The Sen Hong stage, which covers an area of about 10,000 square meters in 23/9 Park, District 1, has experienced significant deterioration during its four-year closure for park renovations.

The roof and stands of the stage are now covered in moss and mold, and the entire area is filled with overflowing garbage and a foul smell, posing a potential hazard, including scattered drug needles.

The Sen Hong stage, along with another stage near the iconic Ben Thanh Market and Phuong Nam Art Theater’s circus, used to be part of a lively entertainment area in 23/9 Park. Ton That Can, vice-president of the Ho Chi Minh City Theater Association, mentioned that these stages would host events almost every night.

The stands of the Sen Hong stage at 23/9 Park, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, are covered in moss. Photo: To Cuong / Tuoi Tre

The renovation plan for 23/9 Park and the construction of the city’s first metro line resulted in the temporary closure of the Sen Hong stage and the relocation of Phuong Nam circus to Gia Dinh Park in Go Vap District.

As the metro development no longer impacts the Sen Hong stage, advocates, including Can, are calling for its reopening due to its prime location in the city center.

Le Dien, director of Phuong Nam Art Theater, mentioned the challenges his theater has faced since relocating to Gia Dinh Park, citing distance and unfamiliarity as deterrents to attracting audiences.

He emphasized the significance of the Sen Hong stage and urged for its revival to host cultural and artistic performances.

A lotus pond facing the Sen Hong stage at 23/9 Park, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: To Cuong / Tuoi Tre

Others have emphasized that the Sen Hong stage is an ideal outdoor venue, especially for children and tourist performances, due to its proximity to popular areas like Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien Pedestrian Streets.

Reviving artistic performances at the Sen Hong stage is seen as a crucial element in enriching the uniqueness of the city’s nightlife tourism.

It would provide a favorable platform for cultural and artistic activities, contributing significantly to the vibrancy of the city’s entertainment scene.

If approved by the municipal People’s Committee, the city’s culture department aims to restore the stage in time for the 2024 Lunar New Year, which is about seven weeks away. This would create a hub for free recreational activities catering to children and other age groups.