A New Beginning for The Great World

Updated: 2017-02-17 12:25

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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A New Beginning for The Great World

Shanghai's oldest indoor amusement park Dashijie, or The Great World, will be reopening in early March, more than a decade since it closed down due to poor management.

However, the venue - it used to be the largest of its kind in the city - will not reprise its role as an amusement park but as a venue that showcases intangible cultural heritages from around the world.

"Shanghai has no lack of places for fun or amusement today. The mission of The Great World has now taken on a new significance," said Xie Jun, the spokeswoman of the park, which is now under the charge of the Huangpu district government.

Comprising three four-story buildings and two wings, the park had for decades been a prominent landmark in Shanghai because of its iconic multi-layered hexagon tower that features 12 yellow pillars. The venue was so famous that tourists would often say that a trip to Shanghai wasn't complete until one had visited The Great World.

Historical records show that the park's average daily visitorship in the 1950s, the period following decades of war and instability, was 10,000 people. During the Spring Festival of 1955, the number of visitors peaked at 40,000 a day.

Upon reopening, the park will showcase 50 types of intangible cultural and experts will be on-site to demonstrate their skills.

"The inheritors of these heritages will perform on a rotational basis and we will be inviting as many of these inheritors as possible so that visitors can experience all the different heritages without having to travel around the world," said Xie, who noted that this new concept is aligned with the park's original purpose when it was built a century ago.

The park was immensely popular among locals and tourists till the 1990s when the country reopened its doors to the world and saw an influx of additional forms of entertainment such as karaoke and video games. "

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