~More Memories~


~Bingo-Style Pinballs~





[crosseye stereograph, see 3D with your left eye on the right image, and right on left.]That's Long Beach, California, circa mid 1960's. The Pike was one of the reasons Disneyland was created. Although Walt is quoted as having been sitting on a bench near Griffith Park's carousel when the question of "Why isn't there a place where parents and their kids can both have fun?" This is the place he was thinking of what NOT to do. The pike was full of trash everywhere, barkers, rotten old dark rides (It was later discovered that the mummy in Laugh in the Dark, barely visible at the far right, in the building on the corner with the bumper cars, contained actual, recent, human remains.) There were swearing sailors pissing in public corners, and vomit that had been in place so long it had become part of the pavement.

From left to right; Eddies Grill and botulism factory.
Loeff's 'Light-a-Line' was a kind of gambling pinball, a horse race version was moved from the Pike to Long Beach Blvd. and 25th St. that still exists to this day. The arcade is where I fell in love with this wonderful new song "Pinball Wizard" by The Who. I don't quite recall the name of the dark ride with the tall facade, something like 'Jungle Cruise'. The facade was filled with puppets of monkey musicians and the cars came out the right for loading and unloading, then went past the operator into a slightly less lame dark ride than the one barely in view at the far right. Then on the corner was the Salt Water Taffy shop. If you made a left, you would go past the Ferris wheel, The Plunge, “Swiss Twist”[I could be wrong, but the barrel spun you to the wall, then the floor dropped, identical to Magic Mountains “Spin Out”] to the Miniature Railroad by the "Wild Maus" truck ride rollercoaster. This view is facing West by Southwest in the late afternoon. The most distinctive feature of the image, there is a tiny eight car Ferris wheel high above the Jungle Cruise. Indeed it was the most massive and thrilling dual wheel Ferris Wheel, when dropping in the small wheel combined with the dropping of the armature, there was serious air time, Yay! negative G's!


(Borrowed from ebay)



It was always best to go to the Arcade in the afternoon, when the students had to go back to classes! This lucky fellow seems to have the place to himself! What a selection of amusement devices for (according to much signage) " 1c No Awards No Prizes". At the far right is a Bally's TURF KING (1950) One Ball Horse Race pinball machine. These machines allowed the player to shoot only one ball during a game. If it fell into a hole on the playfield they would be given an award based on the odds for that hole. These games often allowed more than one coin to be played for a game, raising the payoff odds for that game. This machine rewarded replays which could be used to play additional games. Next left is a Bally's KENTUCKY (1949) Horse Race pinball machine. Next left is another Bally's TURF KING (1950) One Ball Horse Race pinball, next two left are BALLY BEAUTY (1952) Bingo pinball machines, next left is a Bally FROLICS (1952) Bingo pinball machine, next left is a Bally SPOT-LITE (1951) Bingo pinball machine, next left is a Bally CONEY ISLAND (1951) Bingo pinball machine all leading to a rarely photographed (and the one that started it all) Chicago Coin's BASKETBALL CHAMP (1947). From the sales brochure: "The balls are automatically fed to the shooting manikin. The player times his shot to avoid the swinging arms of the guard." I know I pumped a fortune into one of these way back when I was young! Additional unidentifiable machines complete the row (one looks to be a rather large "machine-gun" game?) and completing the view are Paintings (?) with the Artist's name adorning the back wall of this Amusement Center.









         This Page Last Updated 7-03-2010