In case you didn't know, I grew up in Long Beach, California. Not a bad town, but not real happening either...kinda like a suburban version of Mayberry. The coolest thing about LB was that we had the coolest, scariest, most David Lynch-like amusement park...THE PIKE! Here are a few images...I do not own any rights to any of these photographs...I just swiped them outta the "postcards" section of Ebay.
Lessee...we got that ride that looked like a couple of Gemini spaceships hanging from a crane (all it did was go up and down, but we were easily amused back then), a nice black octopus ride and of course, the fabulous CYCLONE RACER! "Worlds Greatest Ride"!
If you ever get the chance to see
Ray Dennis Stecklers
"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies",
you'll see some great color footage of the Pike!
Here's another shot of the Cyclone Racer, plus a really strange kiddie ride in the forground. I dunno what the hell it's supposed to be...my guess is that it's a Dr. Strangelove ride, and the kids get to pretend that they're Slim Pickins riding an atomic bomb...I might be wrong...
LAFF IN THE DARK...the Pike's spookhouse ride! This is where they found the actual body of an old west outlaw wrapped up like a mummy! That's right - our spookhouse ride had A REAL DEAD GUY IN IT! Somebody even wrote a book about the guy! It's called:
Elmer McCurdy: The Misadventure in Life and Afterlife of an American Outlaw
by Mark Svenvold.
Find out how a guy gets from outlaw to spook house mummy!
Here's a good shot of the kiddie land at the pike. The dirt oval was the pony ride area. My friend Dana got on one of the ponies and got the hell bucked out of him...it was the sixties, his family didn't sue.
The double ferris wheel...you can also see the Rotor in the background (a big drum that you stood inside while it spun around and stuck you to the wall with centrifical force...then the floor drops out. We always wished that someone would puke on that ride so we could see the vomit stick to the wall). Way in the the back is the Wild Bob's roller coaster. Not the "Worlds Greatest Ride", but damn fun anyway.
Outside of the pike, and a nice view of the Long Beach itself. In the back is the Long Beach arena, where, if you saved your lunch money for a whole week, you could see a cool triple bill from the cheap seats! Something like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Savoy Brown or something like that...
Yet another shot of the Cyclone Racer...and dig the FOOL THE GUESSER booth in front! Also note the lower right corner, where you can see the tip of the Dodge'Em cars...ahhh, back when a simple trip to the amusement park could give you the biggest case of whiplash ever...but it was the sixties...we didn't sue.
An early shot, back when the Rotor was enclosed. No clue as to what awaits inside, but the illustrations of people flying all over the place are pretty cool.
In a rare shot without a visible tattoo parlor or bar, families enjoy sugar in crystal and liquid form.
A trio of tiny photos: The cleanest the place ever was; Another view of Kiddieland; The march of the Pike patrons.
Here are a few other websites with info about The Pike:
In 1980, Synthetrix took some cool photos of the recently closed but still very accessable Pike
Click here to visit Synthetrix's Photos Of The Forgotten Gallery.
The Pike on YOUR COMPUTER!
If you have a copy of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, you can now download the PIKE!
A Pike Site hosted by an alumni of Millikan High School in Long Beach
In the mid-Seventies, Steven Brown took some cool photos of the recently closed Pike
Click here to check out his photo gallery.
The Long Beach Heritage Museum has a fine page of Pike photos.
This guy built a scale model of the Cyclone Racer.
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