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If someone could translate the name of this theater into English, ot at least give me something phonetic, I can add it to CT. The date was 1937 and the city was Nanking. Thanks.
The theater was located on Xi Chang'an Avenue, diagonally opposite the residence and executive offices of President Hu and other top officials of the national government (the “Zhongnanhai,” or “Red House” as Americans call it by analogy to the USA’s “White House”). In Spring 1999 when I lived in Beijing, the Capital was still in business, but I never passed through the portals of its cream-marbled lobby. Its screen-fare featured Hollywood blockbusters of the time that didn’t interest me (“The Matrix,” “The Phantom Menace,” Disney’s “Tarzan”). I regret not having sprung for at least one ticket.
I’ve just returned from two more months in Beijing, and was sad to see that the buidling has been demolished. The good news is that the area has been cleared for the magnificent new National Theater complex. Designed by Paul Andreu (French architect of De Gaulle airport and other airports, as well as of the French terminal of the Chunnel), the complex will open in September.
A huge steel and glass dome (rather like a mammouth version of LA’s Cinerama) surrounded by a broad moat, the National Theater includes an opera house, a stage for drama, a concert hall (even though the giant Beijing Concert Hall stands alongside it to the west), and an art gallery. I can only imagine that the space can accomodate film screenings as well, perhaps in its dramatic venue. Beijing TV recently aired a tour of the almost-finished structure, and it looks magnificent— a more-than-worthy successor to the now lamented Capital.
This cinema is now gone. Visted Beijing in Oct 2003 11 months after the previous posting and all signs of the cinema and shops have gone it is now a large paved area in front of a office complex. I still have pictures to post when the feature is returned.
Update on the Great Hall of the People (not a cinema but a sort of Congress Hall), it infact holds 10000 people and was recently used for Riverdance.