History of Ximending
Ximending has been a major entertainment center for Taipei since the beginning of the 20th century. Originally it was "outside" the walls of the city of Taipei, and was barren ground. But the Japanese Colonial government decided to establish an entertainment center here to mirror what had been done outside the city of Tokyeo at Asakusa.
With the construction of Taihokuza in 1897, followed by the New Wanguo Market in 1902, then called Eiza, the area became more and more popular. The conversion of the market building into The Red House in 1947 established this as a hot area to visit for entertainment.
In 1905 the West Gate which gaves the name to the distrct was demolished, but by that time the name Xi Men was so well established that cit would not be changed. Combined with the "Ding" being a Japanese district designator.
The heyday of the teater business in Ximending lasted until the 1990s when Taipei started to expand towards the East, and Ximending was less fashionable for movies and shows. However at this time the government agreed to make major streets in the area Pedestrian Only, and this attracted many shoppers.
Since that time the district has built up a reputation for being the hot shopping location of the city.