THE historic Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town, St Andrew, is expected to relive its glory days with the Jamaica Music Institute (JaMIN) Song Competition finals tonight at 7:00 pm.
"We aim to showcase new and upcoming talent in this very important space in our history. The Ambassador Theatre was once the cradle of reggae music launching the careers of a host of reggae artistes including Bunny and Scully, Alton Ellis, Derrick Harriott, Joe Higgs, Toots and The Maytals and Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston, and Peter Tosh. It [the Ambassador Theatre] is the Jamaican equivalent to Harlem's Apollo Theater," said Junior Lincoln, JaMIN co-chairman.
The theatre, last used in 1980, is being restored by JaMin in association with the United States Agency for International Development.
Tonight's competition will see 10 persons vying for cash prize, recording contract, airplay, music scholarship, and the distinction of being first to record at JaMIN's state-of-the-art studio.
Veteran performers on the show for the evening are Lascelles Perkins, Derrick Harriott, Bunny and Scully, Ken Boothe, Errol Dunkley, and Dean Fraser. Also on the show are Alaine, Prophecy, Nesbeth, Lymie Murray among others.
Built in the 1950s, the Ambassador Theatre was famous for Vere Johns Opportunity Hour and Opportunity Knocks talent shows which helped launch the careers of Hortense Ellis, Lloyd Charmers, John Holt, Bob Andy, Desmond Dekker, The Wailers, Jackie Edwards, Dobby Dobson, Boris Gardiner, Millie Small, Jimmy Cliff, the Blues Busters, Derrick Morgan, Higgs and Wilson, Laurel Aitken, Jimmy Tucker, Girl Satchmo, Roy Richards, Charlie Organaire, and Rico Rodriguez.