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Cinemas, sports and sea make for summer

FUN Although air conditioners and the heat-trapping greenhouse effect outside keep indoors cooler now, you can still find charm and delights out of doors on summer nights in the city.

Try going to an open air movie at a nearby park or garden or go a bit further to the beach in one of the suburbs. One of the renovated open air sports centers or the many riverside boulevards can also offer an entrancing view of Shanghai by night.

Just walk out of the air-conditioned rooms and try beating the heat and boredom in open air.

Open air movies

Outdoor movies will be screened at 38 local parks and gardens this summer. By the end of September, more than 190 movies will be shown in 18 districts and county, the Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau says.

The program includes a load of recent releases and hot blockbusters, dramas, comedies and action - most are in Chinese with English subtitles.

During the three-month open air film festival, free viewing of films such as "Forever Enthralled" ("Mei Lanfang") and "Ip Man" are guaranteed large crowds. Huangpu Square Park, south to People's Square and next to Yan'an Road E., Jing'an Park on Nanjing Road W. and Luxun Park in Hongkou District are some of the best outdoor cinemas to try.

These open air screenings have been a tradition since 2005. It used to be only the large-scale parks that were involved with screenings. Now smaller, community-based parks have joined the program and perhaps there is one close to you so that you and your family can enjoy a beautiful film in a beautiful setting.

Jiangwan Sports Center

The sports center, with its massive gates and walls, was built in 1935 at Wujiaochang area in Yangpu District, the heart of Shanghai's administration in that period.

Once the largest sports stadium in the East Asia, the center, previously known as the Jiangwan Stadium, has been renovated into a comprehensive area for sports and recreational activities.

Its sunken square outside the old stadium attracts white-collar workers from the lofty nearby office buildings after work. Residents stroll along here after supper to enjoy the summer evening breezes.

A floodlit football stadium, a multi-purpose hall and an indoor swimming pool stay open after sunset. The football stadium can accommodate more than 40,000 fans. The 50-meter swimming pool provides heated water all year round.

A traditional Chinese garden to the east of the football stadium adds a unique highlight to the sports center. Its nostalgic architectural style does not fade easily into night and the fragrance of the plants lures visitors.

Jinshan City Beach

The beach is always a popular destination in summer. Jinshan City Beach is a rare thing in the vast sprawling metropolis of Shanghai, a man-made delight of sand and seawater.

Although the scheduled music festival has been cancelled this year, visitors can still can enjoy fun aplenty.

Visitors can sit and watch the sun sinking into the sea while sampling some of the freshest seafood in the city. Jinshan is set to become the city's biggest seafood market, with seafood coming from Shandong, Liaoning and Zhejiang provinces.

To the east of the beach, a 400-meter landscaped footpath has been established. For more "beach fun" at the man-made beach, amusement park rides, including a Ferris wheel, have been added.

The beach also plans to hold a summer carnival.

This summer, the beach is open from 8:30am to 8pm. It costs 30 yuan (US$4.4) during the day and 50 yuan on weekends and during festivals, half price for students.

Riverside Avenue

The 2.5-kilometer Riverside Avenue ( (Bin Jiang Da Dao) along the waterfront of the Huangpu River may be the most attractive of all the destinations for a night view of Shanghai.

The avenue covers 150,000 square meters, and runs from Dongchang Road in the south to Taitong Road in the north, separated in the middle by Lujiazui Road W.

The Riverside Avenue is the wise way to look over the major attractions in Pudong. As well as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Building, the Ocean Aquarium, the Jin Mao Tower, the Super Brand Mall, and a string of restaurants and coffee houses are close by.

It is not only a nice place to visit, but has also become a booming commercial center. The area has attracted many brand name restaurants, cafes and coffee houses and snack bars, including Starbucks, Lavazza and Haagen-Dazs.

Fashion shows are also held at the avenue, as it makes as a gorgeous background along the Huangpu River and many luxurious commercial buildings can be found there. A Giorgio Armani fashion show on the avenue once attracted more than 1,000 onlookers. Where to go

Open air movies (selected downtown parks):

7pm-9pm, every Saturday

For film listings, please check (only in Chinese):

Huangpu Square Park (Yanzhong Green Space)

Address: Yan'an Rd M. to Yan'an Rd E., near Pu'an Rd and Dagu Rd

Tel: 6385-3857

Jing'an Park

Address: 1649 Nanjing Rd W.

Tel: 6248-3238

Luxun Park

Address: 146 Jiangwan Rd E.

Tel: 6540-0009

Everbright Green Area

Address: Tianmu Rd W., near Shanghai Railway Station

Xiangyang Park

Address: 1008 Huaihai Rd M.

Tel: 5404-2208


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