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The Pike, Long Beach 1963

The Pike, Long Beach 1963

The Pike at Long Beach, California, August 1963. An old-style amusement park with wooden roller coaster "The Cyclone," closed in 1979. View full size.

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Days at the Pike

Dancing at the Pike

In 1962 I met Dennis Patrick Smith of Long Beach at the Pike. We loved dancing there, or walking on the beach and finding snack places in Long Beach. I went back to school and my romance with DPS continued by telephone and letters. In 1964, I was back in Long Beach and that summer we loved the bumper cars. What incredible atmosphere the whole area provided!

My relationship with DPS continued for 19 years, but in another realm, much like the decline and demise of The Pike. The mental pictures of Pike memories still conjure up nostalgia like no other, and particularly dancing on that ocean air dance floor.

The Old Pike Days

Walt Disney said he built Disneyland because the Pike was too seedy for his daughters.

My dad took me on the roller coaster when I was 12 and scared me to death. Gawd I was glad when the ride was over.

I went there in 1968 in my Navy days and my buddies got me on the Tilt-A-Whirl at full speed. I was sick for two days.

Now the place is just a lot of tacky condos.


This place was also seen in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963). There are a couple of stills from the movie here..

near the bottom of the page under "Long Beach."

That coaster looks huge in the movie.


What was the name of the photo gallery where you stood behind the funny painted standups and got your picture taken?

1962, 10 Years Old.

Mom gave me five bucks and cut me loose there for the day, barefoot. I would dip in the plunge till pruny and dry while I hit the arcades with penny toss and a ride. Wild Mouse, Cyclone, Tilt-a-Whirl and a strange airplane ride at the end of the park where you could control your spin and turn yourself upside down on a windy day. I rode it several times and grew up to be a pilot by age 17. Laugh house later was torn down and found to have been storing a real mummy as from an old 1800's traveling carnival. When money was found in its mouth he was identified. Mom worked across the street in the Heartwell building. All back while Rainbow Pier was still in existence and the Long Beach Arena was a planned dream. Thanks for the photo of my time.

Family outing

My Dad heard about the Pike from guys at work and convinced Mom that it would be a fun outing. When we arrived we were not allowed to get out of the car. It was 1967 and it was full of "hippies, ladies of the night and aimless drifters" according to my Mom. We never made it back and then they tore it down. My Aunt remembers good times there in the 40's with her friends and cute sailors.

The Pike Now

My in-laws always told me about the Pike so my wife and son met some of her relatives there last summer on what was my first trip to California. The Pike is back...sort of. They have a ferris wheel that offers a nice view of the area and a carousel. Aside from that, there are some restaurants and shops and that's about it. I think the area where the Pike "was" is now all condos and parking lots.


The Pike

Loved the Pike. Rode the Cyclone when I was 11. Nobody ever mentions the diving bell that dove into a tank with a bunch of tired old fish and a lazy stingray. Got tattooed there at 18.


I was one of those "domestic sailors" and rode the roller coaster many times between 1964 and 1966. There were many attractions in the Longbeach area at that time.

'63 T-Bird

That's a Thunderbird next to the MicroBus. The side "vents" indicate it's a '63.

In a way, this was really the last summer of the 1950's... just before the Kennedy assassination and the British invasion.

58 Merc

1958 Mercury Monterey in the foreground. Nice.


Nothing in this world is WORSE than an "Incredibly Strange Creature Who Stops Living and Becomes a Mixed-Up Zombie"!!

Magic Bus

Is anyone else salivating at the sight of that new-looking split-windshield Microbus?

Incredibly Strange but true

Yep, the Pike was the place where "Incredibly Strange Creatures" was filmed. It might be one of the best "worst" movies of all time.

The Pike

I started school at Long Beach State in 1964, in contrast to the weeks old tyke. The Pike was great fun to walk around in during the day, even if your pockets were empty. Got a little edgy though when the sun went down. Lots of sailors foreign and domestic roamed that place the nights I went there. I remember it as kind of seedy and hinted of lurking danger in the darker corners. But those were enticing features to me and my friends in that era. We loved it. A dose of real life beyond a sterile campus setting.

The Incredibly Strange Creatures

Unless I'm horribly misaken, this was the amusement park featured in the Ray Steckler classic bad film "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies"! I highly recommend the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of it.

Oh, my

I moved to LA in the year 2000. The only remnant of this place was an arcade, under a peaked circular roof. A couple of years later amid rampant condominium construction, only the roof remained, like a giant coolie hat on cinder blocks. It looked like someone wanted to save that roof. I moved away. Did they put it to some use? Long Beach is wonderful, it's always *almost* Santa Monica. Shhhh. Save it for me.

Pike Tyke

I was just a few weeks old and living up north in Contra Costa County when this was taken.

Hear that?

This picture has a special quality for me. It seems, if you concentrated, you could just hear the music, and smell the scent of those wonderful/awful amusment park treats. I love the cars! Wonder what they'd be worth now?

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