Playland at the Beach was a magical
place, revered in the hearts of San Franciscans and all who visited.
Playland wasn’t just another amusement park — it had a special
identity that encompassed socialization, dining, playing, strolling
and sight-seeing that was purely San Francisco. From the 1920s to
the 1970s, Playland enthralled generations. Everyone who visited it
recognized its uniqueness, and its pioneering rides and attractions
inspired the designers of the amusement parks that followed.
'San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach' is a comprehensive
photographic record of Playland at the Beach from its construction
in 1920 through its glorious heyday in the 1930s and 40s. The book
presents over 350 rare photographs of Playland and the surrounding
neighbourhood, including 250 unique, never-before-seen photos drawn
from the private archive of ride designer Laurence “Laurie”
“San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach” leads the reader through a
chapter-by-chapter tour of the setting and evolution of Playland
during its formative era. Photographs trace the development of the
site from steam shovels carving the bare sand dunes of Ocean Beach
and the construction of the main Playland buildings. Each of
Playland’s famous rides receives its own chapter, with photographs
showing both how the rides were built and how they looked in their
prime. Other chapters cover Playland’s attractions, arcade
amusements, restaurants, and nightclubs. Incidental photographs
depict the clothes, cars, people, and customs of the time.
The book also covers some of the most notable events that happened
at Playland in the 1930s, including the Century of Progress exhibit
of 1934 and a labour strike that paralyzed the park in the mid-30s.
The book includes a complete timeline and history of Playland from
its beginning to its destruction in 1972.
“San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach” gives readers an enchanting
vision of the fun, sights, sounds, and flavours of a glamorous and
care-free time. Take a turn on the Big Dipper roller coaster, the
Shoot the Chutes water ride, the DodgEm bumper cars, and the
six-story giant slide at the Fun House. Taste a Pie Shop blackberry
pie, Topsy’s chicken, and a Bull Pupp enchilada. Listen to the
staccato of the four shooting galleries, the rumble of the wooden
roller coaster and the screams of its passengers, the orchestrion
playing marching tunes, and the raucous laughter of Laffing Sal.
Richly illustrated and painstakingly researched, “San Francisco’s
Playland at the Beach” is a time machine fun ride through
If you like this, you will love...
Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years by James R Smith