Movie Buffs Rejoice!: 6 Spots That Host Free(ish) Screenings in Beijing
We don’t know about you, but we can't get enough of old films. Black-and-white, foreign language, cult, renowned flops... they're all worth our while. However, it can be difficult to access these gems online, especially if you want to watch a high-quality version.
Thankfully, hidden among the sea of cinemas showing new releases and blockbusters, there is a pretty healthy collection of indie cinemas and other kinds of venues that host film screenings on a regular basis. Here are some of our favorites.
Camera Stylo 摄影笔
Two-story Camera Stylo is one of our favorite Dongsishitiao haunts. A cosy spot with a nice rooftop terrace, it hosts regular weekly events such as book clubs, talks, music nights, as well as regular screenings and film club meetings to encourage people to deepen their interest in cinema. The featured films cover a wide range of interests, including old classics, indie short movies, and documentaries, and each screening is followed by a discussion. Follow their official WeChat account (ID: camerastylo) for more.
Jungle Vision 虞社演艺空间
Located inside Langyuan Vintage, Jungle Vision is a multi-purpose space that promotes music, literature, and movies, with a strong focus on independent and niche movies, and documentaries that present the China of yesterday and today from interesting perspectives. The screening costs RMB 40 on average. Follow their official WeChat account (ID: jungle-vision) for more info.
UCCA is an art center that is dedicated to large-scale exhibitions but also to movies, music, workshops, and lectures. The movies they feature are mostly connected with art and the art community. Follow their Wechat account (ID: UCCa_official) or their official website for updates.
Aotu Space 凹凸空间
Aotu Space is dedicated to exhibitions, performance, movie screenings, and more, with the screenings usually happening over the weekend. Most recently, they screened The First Line of China directed by Zhang Hanwen. Follow their WeChat account (ID: aotuspace_bj) for updates.
This Dongsi-based record store hosts regular music performance, and open their cozy performance space for documentary screenings and discussions every Wednesday from 8.30-10.30pm. Screenings are free, and open to anyone who is interested. Follow their official WeChat account (ID:FRUITYSPACE) for updates.
Culture Yard 天井越洋
Culture Yard is a language school and culture center located in a cozy hutong courtyard. Their 'China Through Cinema' project has them showing an iconic Chinese movie every Friday from 7pm, with a guided discussion afterward to give participants a deeper understanding of the cultural background behind the movie. All films are shown with English subtitles. Screenings are RMB 50 per person, or RMB 25 for Culture Yard students, including snacks and drinks. Follow their official WeChat account (ID: CultureYard) for more.
Images: Cultural Yard