Three of the best former Art Deco cinemas

Where to spot three of the best former art deco cinemas in Shanghai

Capitol Theatre

Nestled at the northern apex of The Bund, the 1,000-seater Capitol, commonly known as the Shahmoon Building, was designed by C.H. Gonda and opened in 1928. There are plans to re-open the theatre, and to turn the roof space – with prime views of the River – into a boutique hotel.

142 Huqui Lu, near Nan Suzhou Lu, Huangpu district


Uptown Theatre 

The curved redbrick facade of the Ping’an Building at the corner of Nanjing Xi Lu and Shaanxi Bei Lu is hard to miss, but what is less well-known is that it used to house a cinema. 

Built in 1923, the ground floor of the building was the Spanish Consulate until it was converted into the Uptown Theatre in 1939. In 2006 the theatre was removed, returning the building to its Spanish roots by becoming Zara’s flagship Shanghai store.

1189 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu, Jingan district


Broadway Theatre 

Built in 1928, the Broadway cinema was central to social life in Shanghai’s Jewish ghetto: in the afternoons, people would gather at the Café Roy opposite, before dancing the night away on the cinema’s rooftop. 

Over the decades, the building has retained its Art Deco facade but has since been transformed from cinema to hotel. If you ask nicely, you can still visit the rooftop.

57 Huoshan Lu, near Yangshupu Lu, Hongkou district