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Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles' Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier

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Pacific Ocean Park—or as it was commonly known in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s, P.O.P.—was extraordinary in both its glamorous rise and spectacular fall. As a family-oriented attraction in the '50s with modernist-styled rides designed by Hollywood's best, P.O.P.'s attendance surpassed that of Disneyland. Christopher Merritt and Domenic Priore's spectacular hist Pacific Ocean Park—or as it was commonly known in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s, P.O.P.—was extraordinary in both its glamorous rise and spectacular fall. As a family-oriented attraction in the '50s with modernist-styled rides designed by Hollywood's best, P.O.P.'s attendance surpassed that of Disneyland. Christopher Merritt and Domenic Priore's spectacular history includes hundreds of images, most of them unseen elsewhere, including original ride designs and illustrations, including Tiki-rich, space age, and nautical rides. P.O.P. was often widely seen in movies and television shows throughout the '60s. Its Cheetah auditorium hosted important early rock shows, including those by Ritchie Valens, The Doors, and Pink Floyd. P.O.P. was located at the dividing line between Santa Monica and Venice, the only spot during Prohibition-era Los Angeles were residents were allowed to dance and consort in a carnival-like atmosphere. The book also backgrounds the infamous "Dogtown" of the 70's in which surfers took advantage of big waves that rolled through P.O.P.'s rotting piers near homeless junkies.


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Pacific Ocean Park—or as it was commonly known in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s, P.O.P.—was extraordinary in both its glamorous rise and spectacular fall. As a family-oriented attraction in the '50s with modernist-styled rides designed by Hollywood's best, P.O.P.'s attendance surpassed that of Disneyland. Christopher Merritt and Domenic Priore's spectacular hist Pacific Ocean Park—or as it was commonly known in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s, P.O.P.—was extraordinary in both its glamorous rise and spectacular fall. As a family-oriented attraction in the '50s with modernist-styled rides designed by Hollywood's best, P.O.P.'s attendance surpassed that of Disneyland. Christopher Merritt and Domenic Priore's spectacular history includes hundreds of images, most of them unseen elsewhere, including original ride designs and illustrations, including Tiki-rich, space age, and nautical rides. P.O.P. was often widely seen in movies and television shows throughout the '60s. Its Cheetah auditorium hosted important early rock shows, including those by Ritchie Valens, The Doors, and Pink Floyd. P.O.P. was located at the dividing line between Santa Monica and Venice, the only spot during Prohibition-era Los Angeles were residents were allowed to dance and consort in a carnival-like atmosphere. The book also backgrounds the infamous "Dogtown" of the 70's in which surfers took advantage of big waves that rolled through P.O.P.'s rotting piers near homeless junkies.

30 review for Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles' Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jack Ross

    Excellent research and over the top illustrations make this a must read for So Cal natives who actually remember POP.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aki Umemoto

    I've been to Pacific Ocean Park only three times and I loved it! This book brought back fond memories for me and it even detailed my favorite ride "Flight to Mars"! This book recounts the history of the previous incarnations of POP: Ocean Park Pier and Lick Pier and the journey to becoming an exciting amusement park at the beach and its ultimate downfall. The story is fascinating but the major reason to get this book is for its glorious illustrations. It's filled with photos from the '20's, sket I've been to Pacific Ocean Park only three times and I loved it! This book brought back fond memories for me and it even detailed my favorite ride "Flight to Mars"! This book recounts the history of the previous incarnations of POP: Ocean Park Pier and Lick Pier and the journey to becoming an exciting amusement park at the beach and its ultimate downfall. The story is fascinating but the major reason to get this book is for its glorious illustrations. It's filled with photos from the '20's, sketches of the original layouts and concept designs, tons of photos of the attractions, clips from various TV and movies shot there, posters of the famous bands that played at the Aragon and Cheetah ballrooms including the Beach Boys and the Doors, photos of the various fires and shots of the Z-Boys of Dogtown. POP lasted less than a decade: 1958 to 1967, but I'll never forget it. If you've been to POP or a theme park enthusiast, this is a must have!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    An excellent book! As close to a time-travel trip to Pacific Ocean Park as you're gonna get!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  5. 4 out of 5

    Don Albrecht

  6. 4 out of 5

    Seth Roback

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andreas Jacobsen

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Matthews

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  10. 5 out of 5

    Malinda

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cherry

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Milazzo

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Monello

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Slawson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave Maxwell

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luke Manning

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ann Montgomery

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul Haddad

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dudley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sam Ingham

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Weber

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Knatcal

  24. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Feral House

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michele Beacham

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ralph Castaneda Jr

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Baham

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Provost

    A fascinating survey of a lost piece of history. I'd never heard of Pacific Ocean Park before I stumbled across references to it online. This book brought the place back to life. It's well written, engaging and informative; it simultaneously took me back in time and made me wish I'd been around during the park's heyday. Like any good examination of recent history, it will both trigger memories of those who experienced the subject and provide new insights to those who lived through the era.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

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