Poly Theatre (保利剧院)

  • Theatres
14 Dongzhimen Nan Dajie

Before the National Theatre for the Performing Arts cast its egg-shaped shadow across Beijing’s theatre community, the Poly Theatre was the go-to venue for dance, theatre and classical music. In terms of programming, only volume has changed; quality remains strong, if inconsistent. You’ll get Stan Lai’s dramas and a huge contingent of the Beijing Music Festival performances; on the other hand, you might see Merchants of Bollywood and second-tier Russian ballet touring companies. But a careful choice will be rewarded, and no seat is too far away. Another major plus is the location, right next to Dong Si Shi Tiao metro station and across from the Swiss Hotel, there are a range of restaurants to visit before and/or after the performance, making the theatre experience a complete night out – in other words, what it should be.


However, while the Poly has no metal detectors, staff members are – to put it kindly – rigid about bags, and often hold up an A4-sized plastic sheet as a measuring too, which is by no means the final word. Be warned, you may find yourself being forced to check your bag and hand-carry your wallet, phone, glasses case, laptop, iPad and other items into the theatre – and then balance them on your lap during the performance. Even a B5-sized backpack will be banished to the cloakroom. For those coming from the office, be sure to bring some kind of envelope or sack for valuables, and be prepared for long lines at the coat check after the popular shows. 

Venue name: Poly Theatre (保利剧院)
Opening hours: 7pm-11pm.
English address: Poly Plaza 14 Dongzhimen Nan Dajie, Dongcheng district
Chinese address: 东城区东直门南大街14号保利大厦
  • 4 out of 5 stars