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April 12, 2010

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City offers trips into the past

SHANGHAI is inviting Expo visitors to take a virtual reality tour of the city over the past 100 years, organizers revealed yesterday.

Construction and outfitting finished yesterday on the host city's pavilion in China's joint-provincial pavilion, with the exhibition theme of "New Horizons Forever."

Sixty viewers will sit in a moveable ship-like platform in a circular-screen theater as the centerpiece of the exhibition.

The audience will be able to feel what it was like to sit on a ricksaw and a trolley car, both popular modes of transport in the city in the early 1900s, as well as modern buses and Metros.

A seven-minute movie, "Shanghai Forever," will take audiences back to the old Bund of the 1930s, the popular commercial streets at the beginning of reform and opening up in the 1980s, and the current Lujiazui financial center as well as "a city being surrounded by forest" in the future.

Some typical smells of different eras of the city will be added to the theater.

Sixty visitors will be allowed to enter the theater every 15 minutes.

Others can watch a pre-show movie called "Shanghai Concerto" while they wait and music played by pianist Lang Lang, an ambassador for the event, will be aired in the waiting area.

The 600-square-meter pavilion features an entrance resembling the traditional stone-gated houses, or shikumen, initially built in the city in 1854 by Europeans.

The outside walls of the Shanghai Pavilion will be covered by 15,000 of city photos, including many taken by residents and visitors.


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