A peek at the inside of the restored and much loved Shanghai Dashijie. The amusement center, which closed in 2003, reopened to invited guests yesterday.(Wang Rongjiang)
Cultural heritage skills, Chinese opera and traditional food were presented to invited residents at the century-old Shanghai Dashijie amusement center that reopened for a trial operation yesterday.
The building, also known as the Great World Amusement Center, has now become an exhibition center for China's "intangible cultural heritages."
Inheritors and masters of traditional skills, such as ceramic making, cloth painting and fabric weaving, are performing their skills and will also teach visitors and invite volunteers to take part.
"The center mainly exhibits the intangible cultural heritages related to people's daily lives to encourage the public to help protecting the skills," said Xie Jun, an official with the preparation team for the Dashijie center.
The newly opened center has four stories along with an open-air middle stage area, the same layout as the amusement center had.
"I feel like entering the original Dashijie two or three decades ago," said one of the first batch of visitors surnamed Lin who is in her 50s. "I can even recall what kinds of shows were once performed in the rooms."
However, exhibitions and performances now taking place are different to times past — with one exception.
The 12 "distorting mirrors" remain in situ. They were made in the Netherlands and their presence in the lobby area became a popular attraction and cherished memory for many local people.
The original mirrors have been repaired and placed again in the lobby. Visitors will see them as soon as they enter the building on Xizang Road S. in Huangpu District.