The history behind it may surprise you! <small> Cover image via Sin Chew Daily <span></span> & Edge Prop <span></span> </small>
Before there was Sungei Wang Plaza, an amusement park called Bukit Bintang (BB) Park could be found at the site
In the 1930s, Shaw Brothers Studio had built the well-loved BB Park on land where Kuala Lumpur's second oldest shopping mall, Sungei Wang Plaza, currently sits. <br></br></p>
The park, which boasted carousels and boxing rings, was just 25 sen to enter at the time
While BB Park is also the name of an entertainment, dining, and shopping area situated at Sungei Wang Plaza today, you may not have realised that BB Park was also a popular entertainment hub from the 1930s to 1970s.
Two cinemas there attracted many local residents looking to watch movies that were no longer showing elsewhere
According to Sin Chew Daily, the two cinemas were called Chong Shan Cinema and Geng Dou Cinema.
Later, in the 1970s, Sungei Wang Plaza had a large indoor cinema which could sit 1,700 people, according to William Harald-Wong & Associates, the company responsible for the rebranding of Sungei Wang.
Sungei Wang cinema’s ticketing booth in the 1970s.
Image via Sin Chew Daily
It is believed that famous Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng even performed at BB Park’s music hall when she was just 19 years old
Comedy shows, ronggeng and joget dances, as well as Cantonese opera performances also featured at BB Park’s dance hall, according to a separate report by Sin Chew Daily.
<p><a href="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/795159/27f0.jpg" rel="segment-322332 noopener noreferrer" target="" title="A young Teresa Teng performing at an unnamed location."> <img alt="A young Teresa Teng performing at an unnamed location." src="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/795159/27f0.jpg"></img></a> A young Teresa Teng performing at an unnamed location. <small>Image via Eggy/Pinterest</small>
In 1977, Kuala Lumpur’s second shopping mall, Sungei Wang Plaza, was built on top of the land BB Park used to sit on
A YouTube video by 认真聊 (Ren Zhen Liao) mentioned that it was tin miner Tan Sri Chong Kok Lim who first invested in building the mall we are all familiar with today: Sungei Wang Plaza, also known as 'River of Gold'.
Opening for business in 1977, the 1.2 million sqft mall boasted seven shopping levels and three split-level parking spaces, according to their official website.
Though BB Park was demolished, Sungei Wang Plaza very much remained an entertainment hub
Many people spent their time riding bumper cars.</p>
The mall was even home to Malaysia’s first Olympic-sized ice skating rink
It also had a roller skating rink!
A stage would be set up on Sungei Wang Plaza’s rooftop for Chinese opera performances to take place
It is even believed that the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet found there had the highest sales volume in the world at the time
Sungei Wang Plaza has since won several awards rating it as the ‘Best Shopping Complex’
According to their website, the mall was named ‘Best Shopping Complex’ by Prix d’Excellence in 1996 and Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism Award in 2011.
<p><a href="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/795185/d6ef.jpg" rel="segment-322338 noopener noreferrer" target="" title="Sungei Wang Plaza prior to its makeover in 2019."> <img alt="Sungei Wang Plaza prior to its makeover in 2019." src="https://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/795185/d6ef.jpg"></img></a> Sungei Wang Plaza prior to its makeover in 2019. <small>Image via VisionKL</small>
Over the years, Sungei Wang Plaza has undergone a few changes. It’s latest look was revealed in 2019:
You may not be have been able to explore the original BB Park, but these abandoned sites may interest you instead:
These 10 malls found in Klang Valley have truly stood the test of time:
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