A fire Sunday night seriously damaged four businesses in Taipei’s gay district, including some of its most historic and popular bars.
Firefighters responded to the scene quickly, but by the time they reached the Red House Theater in Ximending, the fire was nearly extinguished and had all but devastated the area.
Alvin Ching, owner of the famous Café Dalida in the neighborhood, told Gay Star News that the fire started near the back of Alley’s Cat, a pizza joint, and spread to G-MiXi, Dalida and Ta Ke.
Police have since taken a suspect into custody who turned out to be a repeat offender.
G-MiXi shared photos of the damage on its Facebook page.
Prominent Taiwanese drag queen Magnolia La Manga described the news as “heartbreaking.”
“Not only is Hong Lo [Red House Theater] a historic part of the city,” she said, “it has also been the thriving heart of the gay scene for more than a decade.”
“Café Dalida has been its soul,” she continued. “We hope we will get our little corner in paradise back.”
The Red House Theater was built in 1908 and is a hub for LGBT cultural activities in the city, including Taipei Pride and the Mr. Gay World Taiwan pageant.
h/t: Gay Star News