Address: 175 Yong’an Road, Xi Cheng District, Beijing
The Liyuan Theater is situated inside Beijing Qianmen Jianguo Hotel, the Liyuan Theater. It was co-founded in October 1990 by the hotel and the Jingju Theater Company of Beijing. Famous for being the birthplace of Peking Opera, the Liyuan Theater is Beijing's first teahouse theater and the most prestigious performance venue for Peking Opera.
The theater consists of three parts: a performance hall, a showroom and an exhibition hall. The main stage of the performance hall is decorated with couplets written by famous Chinese dramatist Weng Ouhong (1908-1994) and Chinese calligrapher Liu Bingsen (1937-2005). The auditorium has a capacity of 800, surrounded by eight large Peking Opera facial masks
and painted folding screens depicting Peking Opera figures. To keep the traditional old theater customs, some of the seats are fixed around a baxian table, an old fashioned square table that seats eight people, where audiences can have snacks and tea while enjoying a performance.
The showroom displays people the 200 years' of history of the development of Peking Opera art. The exhibition hall sells Peking Opera handicrafts and souvenirs, thus visitors can take photos wearing Peking Opera costumes with painted facial make-up.
The theater is especially popular among foreign tourists as the auditorium is equipped with simultaneous translation equipment and provides English subtitles for foreign visitors. The repertoires for foreigners are often selected from classic Peking Opera pieces and turned into short programs. Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, and former Estonian President Lennart Meri have all enjoyed performances in the theater.