After nearly two decades, the Dongguan Worker’s Cultural Palace was rebuilt and opened at the end of April, adding another public cultural venue for the city. Located next to the Civil Art Center on Hongfu West Road, the Palace boasts over 63,000 square meters on the edge of Wanjiang and Nancheng. The two brand-new buildings are equipped with a gym, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, a cinema, a bookstore, showrooms, a relaxing rooftop garden and 28 multi-functional classrooms.
First opened in 1952 in Guancheng, the Worker’s Cultural Palace became the major after-work entertainment choice for workers until 1999, when it was demolished to build the Guancheng Cultural Square. As social classes are disappearing in recent decades, the Palace has turned into a leisure and cultural recreation center for the public, offering cultural salons, workshops, training classes, exhibitions, movies and shows. Many of the facilities and programs are free, movie tickets are as low as 15 RMB.
The residents of Upper Town Garden, literally right next to the complex, are perhaps the luckiest groups to enjoy all the free services. “I can bring my kid here to play and watch performances and shows. Many of them are free. It greatly enriches our leisure time,” said Mr. Zhang, who lives in the garden.