Something other than Curse of Golden Flowers, please!

Updated: 2006-12-25 10:16

Curse of Golden Flowers premiered nationwide on December 14th and ever since the whole world seems to be spinning around it. Dazzling big productions always catch people's attention. However there is a small group of people who like watching movies yet say 'no' to big commercial productions. They prefer classics, documentaries and independent films. They prefer to go to small movie houses instead of large commercial theaters. So for those who prefer the avant-garde mindset and the unique angle of independent films to large-scale productions, here is a list of movie houses that specialize in these kinds of flicks.

 Haishang (above the sea): the past glory of old films

There was a time that two Chinese and foreign black and white films would be screened every weekend night at Haishang starting at 10pm. Yet now Haishang is a cozy bar with fabric sofas, warm reading lamps, various drinks and modern music. The old silver screen and projector remain where they were, yet the old films are now shown at weekend parties.

Haishang still boasts a good selection of old movies, but now only shows them when over ten people make reservations beforehand.

Location: Building 7, Sanlitun Beili, Chaoyang
Tel: 010гн64178288

Guangying Liuqing (light and shadow flowing mood) playing with light and shadow

Guangying Liuqing screens films every afternoon. The movie house owner is a film major graduate from the Communication University of China. Most of the movies on show have an academic feel. There are many movies there, including "Cruel Youth Growing-up Series", "1930s Metropolitan Series" and "Origianal Foreign Classics" as well as classical documentaries and women's movies.

Guangying afternoon movie starts on time each afternoon no matter how many people there are in the audience.. Cocktails served here are all named after movies, like "Red Cherry ", "Gone with the Wind" and "Love Story". The ground floor is a recreational cafe featuring western and Taiwanese fast food. In addition to perusing the films and books, customers can jump online with a free wireless Internet connection.

Location: Commercial Cultural Street C-2, opposite to Wendu Water City, Changping District

Old Story Movies Cafe: lost in the past

Old Story Movies Cafe is Russian style restaurant decorated with old posters and stills. It has scattered seats as well as five delicate balconies. One of the balcony walls is covered in 1940s Shanghai posters and modern Shanghai model shots.

Movies are shown in the main hall. Boasting Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio resources,
Old Story Movies Cafe screens documentaries and old movies every day from 10am to 10pm and aims to create a world reminiscent of the times when the movies were made for white collars. Customers may also make reservations to order movies.

Location: inside Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, No.61 Beisanhuan Zhonglu, Haidian
Tel: 010-82077372

Box Cafe: the base of independent movies

A well-known unique cafe in Haidian District, Box Cafe has a long tradition of showing independent movies. Movies are shown every Tuesday and Saturday night at 7:30pm. Four or fifty people fill the screening hall and there is an open discussion with the anchor as well as the director of the film shown that night.

Apart from independent movies, customers may also find ground coffee as well as shelves of books.

Location: 5 Xiwangzhuang, Shuangqinglu
Tel: 010-62791280

China Film Archive: a fairyland for petty bourgeoisie movie fans

China Film Archive exists for those who love foreign movies yet prefer Chinese subtitles to dubbing. An art cinema with top class screening hardware and sound systems, watching movies at the China Film Archive allows audiences to enjoy movies on a big screen with great sound.

Two films are shown each Thursday starting at 6:30pm. Tickets are priced at RMB 25 and a one-year ticket is sold at the end of the year. The cinema's nearly one thousand seats are usually at least half full, and China Film Archive customers make good company.

Location: No.3 Tianwen Huiyuanlu, Xiaoxitian, Haidian District
Tel: 010-62259313


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