Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (February 4):
Regarding the inclusion of old cinemas with a long history in the Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme (the Revitalisation Scheme), will the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) it has conducted assessments to determine the grading of all old cinemas in Hong Kong (including the Cheung Chau Theatre and the Peng Chau Theatre), apart from the Yau Ma Tei Theatre which has been classified as a Grade II historic building; if so, of the details; if not, whether it will expeditiously conduct assessments to determine the grading of all old cinemas in Hong Kong; if not, of the reasons for that;
(b) it has studied if the revitalising approach adopted for the Dom Pedro V Theatre in Macao can be applied to the old cinemas in Hong Kong; if it has, of the study results; if not, whether it will conduct such a study expeditiously; and
(c) it will consider including the old cinemas which have been graded as historic buildings into the Revitalisation Scheme, so as to conserve and revitalise such historic buildings?
(a) According to the records of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO), there are two pre-war cinemas in Hong Kong, namely the government-owned Yau Ma Tei Theatre and the privately-owned Cheung Chau Theatre. The Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) accorded Grade II status to Yau Ma Tei Theatre in 1998. AMO is carrying out a grading assessment for Cheung Chau Theatre and the result will be submitted to AAB shortly for a decision on the grading of this building. AMO has not planned to carry out an assessment for Peng Chau Theatre since it was only built after 1960s.
(b) There are many examples of revitalisation projects around the world, including the Dom Pedro V Theatre in Macao. We shall make reference to and learn from these examples in taking forward the revitalisation of our historic buildings.
(c) Government will determine the appropriate conservation approach of each historic building based on its conditions. With regard to the only graded historic cinema building now owned by Government, i.e. Yau Ma Tei Theatre, we have decided to revitalise it in conjunction with the Red Brick Building (also called The Engineer’s Office of the Former Pumping Station, Water Supplies Department) in its vicinity at No. 344 Shanghai Street as a Xiqu Activity Centre, providing performing and practicing venue for small-scale Cantonese Opera performance and training of budding artists. The above revitalisation project was endorsed by the Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council at its meeting on January 21, 2009.
Ends/Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Issued at HKT 15:02