Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

A glimpse of Arcadia

Source: this article.

I was admiring this colorful poster of the impossibly wide Nanking Road, when another image in the SCMP article caught my attention.

Original caption: "Isabel Chao at the Airline Club, in Shanghai, on December 9, 1949, a few months before she left the city for Hong Kong. Picture: courtesy of Isabel Chao." Source.

Airline Club was the converted Arcadia, once the largest Russian cabaret in the French Concession, originally opened by Nikolay Plotnikoff. After the occupation ended, the club was bought by employees of several Shanghai airlines, who were 'tired of Shanghai nightclubs with their poisonous booze and exorbitant prices.' Judging by the photograph, the bamboo finish and the tropical theme continued to prevail.

In the past, I have covered the building's prior incarnations:

1. Arcadia as the family residence of the Dabelstein family for whom it was built and named Kenlion:

More on Kenlion.

2. Arcadia as the site of the Miss Shanghai pageant during the 1940s:

More pictures from this beauty contest, and the jury member's testimony.

Now I'd love to see this building as the entertainment center for the Communist Party cadres that it became in the 1960s, until its demolition in the 1990s.

Tags: 1930s, 1940s, arcadia, route doumer, russians, shanghai

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