PACIFIC OCEAN PARK: THE RISE AND FALL OF LOS ANGELES’ SPACE-AGE NAUTICAL PLEASURE PIER

PrintE-mail Written by Whitney Scott Bain

BOOK REVIEW: PACIFIC OCEAN PARK: THE RISE AND FALL OF LOS ANGELES’ SPACE-AGE NAUTICAL PLEASURE PIER / AUTHORS: CHRISTOPHER MERRITT, DOMENIC PRIORE / PUBLISHER: PROCESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

What an incredible time capsule of what was and what the future was to be.

Loaded with photos and thoroughly researched, you see the early days of what was Ocean Pier transformed into the answer to the new Southern California attraction called Disneyland.

Futurists, illustrators and production designers Fred Harpman and Dave Constable cleverly came up with such rides as the Starfish design to the opening of the park which later was the inspiration of the Los Angeles Airport landmark restaurant, the Magic Carpets, Sky Bubbles, the Deepest Deep Adventure where one of the creatures was a modified version from the film, The Monster That Challenged the World, the Mystery Island Banana Train and this writer’s personal favorite - experienced as a four-year-old - that left an indelible impression: the Flight to Mars.

Television fans will notice the Mirror Maze made famous in The Twilight Zone episode, In Praise of Pip starring Jack Klugman and Bill Mumy as well as the finale of The Fugitive where Dr. Richard Kimball played by David Jansen finally confronts the one-armed man who killed his wife.

You learn about POP, as it was called, and see it go through several transformations over its nine years in existence trying to survive the competition of Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. It starts as a fun-filled, family amusement park, to a teenage wasteland of rock and roll and its final demise of being a derelict pier that finally burned to the ground.

This is the perfect book for anyone who loves nostalgia of a vanished time.


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