The Pike, Long Beach, CA

Nearly half a million people call the California city of Long Beach home and it is with good reason.  It’s a bustling metropolis that regularly hosts fairs, carnivals, and other celebrations. The city’s port is one of the largest in the world and the second busiest in the United States for container traffic and that is just but the tip of the iceberg! Read on!

The Pike was an amusement zone in Long Beach, California. It was founded in 1902 along the shoreline south of Ocean Boulevard with several independent arcades, food stands, gift shops, a variety of rides and a magnificent bath house. It was most noted for the Cyclone Racer (1930–1968), a large wooden dual-track roller coaster, built out on pilings over the water.

The Pike operated under several names. The amusement zone surrounding the Pike, Silver Spray Pier, was included along with additional parking in the post-World War II expansion; it was all renamed Nu-Pike via a contest winner’s submission in the late 1950s, then renamed Queen’s Park in the late 1960s in homage to the arrival of the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach. 

1979 was the year Long Beach city council refused to renew the land leases and demolished all of the structures and attractions it could that weren’t trucked away. The Pike museum is located in Looff’s Lite-A-Line at 2500 Long Beach Blvd.

A grand bath-house was constructed at the shore and was scheduled to open on Independence Day, 1902, the day on which the Pacific Electric Railroad established service connecting communities along the line to offices and shopping in Downtown Los Angeles and bringing bathers and families south to shoreline recreation. 

Admission was charged for use of the clear, ‘vacuumed’, indoor freshwater pool, changing-rooms, and waterslide, all of which lay beyond a colonnade and sundeck. An interior balcony surrounding the pool and an outdoor one facing the beach offered people-watching on reclining lounges. The name was later changed to The Plunge. When it closed, it was converted to the Strand Theatre.

Until 1902, primary access to bathing was over unpaved roads by horse and buggy. A large livery and stables had been built to care for the animals of the bathers. Opening the Pacific Electric Big Red Car line to Long Beach diminished the importance of the livery, which closed as the automotive culture of Southern California developed. It was converted into a skating rink in 1906, then a dance hall by 1911, named The Majestic, featuring big bands. In the 1950s, it changed hands and was renamed The Lido Ballroom.

Paying the Pike a visit while in the city of Long Beach, Ca has got to be a must given the fact that the city is so rich in history and diversity alike. Visit today!

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