Several business institutions were seriously damaged in Taipei’s gay area during a fire this Sunday. Firefighters rushed to the scene at the Red House Theater in the Ximending district but by the time the fire was extinguished the damage had already been done.
Owner of one of the cafes burnt in the fire says the fire started at the back of Alley’s Cat, a pizza restaurant and spread to G-MiXi, Café Dalida and Ta Ke. He claimed the damage to be one of the worst in the area. Police have since arrested a suspect which turns out to be a homeless man and repeat offender according to the Facebook page.
One of the most famous and prominent drag queens in Taipei, Magnolia La Manga told Gay Star News: ‘It was heartbreaking to hear about the fire. Not only is Hong Lo (Red House Theater) a historic part of the city, it has also been the thriving heart of the gay scene for more than a decade.’ Café Dalida has been its soul and we hope we will all have our little corner in paradise back, a little place that looks like Italy.’ The Red House Theater was built in 1908 under the Japanese rule and is a hub for cultural activities, concerts and events, including both Taipei Pride and the Mr. Gay World Taiwan pageant.