What happened to the Chinese Cultural & Movie Center & Taiwan's first Burger King after the park closed

restaurants
taipei

#1

I still remember how exciting this amusement place was back in the 1990s. Especially with Taiwan’s first Burger King location, the arcade, and the 360 degree theatre next to it. And being very close to the entrance to Yangminshen. Its sad to see that it no longer exists or at least as a theme park. I heard that the place closed down indefinitely since 2008, and the Burger King closed shortly afterwards. In 2015 when I finally got a chance to pass by there, I saw a school like building at the former Chinese Cultural & Movie Center site where the Burger King used to be at. So anyone know was the building that once housed Burger King torn down? Its sad if it had been torn down as it was such a nice state of the art place not so long ago. Also what happened to rest of the amusement park? Today the site is almost unrecognizable for people looking from Zhi Shang rd. I cannot see anything buildings or otherwise that resembled the former Chinese Cultural & Movie Center park I remembered, just a fence covered in graffiti and abandoned warehouse like buildings.


#2

OK, the thing to do here is called “urban exploration” (UE)—you can look it up. At your favorite ruined site in Tienmu or elsewhere, you find some way to climb over the fence. You enter the ruins. You gingerly walk through the wreckage. You take numerous aesthetically pleasing photographs in grainy black and white. You come back to forumosa and post those photos here. Or you make this a habit and set up a dedicated blog for this purpose.

Enjoy! : )

Guy


#3

Also take a hot chick in a bikini with you. For some reason hot chicks in bikinis are always turning up in abandoned buildings.


#4

What the legality on this? Can you get charged with trespassing?

I don’t give a fuck and swim all over the island “breaking the law” but I don’t ant to get busted for trespassing. What’s the deal?


#5

Never go into the basement.


#6

Just remember, never ever fake a ghost manifestation in your UE exploits. In the popular documentaries that’s the top of a slippery slope leading to a really bad night.


#7

Wow I am surprised not so many on Forumosa have knowledge on this topic.

I doubt had been truly abandoned though as the “school like” building around where the Burger King used to sit still looks pretty new and well maintained.
I heard some of the remaining sets were last used as late as 2015. That year I saw a little bit of the remnants of the sets while passing by.

Here is an image of it being now https://www.google.com/maps/@25.097272,121.544712,3a,75y,137.73h,91.46t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sx_DYW2qIIvr1MDXsoVBsfQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Compared to 2009 alas when Google street view went through there the Chinese Cultural & Movie center already closed down as a theme park. But before the Burger King disappeared. https://www.google.com/maps/@25.0971688,121.544646,3a,75y,124.72h,87.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJps7HbCBJCpFLXD7-eMJYw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This is an image taken in 2012. It appears the Burger King building gotten a new look.
Though was it torn down in 2015 and replaced with that ugly school like building or was it converted to look like the school like building.

Its sad to see this place go to ruins though, it used to be miniature Chinese version of Universal Studios and Citywalk in the past it even had a water fountain show out front. There were many shows inside as well in addition to the 360 theatre. Even a arctic simulator with snow machines.

The Burger King I remembered had water jets on its glass roof and spanned most of the first floor, the second floor in the same building housed an arcade and a toy room.

Though this example reflects how Taiwan as a whole is turning into the “rust belt” since the 2000s when many industries including many Taiwanese based/branded industries left Taiwan and chose to base in China and other parts of the Far East. The sharp increase in visible graffiti the past few years, which was pretty much unheard of in this part of the world in the past also seems to make it look this way.


#8

i don’t think taiwan is decaying like the rust belt is.
i didn’t know of this place before your thread. it sounds like it was an interesting place 20-30 years ago. but things change. just taipei alone has plenty of areas that has been modernized or built from scratch. other major cities as well. and i’ve never found graffitis to be a major problem here in taiwan, they’re nowhere near omnipresent in contrast to western cities.

maybe what you mean is taiwan’s lack of preservation of historic/interesting sites. seems like they build something for 20-30 years and at first it’s hip and trendy. then they build something new somewhere that’s hipper and trendier and everybody loses interest in the old place, regardless of architectural/historic value. let it fall to pieces until someone buys the land for a good price and build something new.


#9

The rust belt I am referring to factories and buildings being abandoned or closed down throughout Taiwan just like what happened in North US near the great lakes. As many jobs had been outsourced to China. So did many of the homemade products. Commerce also faltered. Pay and profit remained flat for 20 years in many industries. If graduates don’t leave Taiwan they are likey to stay at student wages just as if they continued to wait tables or staffing tapioca places.
The 1980s and early 1990s until about 97 were Taiwan’s heydays when growth was unchecked and people really made money. Cars on the streets were rarely older than six years old back then as people replaced them often. There were many luxury car brand taxis in the 90s and 2000s. Now we have plenty of 14+ year old rust buckets on the streets. The Tiger has died in the 2000s as Taiwan unlike the other three did not quite recover from the Asian financial crisis due to poor cross strait relations and growth in China.

I be curious who buys those super expensive condos that are being built these days.

Movie and entertainment making in Taiwan also suffered great declines since the 1990s. Today hardly any movies have background in Taiwan and even drama series which Taiwan people were proud of their own they had turned towards the ones in China or Korea since the 2000s. This is one part of the reason this mini Universal Studios/Citywalk shut down.

