stories of chinatown
trip planner
what's happening
media room
visitor information
shop info << directory
Heritage Marker SB01 - Majestic Theatre
Learn more about Chinatown's rich history by visiting our Heritage Markers. Installed at places of historical significance around Chinatown, each plaque provides a short history of the location in three languages - English, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.

"Tin Yin Moh Toi" or Tin Yin Dance Stage attracted the most glamorous opera stars from China. With their beautifully painted faces and exquisite costumes, they performed to audiences that filled the theatre to capacity. Standing ovations and catcalls filled the theatre every night. Graceful hostesses sashayed amongst the patrons, serving wine and tea with teasing smiles.

Tin Yin was built on a whim by tycoon Eu Tong Sen for his wife. After she was refused entry into another opera house, he offered this as a consolation. Not content with building merely one theatre, Eu bought up the entire street, popularly known then as Theatre Street.

The 1930s saw the theatre's heyday. Major opera stars flocked to perform in Tin Yin to raise money for China's war effort against the Japanese. In 1938, opera faced competition with the advent of "talking" movies. Cinema magnate Shaw Brothers rented Tin Yin, renamed it Queen's Theatre and began screening Cantonese movies. During the Japanese Occupation (1942-45), Queen's Theatre was renamed Dahe Theatre. Japanese movies screened till the end of the war were translated into Cantonese. Often, the "translator" did not even know Japanese and would read from a romanized script. After the war, Dahua Film Company took over the cinema and renamed it Majestic Theatre.
Eu Tong Sen Street
+ upload photo and videos
Share |