Despite being far away in the deep western plains, Urumqi, like any other Chinese city, is abounding with restaurants, KTVs, barbecue stalls, and dance bars to help you pass the time. The locals also love to catch a movie in one of the many cinemas located in the Xinjiang capital. Here, we guide you through some of the best cinemas in Urumqi.
Xinjiang People’s Theater. Photo: ts.cn
1) Oscar Youhao International CinemaView In Map
Although the chances of the Academy Awards Ceremony being held in Urumqi any time in the near future are quite slim, one of the best cinemas in Urumqi, Oscar Youhao International, is certainly worth checking out. The large complex accommodates for over 1,500 people, and draws in huge crowds, especially during the weekend, so make sure you’re there early! If watching a film isn’t enough, you can check out the many shops in the mall located downstairs.
Add: 6F, Meimei Department Store, 689 Youhao Lu, Shayibake District, Urumqi
Tel: 099 1699 9994
Opening hours: 11:30-00:30
Getting there: take bus 7, 14, 17, 26, 51, 52, 68, 109, 301, 311, 537, 909, 910, 914, 917, brt-1, or brt-2 to Hongshan Station (红山站)
2) Meiya Daguangming International Cinema View In Map
Meiya Daguangming International Cinema (美亚大光明国际影城) rivals Oscar Youhao in terms of size, featuring 10 screens equipped with all the latest sound and projection systems. Smokers can rejoice, as this place also has a screen where you’re free to light up and puff away – perhaps one of the few cinemas in China where you’re actually “allowed” to these days. Member’s cards are available for 700 RMB and are worth getting if you’re planning on coming here often, and a food court is close by on the third floor for anyone in need of sustenance. The mala hotpot is quite popular!
Add: 3F, Jingu Plaza, 222 Xinhua Beilu, Tianshan District, Urumqi
Tel: 099 1231 8111
Opening hours: 11:00-23:30
Getting there: take bus 7, 17, 35, 58, 61, 62, 63, 68, 73, 157, 508, 528a, 902, 907, 910, or 927 to Xiaoximen Station (小西门站)
3) People’s Cinema
The name of this place suggests it’s been around for a while, and it has, for 60 years. Although it may be pretty dated, the People’s Cinema is conveniently located around various shopping malls and computer retailers. Ticket prices are comparatively cheap, though perhaps the best thing about this cinema is its vintage charm, which can be seen in both the interior and exterior architecture.
Add: People’s Cinema
Opening hours: 11:00-02:00
Getting there: take bus 8 to Wenyi Lu Station (文艺路站)
4) Xinjiang People’s TheaterView In Map
Built in 1955, the Xinjiang People’s Theater (新疆人民剧场), which is not to be confused with the one above, got a makeover in 2000 and is now a comprehensive modern cinema with 13 screens and over 1,800 seats. All the trimmings are up to date, with modern sound and projection systems, and you can also catch various popular plays and performances currently in town. The screens are also all fitted with plush sofas and red carpets to make that cinema experience more comfortable.
Add: 17 Renmin Lu, Tianshan District, Urumqi
Tel: 099 1887 2255
Opening hours: 10:00-24:00
Getting there: take bus 8, 44, 58, 157, 308, 902, 903, or 912 to Lijiao Qiao Station (立交桥站)
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