As for Graffitti there was pretty much zero visible graffitti in Taipei compared to other cities in the world just ten years ago. Though it appears I heard the government actually encouraged sanctioned graffitti to make the city look more interesting. Though I don’t know if they realize in other parts of the world Graffitti is a negative indicator of gang territorial violence.


#10

i don’t disagree with you that taiwan’s economic growth has stagnated for quite some time. but i don’t think either that it’s in such a bad shape as you tell it. plenty of luxury import cars. and that dude driving a 14+year old car today, 20 years ago maybe he drove his bicycle to work or even walked.

entertainment industry is really on the downside. but how much does is contribute to the overall economy anyways?


#11

It’s not quite true that Taiwan is in industrial decline, many of the science parks are still expanding!
If you go to Taichung or Hsinchu area you will see this.
Agree that the local economy is not what it was and wages are too low. Most entertainers and producers seem to gravitate towards China now, they don’t even appear on Taiwanese TV shows anymore.
Tourism has become quite big in Taiwan as well, it was basicaly non existent in the old days.
There’s very little graffiti but I like it when it breaks up the monotous facades.


#12

Interestingly no one on forumosa knows what happened to this part of Taiwan that was an very exciting part of Taiwan from 1988 until about 2006. According to Wikipedia Chinese cultural and movie center opened in 1975 though it peaked in popularity around the 90s when Burger King and a number of new attractions opened.
According to Google street view which first took image of that area around 2009 few years after the Chinese Culture movie center’s amusement portion closed. It appears Burger King was still there but was really struggling to stay afloat due to loss of the adjacent amusement park as it appears to only occupies 1/4 of the first level compared to when it first opened. Many of the windows that once surrounded Burger King’s once massive dining area were covered up.

It true that tourism in Taiwan and overseas for local people were almost nonexistent until the late 1980s. The expansion of Chinese cultural center with all its bells and whistles and the new Burger King building really symbolized economic prosperity and rapidly growing tourism industry, with Yangmingshan being right next to it. The growth seems to peak sometime in mid 2000s when THSR and Taroko train opened.

I do notice there isn’t much home grown entertainment anymore from Taiwan. Even local TV drama series are hard to find nowadays compared to back in the 80s and 90s. Local people tend to watch Chinese or Korean tv drama shows instead.

Though I guess Hsinchu is the place to go for good paying jobs these days for those who want to stay in Taiwan.

Its interesting how graffiti is actually encouraged by the city government to break up the monotous facades. Just a few years ago I would be curious how Taiwan’s cities lack graffiti compared to the west. Though I know that Taiwan has embraced Progressivism hard since the late 1990s. It might have played a role in Taiwan’s economic stagnation.


#13

Can well see why a Chinese cultural center isnt doing well. Taiwanese are not Chinese anymore. They may have been Ok seeing themselves as Chinese in the 80s or 90’s but not now.


#14

Difference with Taiwan is that here the economy is ok in terms of GDP. Just nobody is investing or paying proper wages. Taiwanese have loads of money and Taiwanese businesses on the whole are making money.


#15

Taiwan’s high humidity and frequent rains does rust exposed metal which is common in factories rather quickly particularly if its abandoned and or not maintained regularly.

True Taiwanese think they are of their own these days. They are not much interested in Chinese holidays compared to in the past as well. Chinese New Years and other Chinese related holidays seems gain far less attention in terms of celebration and excitement compared to back in the days. Those “nationalists” who have greater ties to China now would travel on the (once forbidden)direct flights to the mainland to celebrate with their relatives there.

Interestingly GDP is still over the year rising despite all the reports of wage stagnation since the last 20 years. And that the ROC passport is still gaining power around the world in terms of travel flexibility.
Its much easier to travel with an ROC passport today than back in the 1990s even though Taiwan appeared more prosperous than. Back in the 1980s many countries barely even recognized a ROC passport as the PRC officially became China in diplomatic relations. Very few countries back then offered visa free access and visas were very difficult to get with ROC passport.
Nowadays Interestingly US gives ROC passport visa free access but it still considers Hong Kong SAR the same as mainland China contrary to what most other country treat Hong Kong SAR passport holders including neighboring Canada and even Mexico which ironically still requires a visa for ROC passport holders that is unless they already hold an existing US visa of any type.


#16

The last major event associated with the place was when a worker was killed when Scorsese shot Silence there 3 years ago.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-taiwan-set-accident-20150129-story.html


#17

We are like 28 years later, everything has a shelf life.


#18

Money that no one wants to spend!


#19

There you go. That’s the story of why Taiwan has stagnated


#20

Though 1990s isn’t old at all for an amusement park. In fact they actually took a year to renovate the park completely on 2007. Alas I read they tried a grand reopening on summer of 2008 but it didn’t last over a summer due to much lower than expected attendance rates.

There are older amusement parks in Taiwan that are still in existence today with the same name or a different name. Taipei Children’s amusement park coming to mind being one of them.

I would be curious why we still have all these very ugly infrasture built in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, blighting the skyline.

As for the terrible fatal accident I highly believe it’s due to the neglect of such sets since the park’s closure and constant exposure to Taiwan’s harsh weather and humidity.