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Although it looks very like a purpose built cinema from the outside, the Paramount was indeed built as a ballroom initially.
Here are some recent pictures I took of the Paramount.
An interesting old tourist guide book from Shanghai (http://www.talesofoldchina.com/library/allaboutshanghai/t-all08.htm) from 1934, does not list the Paramount as cinema:
For its theatrical entertainment Shanghai is largely dependent on motion pictures and there are a number of first class cinema houses showing the best of the American, British, German, French and Chinese productions. They are all equipped for sound.
Excellent stage plays are produced at frequent intervals by local associations of amateurs, and touring companies are occasionally here for limited engagements. But in the main going to the theatre in Shanghai means going to the "talkies."
Among the first class cinemas are:
Carlton – 2 Park Road
Cathay – 868 Avenue Joffre
Embassy – 742 Bubbling Well Road
Grand – 216 Bubbling Well Road
Lyceum – Rtes. Bourgeat and Cardinal Mercier
Metropol – 500 Thibet Road
Nanking – 523 Avenue Edward VII
Strand – 586 Ningpo Road”
In 1995, there was a small cinema in the Paramount building, with ca. 300 seats. It was rather modern and seemed to have been added to the building just recently. It did not survive a long time. Now the Paramount building contains a large dancing hall and a club room.
I think it was a mistake.
The Paramount Ballroom opened on 14th December,1933,and the ballroom building did not had a cinema.