Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Lai, Delin


Paramount Ballroom (Shanghai, China); Architecture--China--Shanghai; Buildings--China--Shanghai; Shanghai (China)--History--20th century; Shanghai (China)--Social life and customs--20th century


The Paramount Ballroom was an innovative urban space that challenged traditional Chinese values. In doing so it played an important role in Shanghai's modernization. Traditional Confucian morality set very strict regulations on the social interaction of men and women, while, in contrast, the architectural space of the Paramount Ballroom allowed men and women to have close contact. The experience created by this architecture was not just pleasurable and fashionable; it was a sign of modernity. This study reconstructs the entertainment experience of the contemporary middle class in the newly constructed ballrooms of Shanghai. It examines how the Paramount Ballroom emerged, how it was interpreted by Chinese society, and the historical role it played in modernizing Shanghai's urban space in the 1930s.