January 4, 2013 – Hello everyone! We’re back with the first update of the new year! So let’s get started.
This Friday, Universal was nice enough to invite us to the special opening of the Chinese Culture Fair at the Globe Theater. The exhibit is the result of a special partnership between Universal Studios Hollywood and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development. More importantly, the event features props and demonstrations from China’s famous capital of Beijing that are fun for the whole family. So in short, a great way to experience a different culture from halfway around the planet!
As a side note, having visited Beijing personally last year, I might inject a few of my own personal photos here and there – just to give you another perspective of what Universal and Beijing’s Tourism Commission are both trying to convey – but the bulk of this update will focus on Universal’s event. But enough of me talking, here’s what you need to know before we introduce the photos:
The event takes place inside the theme park at the Globe Theater from January 4 to January 6, from 10:30 AM to 5 PM, and is included with park admission. The exhibit features lessons on the ancient arts of paper cutting, painting and creating clay figurines alongside other family-friendly activities. This event has a limited run, so be sure to come to the park now if you’re interested.
Here we are! We’re a bit early, but let’s see what they have to offer…
We’re definitely not lost this time.
Red carpet has been rolled out.
Stage has been set!
Obligatory VIP trolly…
…and obligatory tram. On a side note, Universal is offering Studio Tours in Mandarin Chinese. In fact, they’ve always offered this service during peak days. Always keep a look out to see if your language is available.
VIP and press check-in.
And here’s the dragon for the traditional dragon dance. Fun fact: dragons usually require more than two people to operate, while lions only feature two performers.
…and claiming our spot.
Ah yes! The Imperial Palace. I think I have a photo of this laying around…
…and here it is! Another fun fact: the designers of this “community” purposely designed different “sections” of the palace to match almost identically, thereby confusing potential intruders. So in other words, it’s very easy to get lost if you don’t have a proper guide.
More shots of the center stage.
…and a closeup of one of the monitors.
Okay, so here we have a lion. Remember, two people!
A dragon dance starts the opening ceremonies.
The exchange of the red envelope, which symbolizes good luck.
Drums begin the press event.
President and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Studios Hollywood, Larry Kurzweil.
A representative from the tourism commission discusses the new partnership between Los Angeles and Beijing, and the cultural significance of China’s capital.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Hollywood without Marilyn Monroe
CEO of LA Tourism, Ernest Wooden (right), signs a new “memorandum of understanding” with Beijing. Among other things, Los Angeles is the number one destination for Chinese tourists in the United States which signifies the importance of this agreement.
The transfer of gifts between Universal and Beijing.
The marketing director of Beijing’s tourism commission makes a speech, marking the beginning of a tourism-cooperation between the two major cities.
Beijing’s gift – a silk painting. Above it, you can see Hollywood’s gift – a special souvenir tour book.
And without further ado, we start making our way to the Globe Theater!
Only in Hollywood can you see Marilyn Monroe walking alongside two lions.
A magnificent dancing dragon marks our entrance.
The Temple of Heaven. Speaking of which…
Yep! Was here too!
Globe Theater marquee.
Ribbon cutting begins!
…and of course, this marks the grand opening of the Beijing exhibit. Let’s see what’s inside.
Officials from across Los Angeles country/Southern California made their way to the event to mark a new relationship between Beijing and their respective cities.
This included Walnut Grove…
…and Diamond Bar, among others.
Chinese television stations interviewing local leaders.
An electric “ball” which officially marks the opening of today’s exhibit.
So as we make our way around the exhibit, we can see that the whole layout is very much convention-style.
Which means each activity is divided via different booths.
We have detailed clay figurines…
…and finally, paper cutting!
One last look…
…and there we have it!
If you’re interested in Chinese culture – specifically relating to the capital city of Beijing – be sure to check this event out. Again, this exhibit is included in the price of admission from January 4 to January 6 from 10:30 AM to 5 PM at Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal is also putting an emphasis on their Mandarin Studio Tours, so keep that in mind if you think you have someone that might be interested. And who knows, this event might spark an interest to visit the actual city in China.
Anyhow, that does it for me. Special thanks goes out to Universal for making this event possible. As always, they put on an impressive event for us to cover (as you can probably see). This wouldn’t be possible without them.
We’ll see you next time with more updates from the park. For now, I’ll be signing off. Thanks for reading!
– Jon Fu
About the Author: Jon Fu
Jon Fu is the editorial director of Inside Universal and oversees the creative direction of the site’s content.
Jon originally founded InsideUniversal.net in 2006 as a summer hobby aimed at providing families and fans a resource for all things “Universal Studios Hollywood.” Since then, the website has taken him throughout the United States and around the world – including to places like Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
Jon currently resides in Santa Cruz, California with his bamboo plant. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.