China is on a cinema-building binge
Not long ago when Zhang Guomiao wanted to see a film, he’d head for the village square. There, itinerant cinema operators would unfurl a canvas screen, set up some static-filled speakers and show a grainy movie in the open air.
“We had to bring our own stools if we wanted to sit,” said Zhang, 47, who remembered chickens clucking by his feet and neighbors talking loudly. “You couldn’t hear much of the movie.”
These days he visits a new seven-screen multiplex outfitted with plush seating, 3-D screens and popcorn imported from the U.S. The rice farmer went with friends to see the best-picture Academy Award nominee “Inception,” marveling at the science-fiction thriller’s special effects, throbbing soundtrack — and the clean cinema floors.
“The movie was very hard to understand, but the cinema was very comfortable,” Zhang said. “As a farmer, I thought it was very luxurious.”