Essential Architecture- Shanghai

Paramount Ballroom




Beijing / Peking, China




Art Deco 




Built in 1933 by a group of Chinese bankers, the Paramount Ballroom was considered the finest ballroom in Asia by many who visited it during the 1930s. Originally designed for an elite clientele of Chinese and foreigners, the Paramount ballroom included two dance floors as well as a lounge, a bar, and two private banquet halls. It could hold up to 1,000 people comfortably, yet it was also designed for much smaller crowds. Despite the ingenious design features, the Paramount Ballroom only lasted for three years 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 the early 1950s. After going through various changes in both structure, design, and contents over the ensuing decades, the Paramount has recently been revived as a dance hall. Today it is one of the most recognized icons from the nightlife of 1930s Shanghai. It is a stunning example of Art Decco architecture.