The lobby of Wanda Cinema’s CBD location is out of this world
ISB student Elise Jiang is a die-hard movie fan and a veteran of over 60 cinema experiences in the capital. Throughout July Elise is taking us on a tour of Beijing’s best movie theaters. Stay tuned Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm for her comprehensive cinema reviews and check out an archive of the ones she’s reviewed so far here.
Wanda International Cinema (CBD location)
Wanda Cinema puts the capital “C” in the word “Convenience”.
Address: Wanda Plaza Building B, 3rd Floor, 93 Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District 朝阳区建国路93号万达广场B座3楼
Telephone: 5960 3399
Taxis: Walking straight out of the theatre building, you will be met by lines of taxi driving by slowly on the road, looking for a customer.
Subway: Line 10 (Guo Mao station) or Line 1 (Guo Mao station and Dawang Lu station).
Ease of locating Cinema: Wanda Cinema is very easily located as its logo is visible from the road. The entrance is directly to the east of the Sofitel Wanda hotel.
Website: In Chinese only
Staff: Cannot readily communicate in English
Box office movie display board: Movie titles in Chinese only
Oscars go to…
Ultra convenient. Of all the cinemas in Beijing, Wanda is perhaps the most convenient transport-wise due to its location in CBD. Lots of buses stop nearby, lines of taxis can be found within a short hop from the cinema entrance, and subway stations are less than a 10-minute walk in either direction — Guo Mao (Lines 1 and 10) and Dawang Lu (Line 10)
Extra bonus: a special play area for toddlers.
Entertainment for all ages With a full-service arcade, teens and adults can enjoy themselves jumping imaginary ropes and racing cars before or even after a movie. Extra bonus: there’s even a special children’s play area for the toddler set.
Cheap snack alternatives Find the food and drinks offered at the theater’s concession stand too pricey? The small snack stop located at the entrance of the arcade offers a variety of cheaper chips and drinks as well as ice cream. If you’re searching for hot food but have had enough nachos and popcorn, the arcade also offers freshly made corn and Taiwanese style sausages as an alternative.
Golden Raspberries go to…
The crowds. It is not a surprise that Wanda Cinema is crowded due to its polished environment and popular location. Expect long lines, jockeying for seats in the waiting area, and even lines at the bathroom during peak times. When Avatar was all the rage, this cinema was literally packed full — a scene likely to repeat itself with the upcoming Transformers 3 and Harry Potter 7.
Fancy but not functional: too few seats in the main lobby makes for unpleasant waiting
Waiting seats with no back rests The small waiting area is not only scarce on available seats, but most lack back rests, making for an unpleasant wait prior to the start of your film.
Excessive A/C in the screening room The screening rooms can get uncomfortably cold, even in the summer. Think ahead and bring a light jacket or sweater as it can get mighty chilly if you’re in summer attire.
The Screening Room experience
Wanda Cinema’s 9 screening rooms provide good quality screens and sound, as well as offering IMAX , making the moviegoing experience thoroughly satisfying.
The caramel popcorn at Wanda was not freshly made and lacked crispness. However the upside was that the sweetness was quite balanced, with an even caramel coating.