Majestic Theater lives up to its name after refurbishment

The Majestic Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Shanghai, celebrated its 77th birthday this month by holding a variety of activities along Nanjing Road West.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The Majestic Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Shanghai, celebrated its 77th birthday this month by holding a variety of activities along Nanjing Road West.

Completed on October 1941, the art deco-style structure on the backstreet of Jiangning Road was once hailed as the top theater in Asia. On its opening day, the American movie “Moon Over Miami” was screened. It was the first time a Western film was shown in the city.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the theater was a cultural landmark, but its glory was later eclipsed by the rise of more modern entertainment venues. To restore some of its past luster, the building underwent extensive renovation, beginning in 2010, and officially reopened to the public in April 2016.

The renovation restored the theater to its original look, based on old drawings. The floors were repaved with terrazzo made by traditional craftsmen. The copper door handles were repaired, and handrails on the second floor were redone in paint made in France. The theater marquees, in red, were inlaid in glass.

To highlight its distinctive history, the theater exhibits old pictures capturing great moments of its past, such as a performance by Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang after the war against Japan ended. A cinema projector once used in the 1970s and 1980s is displayed in the hall on the first floor

On October 13 and 14, the theater invited the public to come and tour the building. As part of anniversary observations, a variety of interactive performances were held in area department stores and on roadsides.


Ti Gong
Ti Gong
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