Built more than 60 years ago, the Peace Cinema (Heping Yingdu) remains one of the city’s premier attractions, though now it’s known more for its huge IMAX screen and the fact that you can stock up at Hershey’s Chocolate World downstairs before the film starts.
Cinema-going in China is an unpredictable affair, with only a few foreign films making it past the censors every year, and no guarantee that Chinese films will be shown with English subtitles. Given the ready availability of a far broader selection of pirated DVDs across the city (in stores like those on cosmopolitan Dagu Lu), most people only venture to the cinema to see the biggest of the big blockbusters; with films like Avatar sold out weeks in advance.
But if you do decide to go, there’s few nicer places than here. The adjacent Raffles City Mall is stuffed with excellent eating options, and the bar of the nearby Langham Yangtze Boutique Hotel (which predates even the cinema) is a wonderfully atmospheric place for a pre- or post-film drink.