New World Amusement Park

This photograph is part of a series which depicts the sights and scenes of 19th and 20th century Singapore.The New World Amusement Park was the first of three parks (the others being Great World and Happy World) set up by entrepreneurs Ong Boon Tat and Ong Peng Hock and later acquired by Shaw Brothers. Opened in 1923, the park was a popular night-time recreation spot right up to the 1960s with its array of dance halls, restaurants, cinemas and game booths. In the 1950s, the Bunga Tanjong dance hall located within the park was especially popular with Malay men, who would flock to the venue to dance with the dance-hall ladies to the accompaniment of music played by a Malay band. In the 1950s, popular dance styles included the joget, ronggeng, rumba and cha-cha. The popularity of these amusement parks faded after the 1960s, with New World finally closing its doors in 1987 when it was sold by Shaw Organisation to City Developments for redevelopment into a condominium block.