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Sunbeam Theatre in 2014
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/ExploringlifeSunbeam Theatre in 2014

Future unclear for historic Sunbeam Theatre as it gets acquired by church

The theatre is famed for its Cantonese opera performances

Catharina Cheung
Written by
Catharina Cheung

The Sunbeam Theatre in North Point has been purchased by the Island Evangelical Community Church (Island ECC). According to senior pastor Brett Hilliard, the Quarry Bay-based, English-speaking church had first been interested in the space eight years ago but it was not for sale and, at $1.2 billion, also out of their budget. However, the property market has changed significantly since then, and the Island ECC was able to confirm the sale via tender this week.

This sale spans the ground floor through to the sixth floor of the building, as well as the rooftop of Kiu Fai Mansion. The first five floors house the Sunbeam Theatre and commercial areas, while the sixth floor and up are for residential use – Kiu Fai Mansion itself was owned by local property tycoon Francis Law Sau-fai, who had bought the building back in 2003.

Sunbeam Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy Anthony Cam

Sunbeam Theatre was established in 1972 by Shanghainese immigrants, and has since been renowned as a performance space dedicated to Cantonese opera. While appreciating the historical significance of this theatre, the Island ECC has confirmed that they will be using the purchased property as their new permanent home. A church representative said they ‘look forward to working with the local community to honour its cultural heritage’, but made no comments when asked if Sunbeam Theatre will still be operational or if any parts of the theatre will be retained. 


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