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In honor of a silver screen legend

By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-16 04:53
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Born in England in 1889, six years before the birth of the cinema, Chaplin began making films in 1914 and his first feature-length film The Kid debuted in theaters across Shanghai in 1921, endearing him to local audiences. Such was his popularity that Shanghai's Mingxing Film Studio, one of the first in China, made a film about a Chaplin-like character visiting the city in 1922.

The show featured a Western actor imitating Chaplin's signature performance. Professor Tang Weijie of Tongji University, a scholar in film history, said that this show marked the beginning of China's film industry.

In 1931, Chaplin visited the Far East and met with famous artists such as Peking Opera singer Mei Lanfang in Shanghai.

"Even today, a photograph of Chaplin visiting the Xinguang Theatre still hangs in the old cinema located just off Nanjing Road in the city center," said Tang.

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