Broadway Cinematheque: artsy inside and out
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.
Broadway Cinematheque, a theatre on water showing a steady diet of art house films, is easily the most artistic and atmospheric cinema in the city
Address: T4, MOMA, 1 Xiangheyuan Lu, Dongcheng District, Beijing 北京市东城区东直门香河园路1号当代MOMA北区T4
Telephone: 8438 8202, 8438 8258
Bus: Lines 18, 614, Get off at Xiangheyuan
Subway: Lines 2 and 13, Dongzhimen Station. Exit at the northeast and head north along the 2nd ring to Xiangheyuan Lu
Taxis: Hard to get a cab due to its location off the main drag.
Ease of locating cinema: The Broadway Cinema is an easily located in the funky "linked hybrid" complex called Dongzhimen MOMA
Website: Chinese with some English
Staff: No problem communicating in English
Box office movie display board: Chinese and English
Classic posters line the walls of the cinema
Oscars go to…
Artistic Design Surrounded by a lake, the stylish structure of the Broadway Cinematheque makes it appear to be floating on water. Inside, green and white colors produce an elegant and classy mood. Framed movie posters decorate the walls and hundreds of movie books fill the lobby. On the second floor there is a message board for visitors to record their experiences at this extraordinary theatre.
Good Service The staff always greets visitors warmly and cordially. Their patience and politeness definitely adds enjoyment to the experience.
The programming features a mix of mainstream and art house films
Art house programming Worthy of the title of "Beijing’s first art cinema", MOMA not only screens mainstream titles, but also consistently show art house films, documentaries and foreign films that are not typically released in other theatres.
Golden Raspberries go to…
Inconvenient surroundings Without a car it’s a bit difficult to reach the cinema, and those that take taxis are likely to find it difficult to get one on the way home. Additionally, there are few dining, shopping or other distractions in the immediate area.
Overall screening room experience Though the exterior and lobby of MOMA is quite striking, the screening rooms are not as breathtaking. The cinema’s three screening rooms lack the artistic touch so present in other areas. The seats, screen, and sound are reasonable but unremarkable.
3D glasses are high quality but require a RMB 50 deposit
3D glasses renting MOMA uses imported 3D glasses that are an improvement over their domestic counterparts … however the cinema demands a RMB 50 deposit to use them. The money is returned to you after the cinema inspects them for damage — an extra process that can be both annoying and tiring.
MOMA’s sweet popcorn is warm and has a mix of heavily and lightly coated caramel pieces — your typical Beijing cinema toffee popcorn.
Although there are other MOMA theatres in Beijing, this is the only one billed as an art house and thus is the one and only theatre with such special designs and features.
Photos by Ron Wu