Shanghai film stroll: A cinematic city walk through time and culture
A tour of Shanghai will never be complete without exploring its cinematic history. A movie-related city walk, for example, can bring you back to those golden bygone days.
This route guides walkers through the history of the Shanghai Film Group, allowing them to visit celebrity residences and outstanding historical architecture.
First stop: Film Time Bookstore
Address: 322 Anfu Road 安福路322号
Anfu Road is one of the most vibrant streets in Shanghai ─ for shopping, coffee, or just taking photos.
Many of the shops at 300-322 Anfu Road belong to Shanghai Film Group, including Yonglehui 322 Park which houses trendy brands such as deja vu recycle store, BEAST and SATURNBIRD COFFEE.
Film Time Bookstore, located at 322 Anfu Road, is the only film-themed bookstore in Shanghai. It was launched on November 20, 2020.
Previously an office building for the Shanghai Film Distribution and Projection Company in the Hengfu (Hengshan-Fuxing Road) Historical Conservation Zone, the bookstore is now the headquarters of Shanghai Paradise Corp Ltd.
The bookstore displays over 600 film-related books, including original novels, biographies of film personalities, insights into watching movies, and more. Additionally, there are limited-edition books with author signatures, art concept collections, and photography compilations.
The coffee bar offers beverages with names related to movies, such as Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Taste of Shanghai, Vanilla Sky, COCO, Flowers of Shanghai, and Taste of Cherry.
The bookstore also regularly hosts various cultural events, including film salons, book-sharing sessions, and book clubs.
Second stop: YONGFUc52
Address: 52 Yongfu Road 永福路52号
The sign prominently reads "Shanghai Film Studio." In 1949, it became the property of the Shanghai Film Group. During the 1970s, the literary department of the group relocated here, producing a large number of masterpieces such as "Hibiscus Town," "Romance on Lushan Mountain," "My Memories of Old Beijing" and "Narrow Street."
Although not open to the public, it frequently hosts famous directors and actors, and also occasionally hosts art exhibitions and brand events. It is often regarded as the "International Filmmakers Club."
Originally the private residence of American entrepreneurs, Mr & Mrs R. Buchan, the mansion was designed by US architect Elliott Hazzard and built in 1932. It features a semi-circular arch portico, fish-scale cement rough-cast walls, and a gently narrow tile roof, capturing the essence of Spanish Renaissance architecture.
The building has 11 rooms with a base color scheme of dark wood and metallic hues. Solomon columns, marble statues, a spiral staircase, and shallow bas-reliefs blend and overlap, creating a distinctive neoclassical ambiance.
One of the highlights is the camphor tree in the courtyard, which is 120 years old. Planted on the land before the mansion's construction, it has been a guardian of this building from its founding.
Third stop: Shanghai Film Group's Actors Troupe
Address: 395 Wukang Road 武康路395号
Wukang Road has witnessed almost half of Shanghai's modern history. Many renowned figures including famous actress and singer Zhou Xuan and renowned writer Ba Jin resided here.
Between 1897 and 1902, an American missionary named John Calvin Ferguson was invited to serve as the supervisor of Nanyang College (the predecessor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University). Seeing the poor condition of the road from his home to the school, he donated part of his salary to renovate it. In 1907, the local authorities slightly widened the road and covered it with coal cinder, officially naming it "Ferguson Road." It was later renamed Wukang Road.
A short stroll of approximately 100 meters along the road reveals a Baroque-style garden mansion at 395 Wukang Road. Built in 1926, it served as the former site of the World Society, founded by Chinese scholars with the aim of disseminating advanced Western culture to the Chinese people of the time.
Shanghai is the birthplace of Chinese cinema, and indeed, Wukang Road has strong connections with film celebrities.
The Shanghai Film Group's Actors Troupe, located at 395 Wukang Road, was officially established on September 4, 1953, making it one of the complete actor troupes in China.
In the fall of 1964, it found a home at 52 Yongfu Road, and then relocated to 395 Wukang Road in 1982. After another move in April 2003, the troupe returned to 395 Wukang Road on October 29, 2018, marking its 65th anniversary.
The mansion, not open to the public, is a grand garden residence erected in 1926. It stands as a four-story brick-and-wood masterpiece, characterized by a distinct European red-tiled roof with a prominent broken ridge. The building boasts elegant curved balconies on each floor of its front and rear facades.