Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park - demolished a decade ago - has been brought back to life by a public performance that aims to rekindle the spirit of old Hong Kong. The performance is being staged by Class 7A Drama Group, one of this year's Community Cultural Ambassadors appointed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, during weekends until June 3. The show, which includes a drama, a parade and a fun fair, will be staged at parks, plazas and playgrounds. 'Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park is part of our childhood memories. It reminds us of those happy days,' said Alex Tam Hung-man, artistic director of the play, From Tino's Eye. Tino the elephant was a symbol of the park. It arrived in the city in 1952, and was put down 37 years later after suffering from pneumonia. The play begins with a space traveller, dressed as a magician, who is seeking Tino's eyes that are supposed to be somewhere on the planet. He comes across four characters: a woman who experiences her first love while riding a ghost train; an old park worker who is proud of his job; a profit-driven entrepreneur; and a child singer, Mui (a reference to the late Canto-pop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong), who performs in the park for a living. Each character represents people who worked hard for a better future in the 1960s and 70s. 'Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park represents the 20 years during which Hong Kong developed into a modern city,' said director and playwright Wong Man-ho. 'Its admission price was very cheap, and in a sense, it was a very crude amusement park. But its crudeness was in harmony with the struggling state of the city at the time.' The park opened in 1949 on the waterfront in Mei Foo. As Hong Kong's population grew, the park also expanded, adding various forms of entertainment. These included stage performances (Mui was a regular), an ice-skating rink (Asia's largest when it opened in 1972) and a zoo that featured a variety of animals, such as lions, tigers and peacocks, in addition to the elephant. There were also rides and games like ghost trains and shooting galleries. 'I often took my children to the amusement park to look at the animals or ride on the boats,' said an 81-year-old man, who was watching From Tino's Eye, near Stanley Plaza earlier this month. 'The admission fee then was 10 to 20 cents. But it was a lot of money, especially because I had to take my four children with me.' The park gradually lost its charm in an era of portable electronics and was closed in 1997, before the handover. 'There were long queues for the games when I went there as a primary schoolboy. But when I visited the park during my secondary school days, the place was very quiet,' said director Wong. As modernisation causes rapid transformation of the city's landscape, we are on the brink of losing our heritage. 'It's been 10 years since the handover and many things in Hong Kong have improved. But many things have been lost as new buildings continue to spring up,' said Wong. And there's little doubt that Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park was a victim of Hong Kong's modernisation drive. 'The park was very important to our generation. Theme parks, such as Disneyland, are not uniquely Hong Kong. They are more or less the same everywhere, whether they are in Tokyo or the US,' said Wong. 'We [the troupe] like using the city's past as topics. Recently people have been talking about the Star Ferry pier being demolished. We want to explore the question: are old establishments really useless?' To check out the performance schedule of From Tino's Eye, call 8102 3768 or 2582 0237.