Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beijing Opera Theater

A five-minute walk from Heping men subway station will get you to an old theater where the Beijing Opera has been performed for hundreds of years. It’s a bit rundown and has clearly seen better days—but that’s half of the charm of the building.

No Smoking SignLocated on a small alley called Qian Men Xi He Yan Jie, the theater is a wonderful old pile that still puts on performances now and then.

The first thing that caught my eye was the distinctive No Smoking sign. No one paid it any mind, of course; groups of men strolled by puffing away.

The next thing was the door, a colorful entrance amid a sea of gray. The walls of the hutong are painted a rather uniform gray, but doors were decorated for the Spring Festival (it was early March) and the smell and sound of firecrackers was ubiquitous.

If you keep walking you can take in the hutong, one of Beijing’s traditional neighborhoods.

Access


South of Tiananmen Square, the theater is less than five minutes on foot from Heping men Station. Go out of the station and walk south on Nan Xiahua Jie (street). Take the first left. It is on the south side of the street.

Beijing Opera HouseDetails

For 5 yuan, you can enter the building and watch people practice. Performances are held periodically in the evenings.

Tel: 6317-7354

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