Amusement Park – New World (Part 1)

Among all the “Worlds” in Singapore, I have the best fond memories of the New World as it was within walking distance from my Godmother’s house at Beatty Road.

So can you make up the wordings of this signage for the once popular New World Amusement Park (新世界);

Here is the whole view of the entrance before the makeover by City Development for their City Square project;

Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.

Here is a little bit of the New World Amusement Park’s history;

– Opened in 1923 and Closed in 1987.

– First owned by the Ong Brothers Mr. Ong Boon Tat and Mr. Ong Peng Hock.

– Later Shaw bought 50% share in the New World Amusement Park to diversify their business.

– Eventually, the Shaw bought over the whole share of New World.

– The New World was damaged during the World War in the air raid.

– During Japanese Occupation, it was renamed as Shin Segal (a gambling den for civilians).

So to the younger generation, what was this New World Amusement Park about? There were cabarets, cinemas, games stall, rides like roller coaster, ghost train, ferris wheel, fun fair games, boxing arena, restaurants and exhibition booths. In the past not many owned TVs and there were little or no entertainment for the people, so New World Amusement Park was popular then from 30s to the 60s. The entrance fee was about 10 cents then.

Here are some old maps showing the location of New World Amusement Park;

An old 1950s map from Peter found in Victor’s blog. It shows the Out Of Bound area for the army from 7pm to 7am;

Here is another old map;

Credit : Chief Surveyor, Singapore and www.singas.co.uk

Here is another one including the location of the cinemas in New World;

Credit : Chief Surveyor, Singapore and Singapore Street Directory.

Here are some photos of the unique New World Entrance gate.

An undated photo (postcard?) probably before 1950s of the New World entrance. I really can’t tell whether it was the Front or Rear Entrance;

Here is another one in the 1950s showing the Main Entrance along Jalan Besar Road;

Below show another one of the main entrance photo in 1962 (night scene). It was somehow different from the rest a bit;

Photo Credit : All the above 3 photos from National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.

To be continued in Part 2

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11 Responses to “Amusement Park – New World (Part 1)”


  1. 1 Andy Young Friday, January 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Oops, here again. And I was looking for Happy World or later called Gay Word. Anyone with any picture? Couldn’t find Garrick Cinema and Happy World because one begins Geylang Road and the other ends it.

    Thanks,
    Andy

  2. 2 peek-a-boo Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Personally I hardly knew about New World.
    I showed these pictures to my Aunty who’s visiting me and she was moved to tears.She used to go there as a child and has happy memories related to it.
    Sighing she quoted Thomas Wolfe… You Can’t Go Home Again.

  3. 3 Timothy Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

    i only remember Great World Amusement park back in the 70s when it was still operating and in a very open air type of carnival. It was really a sort of carnival/fun fair feeling. Too bad there are no such venues around in Singapore now.

  4. 4 laokokok Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Yes Timonthy, it’s really sad that all these amusement park of yesteryears were all gone…including that Wonderland.

  5. 5 Steve Wan Monday, November 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Great World Amusement park had many fun-filled activities for kids born in the early 60s to 70s. I could remember there were an indian cinema at front of City Sq. another 4D counters by day and night-club by night. Also a famous chinese cinema at the rear and a small side gate entrance at Petain road. I used to stay with my grandmother’s place at Petain Road and frequent this place when I was at primary 1 in 1970s. There was a also a game store I always never miss…hanging light-bulbs and using air-rifles to shoot at!

    Yes! Wonderland at Kallang was also a nice place to be with, a noisy roller-coaster of merlion head railing up and down a simple track around the park.
    Though they’re gone, will never forget in my memories of growing up in S’pore.

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