A new beginning for The Great World

By Xu Junqian | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-11 10:31

A new beginning for The Great World

The newly renovated Great World has invited artists and actors to perform as part of efforts to brand it as a venue that showcases intangible cultural heritage from around the world. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

According to local media reports, crowd numbers at The Great World started to decline around 1998 when it faced competition from the newly built Shanghai Jinjiang Amusement Park. The new entertainment venue in southwest Shanghai, which had cost 90 million yuan ($13.09 million) to construct, was then the largest outdoor amusement park in the country.

Furthermore, the traditional opera performances at The Great World were no longer appealing to the younger generation of the city. The park management was also unable to expand its facilities or revamp the site because the architecture had been designated as a historical relic for preservation by the municipal government.

The combination of these factors proved to be the demise for the once popular entertainment venue, with average daily visitor numbers dwindling to a paltry 100 by 2003. During weekday mornings, there would at times be less than 10 visitors in the park.

A ticket to the 14,000-square-meter park was priced at 0.2 yuan, equivalent to about 30 yuan today, and it gave visitors access to all the facilities within.

According to the park management, the new price of entry has yet to be determined, while the venue will be limited to just 3,300 people daily. Officials also said that profitability will not be a major concern of the park, and the focus will be on preserving heritage and culture.

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