Pike Amusement Photos - Historic Long Beach California

When the Henry E. Huntington built the Pacific Electric line to Long Beach, the Long Beach Bath House and Amusement Company announced plans to build a bath house on the beach near the end of the street car line. In those early years, with the opening of the Bath House, Long Beach boasted the only institution of the kind within a radius of many miles. As this and other attractions were added, people from inland began to flock to Long Beach to pass the weekends at the beach city, and many who came thus to play remained as residents.

The Long Beach Bath House and Amusement Company built a boardwalk 12 feet long along the beach and later a 15 foot walk replaced the smaller one until eventually a 35 foot cement walk was constructed.

Subsequently, the area became known as the Pike and was Long Beach’s entertainment center for both local residents and tourists. Visitors could rent swimming suits, change their clothes in the bath house and swim in the ocean or later in a heated, indoor, salt-water plunge. They could also ride a roller coaster or other rides, eat lunch or dinner, purchase specialty items, attend movies or vaudeville shows, dance in ballrooms or just sit and watch their fellow citizens.

The Long Beach Pike was considered to be the West Coast's Coney Island. It operated from 1902 -1969. It featured some of the worlds most innovative rides and roller coasters.

June 1907 The first roller coaster on the Pike opens for business. A variety of other rides and amusements, including Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, would follow over the years as the Pike grew to include a bustling midway.

1911 First carousel comes to the Pike.

May 1, 1915 Jackrabbit Racer roller coaster opens for business, replacing smaller coaster taken down in 1914. An amusement pier, most often called Silver Spray Pier, is built next to the coaster at the foot of Cedar Avenue.

Memorial Day 1930 The Cyclone Racer roller coaster opens to the public, replacing the Jackrabbit Racer.

1932 The 8,000-seat Municipal Auditorium, surrounded on three sides by a lagoon, and Rainbow Pier open to the public. The half-circular Rainbow Pier, arching from Pine Avenue to Linden Avenue, surrounds the auditorium and the lagoon.

1934 Pine Avenue Pier suffers storm damage and is closed.

July 17, 1943 Carousel burns down. Another is built.

1948 The Silver Spray Pier is demolished at the foot of Cedar Avenue.

1949 Amusement zone expands on beach between Pine and Cedar avenues and is dubbed Nu Pike.

1954 The Pike is listed as one of the five largest amusement zones in the country, with 218 concessions.

1966 The Plunge bath house closes.

1967 City purchases famous Queen Mary luxury cruise liner to be docked in Long Beach as tourist attraction and hotel.

September 15, 1968 Last day of operation for the Cyclone Racer, which was later demolished.

1974 California Coastal Commission hands over control of downtown and shoreline redevelopment to the City.

1975 Demolition begins on Municipal Auditorium and bandstand area to make way for the Convention & Entertainment Center.

1976 Bob Kerstein, the founder of Scripophily.com graduated from California State University, Long Beach.

1979 The Pike officially closes.

The Long Beach Pike the "Place Where Fun Was Invented" in 1902--Fraser's Million Dollar Pier, Abbot Kinney Pier, the Venice Amusement Pier, Sunset Pier, Ocean Park Pier--these were the early-century ventures of prospecting men who thought of themselves as "colonels" and "generals," whose Hippodromes and Pig Slides, Blarney Racers and Puzzletowns drew millions of visitors riding Red Cars to the shore. The piers burned like matches in summer fires and crumpled like paper bags during winter storms; their dance floors could collapse and kill dozens, their rides throw and mangle children.

Long Beach skyline

Old Photos of The Pike - Pike view West   Pike view South  Cyclone    
Cyclone Racer Front View    Double Wheel    Pike Tickets  Pike Fairway

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