216 Nanjing XiLu,
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Originally built in 1928, on what was then called Park Road (today’s Nanjing XiLu), the Grand Theatre operated for less than three years, before going bankrupt and closing. In 1932, a joint Chinese-British-American venture totally rebuilt the Grand Theatre, hiring Czech-Hungarian Shanghai architect Ladislaus Hudec to design the new cinema, which he did in striking Art Deco style.
The Grand Theatre seated 1,913, and screened first-run American films in its elegant auditorium. The one drawback of the Grand Theatre was that it was not air-conditioned and often became unbearably hot, which deterred patrons. It wasn’t until 1941 that an air-conditioning system was installed, and business increased by large numbers.
After the 1949 Revolution, the Shanghai Cultural Bureau took over the Grand Theatre. The theater still operates today, and still occasionally screens Hollywood blockbusters.
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