Dalian Wanda Group opens Qingdao Movie Metropolis

Dalian Wanda Group has opened a massive RMB50bn ($8bn) entertainment complex featuring film studios and a theme park in Qingdao on the coast of China.

Qingdao Movie Metropolis is intended to be China’s answer to Hollywood and includes 30 film studios, a theme park, a shopping mall, the largest cinema in Asia, an ice skating rink, luxury hotels, a yacht club, a school and a hospital across 376 hectares. It took five years to build.

Dalian Wanda plans to add 10 more studios “with the highest international standards”. It already boasts the world’s largest sound stage with an area of 10,000sqm.

The Movie Metropolis has already hosted some high-profile productions including The Great Wall starring Matt Damon, and Pacific Rim: Uprising. Wanda said in 2016 that it was in talks to accept 30 foreign film production teams and 100 domestic ones each year.

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group said the complex would “turn Qingdao into a global hub for film”.

“We will boost the Chinese movie industry development,” he said at the opening ceremony on Saturday. “This is the largest investment the global film and television industry has ever seen.”

The theme park in the complex is set to feature the world’s largest interactive dark ride, combining media-based interactivity with a high-speed roller coaster.

Belgian company, Alterface, has designed and installed all image generators and the shooting system across seven different scenes and 42 3D projection screens. The ride is themed around traditional Chinese legends.

In July last year, it appeared as if the Qingdao Movie Metropolis project had pushed Dalian Wanda into trouble as it started selling off assets to pay down its debt. Despite the trouble, the complex has been completed and now the company is ready to reap the rewards.