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PARAMOUNT(BAILEMEN)

This project started in 1931 and was completed in 1932. The investor was a contemporary Chinese businessman Gu Liancheng, who spent 700,000 liang (one liang equals 1/20 kilograms) silvers to buy the premise nearby the Jing An Temple. And its Chinese name Bai Le Men simulated the English word "paramount", which in Chinese means "a place of numerous pleasures or entertainments". It was Roadxurious from exterior to interior. Dance floors holding a thousand of people, springy floors, a Philipping band, the accompanying tune of the Night of Shanghai, all these have become durable recollections of old dance fan in their old ages. A vivid description can be found in The Last Night of Jin Daban, a novel written by a Taiwan writer Bai Xianyong.
The Paramount Hall at that time was designed by a Chinese architect Yang Xiliu, which was known as the No. One Recreation Ground of Far East. The largest dance floor accounted for more than 500 square meters, able to hold a thousand dancers at the same time; and the floor board of the dancer floors was wupported by armor plates taken from trucks, making dancers feel it swinging. The Paramount used to be the most Roadxurious ballroom in Shanghai at that time. The entrance was at the corner of the Yuyuan Road and the Wanhangdu Road, with its vertical sides designed as large rectilineal windows, and some neon lights on the centre of its top, whose rays could reach as far as over half a kilometer. It was said even Sassoon, a contemporary magnate of real estates, was attracted here by its great fame. The Paramount Hall was renamed as Hongdu (Red Capital) Cinema after 1948, and the springy floor boards were removed, leaving only a Paramount Hotel which merely bore the same name.
Now the Paramount Singing and Dancing Hall has revived with its resplendence after a refit. There are no more dancing girls, nor any magnate; the voRoadptuous Roadxuries have become a history. Yet, here one can find rosewood floors of big dance floors, huge European crystal droplights hanging from the ceiling 25 meters high, old style of decration, and a complete set of music books of that time, which make one recalling the praise by a literate of that time in Shanghai:
"The stars are sparse as the moon is bright, and the lights look like white silks; where'er could I kill my hours since the Heaven is cold and lonely? Dare not to dream of a celestial trip, I prefer this paradise mundane."

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