Daguanlou Cinema (大观楼影城)

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It is one of the earliest cinemas in China and regarded as the origin of Chinese movies. It is worth a visit for movie lovers.

Information on this page last updated:2016-08-16 16:40:36

Admission: 35 RMB
Opening Hours: Peak Season: 9:30-22:30
Off-season: 9:30-22:30
Phone: +86 10 63034616
Best Time to Visit: All Year
Recommended Time for a Visit: 1 Hour


Daguanlou was originally the Masiyuan Teahouse, which was built in 1900. People, especially men, would go to the Masiyuan to sip tea and watch some Beijing Opera, which originated in the 1700s. Eight years after the invention of the movie in Paris in 1895, the Masiyuan's owner Ren Jingfeng decided to show short movies on a piece of white cloth suspended on stage between acts. This began the age of the silver screen in China. Movies remained an exclusively foreign art form until 1905 when Ren produced Ding Junshan (Conquering Mount Jun) the first-ever Chinese movie. He bought a movie camera in a German store in Beijing, and asked Tan Xinpei, the then famous Beijing Opera actor, to star in it. The ten-minute-long movie was filmed in front of Ren's studio and shown in Daguanlou Cinema. It was a hit. It's said that the rest of Beijing seemed empty, because everyone was at Daguanlou. Movie fever had caught on.

Features: In Daguanlou Cinema people can see both domestic and foreign blockbusters, such as Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers or Peter Jackson's King Kong. It might seem like every movie theater is the same, but watching a movie at Daguanlou is like eating Peking duck at the famous Quanjude Restaurant, the history of the place enhances the experience. After a facelift in 2005 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chinese cinema, Daguanlou offers visitors a picturesque combination of old and new. The grey and dark-red brick facade is reminiscent of buildings in the late 19th century. On the first floor, a small room has been restored and refurnished in the original style of the theater, with benches, old advertisements, oil lamps, and, as was the case in old cinemas, projection machines on display for the public. Beverages and snacks are available on the second floor.


Address: No. 36 Dazhalan, Qianmen, Xicheng District, Beijing


Take Bus No. 2, 5, 17, 48, 53, 59, 808 to Qianmen Station. It is relatively difficult to park a car, so self-driving is not suggested.

Scenic Pictures