One of Shanghai’s great Art Deco Cinemas, the Cathay was designed by Czech architect C.H. Gonda and opened on January 1, 1932 with Norma Shearer's "A free soul". It is one of the 1930s cinemas, that is still running, in this case a first-run cinema. The main auditorium has been accomodating three screens since 2003 with 584 seats - leaving no visible original internal decor remaining. Before the separation in the three cinema halls, there were 1,080 seats in the house. Also, the Art Deco splendour of the exterior is gone. The remarkable marble lobby is still there, and like the exterior of the building, a stunning feature of the whole building complex.