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Oil Pavilion set to gush

THE Oil Pavilion will reopen today after closing for routine maintenance yesterday to ensure its popular 4D movie will continue to thrill audiences for the duration of the World Expo.

Gao Zehui, the pavilion's press official, also told Shanghai Daily that a new method to counter ticket scalping will be introduced due to the recent bout of wet weather.

Previously, the pavilion stamped the arms of visitors to prevent individuals from lining up for others in return for payment.

But with all the recent rainstorms, the ink from the stamps was washing away too easily, Gao said.

A previous ticket system also failed as many scalpers were found making fakes and selling each for up to 500 yuan (US$73.95).

According to Gao, the pavilion will now ask visitors to sign carbon paper to make a copy. They can give one copy to staff members when leaving the queue for a while, but they must retain the original and produce it when they want to return to their former place in line.

Shi Huifen, deputy director of the pavilion, said one staff member refused a 20,000 yuan bribe to let a group enter the pavilion without having to wait in the long queue.

Scalpers are attracted to the pavilion due to its popularity. Visitors often have to wait five hours or more to enter.

The Oil Pavilion's biggest claim to fame is its 4D movie, which is projected on a huge wraparound screen. The movie tells the story of oil and features 4D effects like a water sprayer and stuff creeping on the seats when a snake or crocodile is ready to attack.

The film was made by the same group that created the effects for the 3D blockbuster "Avatar."

Shi said many visitors forget to take their belongings, including cameras and mobile phones, when leaving the theater.

She said staff members once found two iPhones left behind in a single day. In such cases, someone at the pavilion will send short messages to several numbers on a phone's contact list to track down the owner. The pavilion has added some reminders to ensure people take their belongings when they leave.

Meanwhile, Liu Junjie, director of the pavilion, said the pavilion has increased the number of raincoats it can hand out on rainy days.

The pavilion will give out 1,500 free raincoats to visitors on rainy days.


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