The 340-year-old Zhengyi Ci is under constant threat of extinction but is the first choice for authentic Beijing opera when it's open. A Ming dynasty temple converted into an opera theater in 1712, it fell to other uses after 1949 and was in danger of being torn down until a local businessman reopened it in 1995. Since then, funding problems and its position at the center of an urban reconstruction project have limited the number of performances. The theater itself is similar to the Huguang Guild Hall, with the same high ceilings and gallery seating, but it has a decidedly more local feel. The staff themselves are connoisseurs, more interested in opera than collecting tourist dollars. Pray it survives. Performances are held most nights at 7:30pm (call to check).
- © Frommer's 2013
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