The Paramount (Chinese: 百樂門; pinyin: Bǎilèmén; literally: "gate of 100 pleasures") is a historical nightclub and dance hall at 218 Yuyuan Road in Jing'an, Shanghai, China. It was the largest and a notorious ballroom in Shanghai during the decadent era before the People's Liberation Army established control over the city in 1949.
The Paramount, designed in Art Deco style by the architect S. J. Young (楊錫謬 Yáng Xīmiù, 1899-1978) was completed in 1933, by a group of Chinese bankers. It lay just off Bubbling Well Road (now Nanjing West Road), a major entertainment thoroughfare and was a meeting place for the wealthy elite of Shanghai society. The Ballroom lasted under its original owners before going bankrupt in 1936. In 1937, it was converted into a taxi dance hall featuring Chinese dance hostesses, which it remained until 1949.
In 1956, following the communist revolution in China, the Paramount was closed and it later reopened as the Red Capitol Cinema showing Maoist propaganda films. As a result of the Cultural Revolution, the building became defunct and obscure. On a rainy day in 1990, part of the structure's façade collapsed and killed a passerby on a sidewalk.
In 2001, Taiwanese investors spent $3-million to refurbish the venue and reopened it as a ballroom in the old glamorous style, with red-and-gold décor.
In December 2006, the Paramount's Taiwanese owners announced the ballroom was losing revenue so they decided to convert the second and third floors into a disco. Only the fourth-floor ballroom will remain in the old style, and preservationists have expressed concerns that the structure could be damaged by the reverberations of the disco.
In July 2012, Tangobang chose this venue for the Shanghai Tango Festival, this event will bring the classic ballroom orchestra and famous tango dancers around the world on July 13, 2012. Tango Performance by •Akiyoshi & Noriko Tanada •Raymond Chu & Lily Cheng •Vladmir Estrin & Meng Wang •Gennysan Alcartara & Lily Tan
- Warr, Anne: Shanghai Architecture, The Watermark Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-949284-76-1
- Howard W. French. "Where West Met East, and Then Asked for a Dance". New York Times. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- 东方第一乐府——百乐门里故事多(in Chinese)
- "BBC Radio 4- From Our Own Correspondent"
- Deco Theatres
- "The Legacy of Chinese Architects" at China.org.cn
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