It has recently been announced that China will finally pool its funds to construct the National Great Theatre, a project which has laid sleeping in the drawer for thirty years.
As early as in 1966, Mr. Zhou Enlai, the late beloved premier, had pointed out the site, which is located at the west side of the Great Hall of The People in Ti'anmen Square. But the project had been postponed thereafter due to the poor economy and the 10-year catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution. When economy boomed in the 1980s, The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress took a fancy to the site and decided to build an office building there. They had even started the construction, but were soon ordered to stop.
The overture of many artists in the last two national conferences expedited the program, and the Central Government has announced that the project will start soon and complete before the end of this century. Mr.Jia QingLin, Mayor of Beijing, is directly in charge of the project. The Ministry of Culture, The National Planning Committee and Beijing Municipal Government will choose the final construction company from six bidding companies on Dec. 25.
The base of the new theatre will occupy 100,000 square meters of ground. It consists of three big halls and a small one, totaling more than 6,000 seats. The investment is about $200,000,000. After its completion, Beijing will be equipped to present more international theatrical activities.
--By Wang Ling