The Grand Cinema also known as the Grand Cinema Gallery and Grand Theatre, is an historic theatre located at 216 West Nanjing Road in Shanghai's Huangpu District, in China. Being one of the oldest cinemas of Shanghai, the Grand Cinema was designed by renowned Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec and constructed in 1928. The unique artistic architectural-style of Grand Cinema makes it one of the most gorgeous buildings from Shanghai's 1930s. The title "The Best Cinema of The Far East" given by Westerners shows their high regard for the building. After 1949, the Grand Cinema stood as one of the best cinemas of China for many years. The building was renovated in 2008 and three elevators were installed on both sides of the cinema. A roof garden and a terrace restaurant were also added where visitors can enjoy a nice view of People's Park.
The Theater's History
The original building immediately screened a US film that featured derogatory references to the Chinese, inspiring anger throughout the city. Later the cinema was sold to Lu Geng, a founder of the United Movies Co, who had the building demolished and asked the architect Laszlo Hudec to design a replacement movie house for the site. When the cinema reopened in 1933, Mei Lanfang, the most famous female impersonator in Peking Opera, was among the guests to partake in the ribbon cutting. With its dazzling design, modern facilities and air conditioning, the Grand Theater was soon being hailed as the best cinema in Asia. Most of the movies screened at the cinema in the 1930s were American or European films, and to watch a movie there cost five times the amount an average family needed to live on for a month. There were ushers in uniforms and top hat to welcome audiences in the foyer. It was the first cinema in Shanghai to offer simultaneous translation for foreign films, and it boasted the city's first wide screen. The building was renovated in 2008, keeping its art deco veneer and adding auditoriums.