Ambassador's second coming
THERE are plans to restore the Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town to its former glory.
The historic site is regarded by many as the bedrock of Jamaican popular music. It once hosted some of Jamaica's most memorable entertainment events including the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour but it has fallen into disrepair.
The Ambassador is expected to come alive again when it hosts the final of the JaMIN Song Competition on October 27.
"JaMIN is having a contest in Trench Town in the way that Vere John used to do it. And we have 10 finalists who will be performing," Junior Lincoln, co-chairman of the JaMIN (Jamaica Music Institute) told the Jamaica Observer.
"We are going to have also some of the artistes who used to perform there such as Bunny and Scully, Jimmy Tucker. We are going to have Derrick Harriott, who used to perform there with the Jiving Juniors. I am hoping to have Bunny (Wailer), who is in England right now. He would be an appropriate person to perform there."
Wailer performed at the Ambassador in the 1960s while he was a member of the Wailers which also included Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
Lincoln, who is chairman of Boys Town and president of its Old Boys Association, commented on funding for restoration of the theatre.
"We are very close to getting the money to restore it to even better than when it was built," he said. "We are going to have a fine theatre, a performing arts centre and we are going to have the Reggae Hall of Fame."
The song final is a prelude to the establishment of Trench Town as a cultural village. A recording studio was launched there recently and, according to Lincoln, the Trench Town Internet Radio station at Boys Town in Wilton Gardens (Rema) is pending.
Built in the 1950s, the Ambassador Theatre was last used in 1980.