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Lusse Dodgem Car Almost every week another treasure arrives at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, the vast majority being donated by people cleaning out their attics or garages of old artifacts from Whitney's Playland, Sutro's Baths or an amusement arcade they went to as children. We are always eager to hear from anyone who can give us information to track down more memorabilia and artifacts.


Ms. Sally

Here is a partial list of some of our treasures:
  • The Clown's Hat -- From the very top of the Playland Funhouse we have the giant clown's blue hat. Donated by Dave Warren.
  • Walking Charlie -- From the terrace above Laughing Sal in the front window of the Funhouse we have one of the original hand carved lifesize wooden characters. Donated by Dave Warren.
  • 3 Ring Circus -- An early precursor to the pinball machine. 10 balls for 1 cent.
  • Wizard Automaton -- Hand made animated figure that performs magic and makes a bird change into a squirrel right before your eyes!
  • C. W. Parker Carousel Rounding Board -- From a 1903 carousel comes this fabulous ornate hand carved piece. On loan from Dan Fontes.
  • Penny Arcade sign -- Direct from Disneyland's Main Street comes this delightful sign that contains 200 light bulbs that spell out "Penny Arcade". This sign greeted visitors to Disneyland from 1955 to 1972.
  • Laughing Sal -- We actually have two very different Laughing Sals, one is from Idora Amusement Park in Ohio, the other was newly constructed for us by Bump in the Night Productions. Thanks to NAPHA (The National Amusement Park Historical Association), we were able to have artisans create a reproduction of the front window of Playland's classic Fun House.
  • 1939 Treasure Island Golden Gate International Exposition -- We have a growing collection of memorabilia, maps and posters from this extravaganza.
  • The Marcks Family Miniature Circus -- It took Don Marcks and his father Isaac fifty years to hand carve all the pieces in this representation of the 1930-era Sells-Floto circus. Donated by Don and Martha Marcks.
  • Lusse Dodgem Car -- An original car on long term loan from Joe Mirante and Dave Warren. Restored by Jim Rose Auto Body.
  • Pretzel Dark Ride vehicle -- Just like the ones that existed at Playland's Laff in the Dark and Dark Mystery.
  • Spidora -- Every sideshow lover's dream come true, a lady born with 8 long furry arms who eats a weekly diet of flies!
  • Rare Playland Memorabilia -- In July of 2004 we also took delivery of probably the world's most important collection of Playland's artifacts. Wilhelm "Smitty" Smit worked at Playland for decades and had keys to all the buildings. His son Robert became the general manager of the seaside amusement park in the 1950s. Smitty's grandson Robert Jr. recently agreed to pass the family collection on to Playland-Not-at-the-Beach. The collection is indescribable. There are literally thousands of artifacts, from cases of never opened books of Playland tickets to original signage, parts of rides and games, rare photographs, employee uniforms, and prizes from the games. All of it will be on exhibit on our opening day.



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