About thirty years ago, our company was asked to produce an IMAX historical film by the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, to help celebrate their 25th year as a nation. The film would play in their science center’s IMAX theatre for several years to over 5 million people.
However, at the time we were filming, Singapore was in a rush to modernize. They were tearing down their past, demolishing their Chinatown, their Bugi Street, their history, thinking that visitors would like a shiny, new city. Years later, they realized their mistake when tourists complained that the city now lacked “soul” and was bland and boring; then those visitors stopped coming. So, the able and imaginative prime minister precisely rebuilt those historic districts, restored the historic Raffles Hotel, and passed new rules to prohibit further demolition of their country’s character.
Is there a lesson to be learned here for us in Laguna?
Greg MacGillivray, Laguna Beach