I’ve been polishing and proofreading my memoir and just finished a part in which I stayed in Shanghai 15 years ago. Although I don’t write about the Cathay Cinema, I haven’t forgotten it.
The Cathay is an Art Deco beauty, built in 1932. (I recently read that Shanghai is home to more Art Deco buildings than anywhere else in the world.)
During that summer, I braved torrential rains one night and headed out to the Cathay to see Red Rose White Rose, a sensuous Hong Kong film that takes place in 1930s Shanghai. How a propos.
At one time, the Cathay Cinema was owned by Victor Sassoon, an Iraqi Jew who built the Cathay Hotel, now the Peace Hotel. A couple years before I visited the Cathay Cinema, it had received historic preservation status.
Although the building can’t be destroyed, the theater was converted into a triplex in 2003.
The interior no longer reveals any of its original decor.