The ceiling of Jinyi’s lobby area is done up in a Broadway theme
ISB student Elise Jiang is a die-hard movie fan and a veteran of over 60 cinema experiences in the capital. Over the next 3 weeks Elise will take us on a tour of Beijing’s best movie theaters. Stay tuned Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm for her comprehensive cinema reviews.
Jinyi International Cinema (Joy City Location)
Located inside the Joy City Mall, Jinyi is a one-stop entertainment experience, with theaters, an arcade and great desserts all in the same area. Who can ask for more?
Address: 朝阳区朝阳北路101号朝阳大悦城8楼 (青年路口)
Telephone: 8551 7099, 8552 7199
Bus: Lines 991, 75, 675, 306, 682, 628, 126, 111, 468, 494, 499, get off at 青年路口北站
Taxis: There are taxis passing by the roads near the mall, however during busy hours it is difficult to find an available one.
Subway: Nearest station is 四惠东站 (Sihui Dong station) on Line 1, which is around a 20 minute walk from Joy City.
Ease of finding the cinema: Cinema easily located on the 8th floor of the well-marked Joy City mall.
Staff: Can communicate in basic English
Box office: Movie titles listed in Chinese only
Website: Chinese only
Oscars go to …
Amazing desserts nearby. There is a wide variety of appetizing dessert stops nearby the cinema. A definite must is the caramel coffee ice from Fruit Pop. It tastes the same as a Starbucks’ Caramel Frappuccino, but it will only set you back RMB 11 (RMB 13 for a large). However, due to poor translation, “caramel” is listed as indicated as "sugar coke” in English on the menu. There are also cream puffs from Beard Papa and Taiwanese drinks such as bubble tea on the same floor. And the best part is that cinema staff won’t throw a fit when you bring outside food into the screening rooms — as long as it is not overdone.
Arrive early for your film? Kill some time at the nearby arcade
The arcade. Who’s up for some hoops, dance dance revolution or car racing? You name it, the “Silver Golden Island" arcade right next to the cinema has it. This is one of the biggest arcades I’ve seen in Beijing and its the ultimate way to kill some time before your movie begins.
Information posters. If you’re like me, you’ve probably occasionally found yourself in line to buy a ticket but still not sure exactly which movie to see. And if you’re like me, you’ve reached the front of the line without your mind made up, stuttering questions at the box office lady while the line of tired, unhappy people piled up behind you glares. Jinyi alleviates this problem by providing large posters featuring exhaustive information on each of the movies shown: the title, total time, plot summary, cast and crew and more.
Golden Raspberries to …
The dirty washroom. A classic case of overuse and not enough attendants. You’re guaranteed to get your shirt wet while washing your hands due to the pool of water that perpetually collects on the counter in front of the sink. Forget reaching for a paper towel as the container is most often empty. And from the looks of the trash on the floor surrounding the bin, China’s national basketball team is definitely not frequenting this cinema.
Tables in the waiting area look nice, but there’s far too few of them — and the ones that are there can be unstable
"All form, no function" waiting area. Although designed to be quite chic — with fuzzy high black chairs and tall tables with petite surfaces — the waiting/resting area contains far too few seats for the crowds that collect before the start of a movie. And what few seats they have are bunched into one area, meaning you’ll certainly be sharing personal space with a stranger or two. In addition, the tall tables tend to be unstable — be careful or your bucket of golden popcorn will slide off onto the ground before it reaches your mouth.
The re-routed exit. After 10 or 11 pm, the cinema starts blocking the path from ticket check-ins to the cinema’s main entrance/exit, claiming that the main elevators in the mall have stopped. They will then try to usher you through a narrow hallway to another set of elevators in back. However, this can be an disorienting to those unfamiliar with the mall or the underground parking lot.
The screening room experience
The size of the screening rooms are generally small, as are the screens themselves. The temperature and ventilation is comfortable while the sound quality is high. If you are lucky enough, you might get one of their deluxe seats that recline pretty far and feature hand rests that can be lifted up so couples or a family can snuggle together just like on the couch at home.
Each order of popcorn contains kernels with varying degrees of caramel coating. Some are completely coated with dark caramel, others lightly covered with caramel, and still others completely devoid of coating (and taste).
Uneven caramelization lead to disappointment.
The ones most heavily coated with caramel are crispy, tasty and hot — yet not too sweet. They simply melt in your mouth. If every single kernel in the container were like this, then I’d give Jinyi’s popcorn an A+. However, the unevenness of the coating makes it a bit of a disappointment.