T+L Reports: China's Drive-In Movie Boom

T+L Reports: China's Drive-In Movie Boom

Films are big business in Mainland China—though not the sort shown at multiplexes. The cinema tradition that's making a comebackis the drive-in theater. Sparked both by the rise in car ownership among the Chinese middle class and by the SARS epidemic, which halted business at moviehouses owing to fear of infection, drive-ins have been opening up all over the country. Multiscreen spaces charge per car rather than per person, making a double feature a bargain (as long as you don't buy the overpriced dried squid at the concession stand). Two of the most popular spots are in Beijing: the Maple Motor Cinema (Zi Liang Ma BridgeRd., Chaoyang District; 86-10/6432-9884)and the Goldenport Motor Park (1 Jingang Blvd., Chaoyang District; 86-10/8431-30507; www.goldenport.com.cn). Both are tourist friendly, showing Chinese and American films in their original languages, with subtitles. Sorry, there are no discounts for bicycles.
—Mark Ellwood

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