Known to foreigners as ‘the best cinema of the Far East’, the Grand Cinema was frequented by Shanghai
’s glitterati in its 1930s heyday. A Laszlo Hudec work, it was completed in 1933 and was the height of technological innovation – each seat had a translation system installed so that the Chinese audience could enjoy the foreign-language films through individual earpieces.
Now it's still great for getting a ’20s and ’30s Art Deco fix, from wrought iron railings to the up-lit stuccos, lashings of Italian marble and the signature font on the public signs. Though there are six screens, the biggest is Screen One (which you can enter through either ‘odd’ or ‘even’ entrances), split into two tiers of 1,554 seats.