THE PACIFIC OCEAN PARK OF IT ALL

Yesterday’s post contained some poignant footage of the long-gone Santa Monica Amusement Park ‘Pacific Ocean Park’. The footage appeared to have been shot at the end of the parks short life–it opened in 1959 and closed a scant nine years later–with views of shuttered and abandoned concessions, rides and swirling trash and refuse. Today I offer a look at the park in all its mid-century glory. The upper-most clip is from a 1959 documentary about Santa Monica. If you skip to 9:50 you’ll hit a nice three-plus minute chunk showing the then brand new park packed with happy visitors. The lower clip is somebody’s home movies of a trip they took to the park in the early 60s. Home movies are a YouTube sub-category that I can get delightfully lost in. Because they are, by nature, private family documents they show you the lives of people you’ll never know, experiencing happy moments you’ll never share. The ghostliness of a good reel of home movies is far more binge-worthy than most current streaming options. Perhaps there should be an all-home movie channel?

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