Pingtung had 35 theaters back in the heyday of Taiwan’s theater boom. Zilai Grand Theater 自來大戲院 was one of them. It is located in Longquan, Neipu Township 內埔鄉龍泉村.
As you probably know, many small towns all around Taiwan had theaters. Longquan is definitely a small town, but there is also a large ROC marine base 屏東龍泉海軍陸戰隊新訓中心 just outside the town. So, with the soldiers and the townfolks, there were enough people to make the theater work.
It had the classic shops downstairs and a theater upstairs design.
I can’t really find much information about the theater, but it probably started in the early 70s and closed down in the late 80s or early 90s.
I have been here three times over the years, and the last two times there have been a large tribe of territorial dogs hanging out around it. So if you do go, be careful or bring doggie treats.
There’s not much more to write, so just enjoy some pictures.
The theater is pretty cool looking. And if you look closely, you can see a puppy. He came up with me to join in my exploration.
With all my exploration over the years, I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with dogs, but definitely not puppies.
To find the theater just Google 自來大戲院 or go to No. 100, Bisheng Rd, Neipu Township, Pingtung County, 912.
Go and say hi to the dogs and the theater!
2 thoughts on “自來大戲院 Zilai Grand Theater”
In the Lewis Caroll poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter” there’s a line, “If this could all be cleared away, he said, this would be grand.” The Zilai Grand Theater made me think of that line. If all of the junk were cleared out and the building stripped to the walls of whatever broken bits, would it be grand? I imagine something like the removal of anything not nailed down, followed by the removal of everything not firmly attached, and eventual blasting out the remaining dirt with fire hoses, followed by a one color spraypainting (interior) of whatever was left. With all of this done, a popup art exhibition could be mounted, of which the cleaned out shell of the Zilai would be the prime piece on exhibition.
Of course, this would cost money for workers, insurance and materials, and I’m not interested in spending it (but I’m very skillful at imagining how others ought to spend theirs). Thanks again for another great explore of the kind I was too timid to undertake while I was in Taiwan.
It’d still be able to be used for something. There are a few old theaters around Taiwan that are now supermarkets or this and that but I like your idea much better.