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August 31, 2013

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Historic cinema’s new role as theater

THE curtain rose once more yesterday on a historic cinema in Hongkou District that has been transformed into a modern theater.

Star Dream Theater will be a landmark for Hongkou’s Shanghai Music Valley arts zone project, hosting concerts and other shows, said officials.

It was in the past Jiaxing Cinema — one of Shanghai’s oldest — designed and built by British architects in 1932.

Jiaxing Cinema closed in the 1980s due to lack of maintenance and was nearly turned into a hotpot restaurant.

The three-story building has been restored to its original look with a grey facade and classic architecture style.

“Designers studied old photographs at the Shanghai Municipal Archives to ensure they restored the building to its original look,” said Le Zixing, director of the culture and innovation office with the Hongkou District.

Star Dream Theater is up-to-date too, added Le, as interior decor meets modern standards for a multifunctional stage performances.

It also has a rooftop stage.

Le said the new theater, which has a capacity of 500, will mainly be used for performances by young local arts groups and offer locals a chance to see the arts on their doorstep.

Local all-female idol group, the 15-strong SNH48 performed at Star Dream Theater yesterday, and will have a regular slot.

Shanghai Music Valley is a 280,000-square-meter project to be created in a historic preservation zone in the North Bund area.

Factories in historic buildings will be relocated to make way for music and art companies. A 5D light show is also planned.


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