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New Beijing theater modified for better performance
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The interior of Beijing's new Meilanfang Grand Theater has been modified for better performance only three months after its initial completion.

Named after the late Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang, the theater is the first designed specifically for Peking Opera performances. It is located in the heart of the capital.

Capable of accommodating an audience of 1,068, the theater opened in late November and had experienced an increasing box office, on average, about 75 percent of its capacity.

"In considering the feedback of the audience, we found some defects in some contraptions and decorations installed in the theater," Zhang Delin, the venue's general manager, said.

According to the feedback, builders are modifying the air conditioning system from the first to the third levels to balance out the uneven air temperature on each floor.

Anther major change has been made in adjusting the height of the seating on the slope to minimalize audience interference. Other modifications also include improving the sound effects.

The renovation costs 1 million yuan (about 143 thousand U.S. dollars). The theater, which has been undergoing renovation since late February, will finish the work on Friday and re-open on March 28.

"Mr Mei is a master who pursues artistic perfection. We have no excuse not to modify the defects, even if it has reduced the box office income," Zhang said.

Mei, an outstanding Beijing Opera performer, was one of the greatest masters of China's dramatic art who dedicated his life to the form. During his career spanning over a half century, he showed great skills in inheriting the best traditions of the past and adapting them to a new stage. He is considered the symbol of China's performing art.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)

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