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People's Daily Online>>China Society

One-stop shop for updates on shows, low-priced tickets

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

10:14, December 30, 2011

BEIJING - If you tend to get overwhelmed by the huge number of performances and movies showing at different venues in the capital, a new integrated information system providing updates on cultural events, and even notices on the availability of cheap tickets, is coming your way.

Five new alliances were founded earlier this month, providing a common platform each for the capital's theaters, museums, publishing houses, cinemas and relevant companies. The idea is to keep cultural aficionados updated about the city's culture scene as well as offer a few lucrative deals.

"We hope the cultural alliances will lead the capital to be a real center of culture," said Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong.

Since January this year 25,700 shows were put up at Beijing's theaters, big and small, a huge increase compared to 19,000 in 2010, said Xiao Pei, director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture.

"The unprecedented prosperity of the market requires the theaters to offer better service, to keep pace with that growth," said Xiao, also chair of Capital Theaters Alliance.

The alliance will build a new platform for disseminating information to newspapers and websites, and help reconstruct theaters and support the creation of excellent performances, Xiao said.

Pang Wei, of the Capital Cinemas Alliance, says the city now has 117 cinemas with 609 screens and 113,000 seats, a two-fold increase compared to the figures five years ago.

"This year the cinemas had 873,000 screenings, which will bring in an income of 1.3 billion yuan ($205.5 million) by the end of 2011," Pang said. "It's a big business now."

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