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The Revitalisation of Chinese Cinema

The cinema is no longer merely a place you go to watch movies, says One Plus Partnership, but where you go to enjoy a complete viewing experience.



BY Andrew McDonald

May 25th, 2017


You’ve seen our coverage of some very out-of-this-world cinemas. Highly themed, distinctive, and each interior more audacious than the next, the cinema – at least in China – is going through a kind of renaissance.

Like experiential retail, cinemas in China now offer customers ‘holistic experiences’ that extend beyond pure screen entertainment. The experience itself often starts at the door.

One Plus Partnership has completed numerous cinemas just like that. In fact, one could argue that they have set the trend. Says the studio, “Our groundbreaking cinema designs have gradually taken over the traditional designs of Chinese cinemas. More and more, we’re seeing cinemas starting to look for innovative designs that enrich the audience’s viewing experiences and attract more customers. In fact, our creation of this trend has driven a keen competition within the industry in recent years where many cinemas are seeking to stand out from their competitors through their interior design.”

In all of the studio’s projects, regardless of sector, designs are based on elements related to the characteristics of the particular business. In cinema, this had led to highly thematic interiors inspired by items such as reflectors and film reels.

One of their latest projects, the Shanghai Omnijoi International Cinema is yet another highly thematic space, this time inspired by the rails that are used for film tracking shots.

In the lobby, copper coloured metal tubes wound around the ceiling, at times dropping down to form furniture and ticketing counters. Elongated lights are installed along these tubes, adding variety to the ceiling feature while illuminating the space.

In the auditorium, the walls are decorated by segments of the metal tubes. The bent segments feature lighting at both ends, and are arranged to point towards different directions to enhance the lighting effect.

“The change in the attitude of cinema companies is very significant,” says One Plus Partnership. “One of our current clients approached us a few years ago, but our design was too unconventional for them at that time. This year, they came to us again and really appreciated our creativity after viewing our previous work, and decided to enlist us for their latest project.” This, says the studio, just goes to show how much cinema companies are coming to appreciate the way design can help their business.


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