With a spectacular interior, the theatre lays claim to being one of the oldest and best-preserved wooden buildings in Beijing. Built in 1667 as an ancestral shrine, it later expanded into a playhouse where masters of Peking opera such as Mei Lanfang regularly held court. The theatre is famous for Peking opera and Kunqu
(昆曲), a form of opera that originated from Jiangsu province, as well as a variety of other performing arts, including avant-garde dance. The theatre is only open during performance times for ticket holders.