I had never heard of 1933 Old Millfun in Shanghai until randomly stumbling upon a picture of it a few days ago. With the hot weather and nearly non-stop rain lately, it seemed like an interesting indoor destination to explore for an afternoon.
So what is it? The Old Millfun (or 1933 LaoChangFang 老场坊 in Chinese) is an industrial art deco warehouse that used to be one of the biggest slaughterhouses in the world back in 1933 when it was built. It’s a strange and kind of eerie building complex that now houses a mix of small shops, cafés, a few restaurants, at least two dance studios and some offices.
The building itself is like a 5 story concrete maze. You can easily spend an hour or two just walking around, climbing up and down tiny staircases, moving between multiple levels on bridged walkways.
I think photography lovers in particular love Old Millfun. It’s a very unique space with fascinating architecture and light, and we definitely weren’t the only ones running around with a camera. It seems to be a popular spot for doing lifestyle content and photoshoots for social media.
Would I recommend going? Absolutely! It’s a very cool place to spend a couple of hours wandering around, taking pictures and sitting down for a cup of coffee. Although you should note that parts of the warehouse isn’t covered by the roof, so this might not be an ideal excursion for days with torrential rain after all.
Aside from the Old Millfun complex, we also noticed that the area just northwest of it looked interesting and had a cozy old-Shanghai feel. We got a quick look from the car when driving away, but we’ll definitely make sure to walk around the neighborhood next time!
1933 Old Millfun, or 1933 LaoChangFang 老场坊 in Chinese, is located on 611 Liyang Road in Hongkou District.