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Shanghai's oldest amusement park to reopen on March 31

By XU JUNQIAN in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-20 13:32

After three months of trial run, The Great World in Shanghai, the city's oldest and once largest indoor amusement park, will be reopened on March 31, said its operator on Monday.

Covering a total space of 16,800 square meters, the park, comprising of three four-story buildings and an iconic hexagonal tower, was first established in 1917 by tobacco tycoon Huang Chujiu, and most recently closed down in 2003, when the city was inflicted with SARS epidemic.

Instead of "showcasing the gee-whiz from around the world" as it used to, the reopened compound is repositioning itself as a "shelter to preserve cultural heritages" that could be as historical as the building. About 20 heritages will be presented, in various forms, during the initial period of the opening, and traditional Chinese operas as well as modern musical and dancing shows will be put on every day. The schedules of the performances will be listed on the park's official website two weeks ahead.

Tickets are priced at 60 yuan per person, less than one-sixth of the Disney theme park in the city. The operator, the State-owned Shanghai Huaihai Group, said the pricing is a combination of charity and commerce.

Maximum capacity of the reopened park is capped at 1,900 visitors per day. At its prime in the 1950s, when the city had revived from decade-long war and instability, the average number of tourists would peak at 40,000 people per day. It was the first venue in China that allowed both males and females to perform in the same space.

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