Maple Motor Cinema
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This is from a June 24, 2004 AP article I saved. Did you know car crazy China is now big on drive-in theatres? According to the Associated Press instead of eating popcorn, moviegoers in Beijing munch on squid, and watch Tom Cruise speak Chinese!
Drive-ins fading in America, with the Chinese in love with their cars and the Maple Motor Cinema is where they go to see a movie. The economic boom has created an urban class that can afford a car, 10 years ago, this would have unimaginable when folks were trying to save up for that first television. Many Chinese have never sat in a car. The Maple Motor Cinema’s owner a 40 year old movie lover, Wang Quisun said even setting foot in a luxury theatre was out of the question, many would string up a sheet in the park and watch films.
The Maple Motor Cinema is less a hotbed of weekend revelry than a quite night out for those with money. Huge lighted movie posters flank the entrance. Lights shine on the winding, tree-lined drive to the five screens, sheltered by trees from the city noise.
" When I started this drive-in in 1998, few people had cars, but since 2000, private car ownership has grown fast."said Wang. China’s car culture is so new right now he breaks even at the box office. Tickets are $9.50 no matter how many are in the car. Profits come, Wang said from a three restaurants on the 15 acre site.
The Maple Motor Cinema can hold about 100 cars at each screen. Most cars are filled with young families, but late night moviegoers, according to Wang do not turn China’s drive-ins into passion pits." Maybe they do that in America,where people are more liberated, but not here in China" Wang stated.
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