John M. Becker

China to Build Titanic Replica That Simulates Sinking

Filed By John M. Becker | January 15, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: amusement park attractions, bizarre news, China, tacky, theme park, Titanic, weird news

titanic-iceberg.jpgNo, you're not reading a headline from The Onion -- at a press conference in Hong Kong this week, Chinese investment executive Su Shaojun announced plans to build the Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort, a theme park featuring a life-sized replica of the Titanic, complete with a museum and a simulator that recreates the sinking for visitors.

Reuters reports that the Chinese version of the Titanic will cost an estimated 1 billion yuan ($165 million) and open in 2016; construction will start this year. It will be built based on the design of the ill-fated ocean liner's sister ship, the Olympic, and be permanently docked on the Qi River -- more than 900 miles from the nearest ocean, in the landlocked province of Sichuan.

Why build a copy of the Titanic? Because Asia needs its own Titanic museum, Su told reporters. "We think it's worth spreading the spirit of the Titanic. The universal love and sense of responsibility shown during the Titanic shipwreck represent the spiritual richness of human civilization."

Su said that his company, the Seven Star Energy Investment Group, aims to recreate every detail of the ship as authentically as possible -- including the sinking.

"When the ship hits the iceberg, it will shake, it will tumble," Su said. "We will let people experience water coming in by using sound and light effects ... They will think, 'The water will drown me, I must escape with my life.'"

titanic-theme-park-slide-switzerland.jpgThe park also intends to capitalize on the popularity of the 1997 worldwide blockbuster movie Titanic -- Su flew in actor Bernard Hill, who played Captain Smith, to the press conference to lend his support for the effort. Hill dismissed the idea that a disaster-themed Titanic replica would be inappropriate.

"It's been approached in a very delicate and a very sensitive way and they are very aware of the extent of the disaster in 1912," he said. "I don't think it will belittle that disaster."

Fittingly, in addition to a copy of the Titanic, the theme park will also include a man-made beach, a "6-D" movie theatre (huh?), a replica of a Venetian church, and imitation European castles. Because that makes sense, right?

What do you think of the planned Titanic theme park? Tacky? Tantalizing? Both?

Sound off in the comments.

Photo of an inflatable Titanic slide at a Swiss theme park via Flickr.

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