Forget ‘Avatar,’ This Chinese Cinema Is a Hot Spot for Napping

A movie theater in the Chinese city of Chengdu has found an inventive way to keep the cash flowing in amid a difficult entertainment market in the country

5 0
1:20 PM HKT, Tue December 6, 2022 1 mins read

As China’s cinemas have suffered from a shortage of new international films and rolling Covid-19 lockdowns, theaters across the country have sought alternative business models to stay afloat. Among the examples of creatively repurposed cinema spaces: A movie theater in Southwest China’s Chengdu has begun offering its premises as a place for tired folks to nap on their lunch break.

On November 21, Chengdu Rainer Stars Cinema launched its ‘lunch break service’ campaign. As shown in the poster below, from noon to 2 PM on workdays, customers can pay less than 3 USD to nap in the auditoriums.

Nappers can choose from two packages: one includes a warm eye mask and is priced at 12.9 RMB (1.86 USD), while the other comes with a mask and a hot drink for 18.9 RMB (2.72 USD).

china cinema nap time

Image via Weibo

“Many tech giants are located around us, and their workers are usually our main customers,” said the manager at Chengdu Rainer Stars Cinema in an interview with Southern People Weekly. “I noticed that many people came to rest on massage chairs at noon in our lobby, so I thought maybe we could offer nap services to make some money and also help people in need.”

The manager added that many other cinemas have followed suit, in addition to coming up with other creative money-making campaigns such as hosting World Cup screenings, stand-up comedy shows, or LARPing.

It has been a particularly tough year for Chinese box offices. At the beginning of November, the total box office revenue in the country for 2022 was 35% of the amount made by this time in 2021.

china cinema nap time

Photo by Felix Mooneeram on Unsplash

Multiple hashtags related to the Chengdu cinema have been trending on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, with millions of views in total. Many netizens have reacted with sarcastic comments.

“Today’s movies are so garbage and hypnotic, I bet people will sleep even better with movies on,” reads a witty remark.

Another opined, “I feel bad for the cinema, but also, it is sort of funny.”

A post-lunch power nap has been a long-standing tradition in China. Kids in school are required to take naps after lunch, while some young adults take up the habit again after joining the workforce (understandable, given the intense work culture prevalent in many Chinese workplaces).

Cover photo by Geoffrey Moffett on Unsplash

Join the Conversation
Write comment

Use this time to reassess your life choices