partners Architects/Planners in 2009 to be used as an art and culture venue for promoting local culture and tourism; it was designated a commemorative building by New Taipei City Government on June 28, 2010.

Shengping New Paradise

Restoration work was carried out in October 2010, recreating how the theater looked in 1962, and given the name “Shengping Zuo,” the theater’s role as a “multi-function performance space” was also restored. After a period of trial operation, management responsibility was handed to the Gold Museum, New Taipei City Government. The opening exhibition is based on the concept “Shengping New Paradise,” taking visitors back to the days when the theater was a place of song and dance and laughter, where locals thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Through the old-style ticket window, the old film posters and the distinctive tastes of yesteryear of the theater snack shop, visitors will be taken on a trip back in time, experiencing the atmosphere of happy times and the charm of the theater.

Visitor Information

Openging times:

Monday to Friday 9:30am-5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday 9:30am-6:00pm

Closed times:

The first Monday of each month (if Monday is a national holiday we will be closed the day after the holiday ends) Chinese New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year’s Day, election days and fixed closed days. Other necessary closed days will be announced separately. Fixed time guided tour: A fixed time guided tour will be conducted on Saturday and Sunday, the time as announced on-site

Transport Information

1. Train:

Take a train from Taipei heading for Yilan or Hualian on the east coast main line and get off at Ruifang, then take a Keelung Bus Co. bus to Jiufen from opposite the square in front of the station.

2. Bus:

1. Taipei-Jinguashi: Take a Keelung Bus Co. bus from Taipei MRT’s Zhongxiao-Fuxing Station (Exit. No.1), pass through Ruifang and get off at “Jiu Dao Kou” stop in Jiufen. Walk for around 15 minutes along Jishan Street to Shuqi Road, then walk down the steps for about five minutes to Qingbian Road and you will arrive.

2. Keelung-Jinguashi: Take a Keelung Bus Co. bus from Keelung Railway Station (in front of Renxiang Clinic) and get off at the “Jiu Dao Kou” stop in Jiufen. Walk for around 15 minutes along Jishan Street to Shuqi Road, then walk down the steps for about five minutes to Qingbian Road and you will arrive.

Gold Museum , New Taipei City Government

No. 8, Jinguang Road, Jinguashi, Ruifang District, New Taipei City 22450

TEL:886-2-24962800

FAX:886-2-24962820

http://www.gep.ntpc.gov.tw

Address of Shengping Zuo

No. 137, Qingbian Road, Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City 22450

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