Late pop-star's fans come to celebrate last night of iconic bookstore

The famous bookstore closed at 10pm last night, for the last time. Many visitors came to say goodbye, many of them fans of the late Leslie Cheung. 

Filmed by Wang Rongjiang. Edited by Zhong Youyang. 

After 21 years’ existence, Old China Hand Reading Room, or Hanyuan Bookstore in Chinese — one of the cultural landmarks of Shanghai — closed for the last time at 10pm last night.

The well-known bookstore on Shaoxing Road was opened in 1996 by famous Shanghai-based photographer Deke Erh. The store not only attracted bookworms, but also cultural figures and celebrities, including Leslie Cheung — the Hong Kong singer and actor who commited suicide in 2003 — who sat for a quiet afternoon in 2000.

Dozens of Leslie’s fans came to farewell the store last night.

One, a Shanghainese girl called Emily, brought a bunch of flowers. “The first time I came here was in 2003, just after learning about the death of Leslie,” she said. “As my last time here today, I came especially to say goodbye to Leslie’s memory in Shanghai.”

Another female high school fan from Yancheng, Jiangsu Province also came with the same purpose. Anxious about her daughter’s safety, her mother made the journey with her.

Yang Qijing, a visitor to the store, said: “I can’t imagine my first time here will be the last.” She told Shanghai Daily that she had met some of Leslie’s fans who came especially from Beijing, an old couple taking photos as a keepsake, and a middle aged man who did not want to leave till midnight and said he had met Leslie there by coincidence. 

Yang took a photo sitting on the store's famous sofa, holding Leslie’s photo taken in the same spot.

According to one of the staff members of the store, the lease is coming up for renewal. The reason of closure? The owner raised the rent, making it hard to stay open. 

Even with all the love.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Leslie Cheung's fans take photos of his images in the store on the last night of Old China Hand Reading Room.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A Shanghainese fan named Emily brings a bunch of flowers to make her farewell.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A visitor, Yang Qijing, poses for a photo sitting in the sofa where Leslie sat, holding his photo taken in the same spot. The store’s announcement said it would take good care of the sofa.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A girl who once lived upstairs of the store making a drawing.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Many visitors did not want to leave after the closure of the store at 10pm last night.

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