Please welcome out latest guest blogger, the inimitable Aaron Muszalski, letting us know about the grand opening of Playland-Not-at-the-Beach. -Scott
Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, a “Museum of Fun” intended to celebrate and share the magic of amusement parks, circuses, penny arcades and other classic entertainments, celebrates its grand opening this weekend.
Mark your calendars for May 31 and June 1, 2008. The Museum of Fun, eight years in the making, is located at 10979 San Pablo Avenue (at the corner of Jefferson Street) in El Cerrito, CA. It will be open to the public from 10 AM to 5 PM each day of the grand opening celebration. The regular admission prices are reduced to just $5 per person this weekend only.
The museum is a labor of love by Richard Tuck, a Bay Area native who, as a child, regularly visited San Francisco’s famous Ocean Beach amusement park, Playland at the Beach.
Tuck grew up in the Bay Area and went to Whitney’s Playland and the Sutro Baths as a child. He has always been fascinated by amusement parks, magic, side shows, carnivals and circuses. “It’s a shame that today’s kids don’t get a chance to witness the earlier entertainments of a bygone age,” Tuck muses. “Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is a Museum of Fun, allowing kids of all ages (from 5 to 105) to enjoy the same things their great grandparents laughed at a hundred years ago.”
Playland-Not-at-the-Beach’s many exhibits include playable vintage pinball games, dioramas, Playland artifacts and ephemera, a circus sideshow, vintage movies and original murals. They even have their very own Laffing Sal, the famous mechanical fun house character whose raucous chortling frightened as many children as it amused.
The Museum is an entirely volunteer-run charitable organization, and as such is normally open by appointment only, making this weekend’s event a great opportunity to peruse its unique and wonderful collection.
images via Playland-Not-at-the-Beach