Capital Cinema

Xi Chang'an Avenue,

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Additional Info

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Xinxin Grand Theater

Nearby Theaters

The cinema is about five minutes walk from the Forbidden City, Tiannamen Square and the Great Hall of the People (This would make a great cinema as it seats at least 4-6000 people). It was opened in 1937 as the Xinxin Grand Theater. It was renamed Capital Cinema in 1950.

It was closed on June 15, 2003. There is a new multiplex opening nearby in one the many shopping malls.

Contributed by Paul Lappin

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

unknown on October 29, 2003 at 11:20 am

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.

BoxOfficeBill on July 12, 2007 at 4:53 pm

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.

kencmcintyre on December 4, 2007 at 2:50 am

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.

50sSNIPES on March 15, 2024 at 3:17 pm

This first went with the name “Xinxin Grand Theater” with funds raised by Peking opera actor Ma Lianliang when it was built in 1937, but was renamed Capital Cinema in 1950. It also officially became China’s first widescreen stereo theater on July 1, 1957.

The Capital Cinema closed on June 15, 2003.

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