ReadZone books regenerate ancient Tangjiawan hall

Huitong Civic Art Center opened its doors on Jan 20 in an ancestral hall next to Yunfei Watchtower in Huitong Village of Jinding Town, Tangjiawan. Housing a ReadZone bookstore, the formerly vacant century-old building is to be a major attraction for tourists and college students.

ReadZone Huitong compliments the ancient architectural style with books, coffee, cultural salons, creative products, performances, and events.

For instance, poetry readings will be held there in commemoration of the history and culture of Huitong Village. Also planned in the bookshop are folk-item trade fairs as well as presentations on the centuries-old culture.

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Huitong Civilianc Art Center

An instance success, Zhuhai's initial ReadZone opened in Huafa Mall in the spring of 2014. In its first year, it attracted more than one million visitors, with an average of 80,000 a month and up to 7,000 a day on weekends. It reportedly put on more than 80 cultural events, including musical performances, book presentations, discussions, and celebrity appearances.

Since then, community stores debuted in Shishan, Wailingding, Gongbei, and Golden Beach of Jinwan, all in Zhuhai. This year, ReadZone plans to open a branch every two months, continuing with the Jinding and Tangjia civic art centers, which are also in the Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.

Huitong is one of the best-preserved modern villages in Zhuhai. It is home to numerous ancient watchtowers, ancestral halls, and dwellings from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The village even has Mok's Abstinence Hall, also known as Qixia Nunnery.

The village is popular among tourists, local households, painters, and shutterbugs, according to Zhang Yong, deputy director of the Tangjiawan zone's Social Affairs Bureau.

Students are also frequently found in the village, as it is only a few hundred meters from Beijing Normal University Zhuhai, Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai, and Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC).

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Villager selects a book [Photos by Yan Xing / Zhuhai Daily]

(www.cityofzhuhai.com)

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