Tuas TV World: SG’s Abandoned “Old Hollywood” Once Used For Channel 8 Dramas & An SPF Training Ground

Tuas TV World

Back before CGI and green screens ruled our televisions, Hollywood erected grand film sets that replicated real-life towns. Needless to say, as Singapore has never been one to shy away from scoring “A” for effort, we had the equivalent of this back in the 90s: Tuas TV World

Since then, it has served as a glamorous set for local dramas, as well as a training ground for the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Behind its now-shuttered gates, here’s what it used to be during its glory days:

Built to resemble 50s & 60s Singapore

Image credit: @peiying.q

Since its inception, Tuas TV World has kind of been messing with our minds, era-wise. While it was built way back in the early 90s, it was designed to resemble Singapore in the 1950s-1960s. 

By “it”, we mean the full shebang of three streets lined with buildings that look like they could’ve been there since the post-war era. 

Image credit: 3sg jeffrey

These buildings aren’t just empty facades either; they comprise things you’d expect in a real town such as old-world shophouses, a church and a fire station. 

You can also find a kampung house replica and over-the-top mansions that could give any landed home a run for its money. There’s even a railway station and a man-made river – all of which were generously used for filming. 

Used for Channel 8 Chinese dramas

With its elaborate setup, Tuas TV World was the go-to filming location for Chinese dramas that aired on Channel 8. Needless to say, the Television Corporation of Singapore (now known as Mediacorp) used it the most. 

Image credit: Mediacorp

It served as the backdrop for shows that we would excitedly look forward to watching after school with our grandparents:

  • Strange Encounters Season 3 (奇缘3) – 1995
  • Tofu Street (豆腐街) – 1996
  • The Price Of Peace (和平的代价) – 1997
  • Wok Of Life (福满人间) – 1999
  • Hainan Kopi Tales (琼园咖啡香) – 2000

Image credit: Salleh Sariman

While Tuas TV World thrived as a film set during this time, modern-day costs and production demands eventually caught up to it. It was eventually taken over by the Singapore Police Force as a training ground in 2002. 

Abandoned “town” in Singapore

Image credit: Nanyang NPC

The last ever film set to grace Tuas TV World was in 2012. That’s when Mediacorp breathed life into its streets to film Joys Of Life, their 30th anniversary period drama. 

As of today, Tuas TV World has closed its doors permanently. You can probably peek through its gates to see its old buildings still standing, but no visitors are allowed to enter. We can only hope that it’ll someday be turned into a theme park or museum. 

How to get there: There is no accessible public transportation to Tuas TV World. However, you can drive to this area. It’s located next to the Tuas Checkpoint

More abandoned places in Singapore:

Cover image adapted from: @peiying.q & 3sg jeffrey

Jessica Fang

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