Just steps away from Tribute Hotel you’ll find the legendary Yau Ma Tei theatre. Today you’re looking at a rejuvenated heritage site reopened in 2012 as Hong Kong’s top venue for Chinese Opera. This gem in the midst of Yau Ma Tei went through several lives before being proclaimed a historical monument and undergoing a serious restoration to its former glory.
A beautiful mix of Art Deco and Neo-classical architecture, the theatre was built in the twenties as Kowloon’s largest entertainment venue for working class citizens. Screening popular films it has kept coolies and rickshaw drivers entertained for years. Back in the days, going to the cinema was not just about watching movies it was also a great way to cool down in the air-conditioned cinema in the midst of intense summer heat after a hard day's work. In the 80’s however, the venue approached the twilight of its existence loosing business to larger chain cinemas popping up all over Hong Kong. It resorted to screening erotic films to stay afloat and finally closed its doors in 1998.
Tribute is very fond of the history of this theatre. It’s a great place to visit, if not for a performance, to see the memorabilia displayed in the entrance retracing its history through vintage photographs. But the highlight is the original projector from the twenties. In your room you’ll nose a few hints to this wondrous piece of design in the painted metal and brass trimmings.