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Photos: Venice's Lost Amusement Parks

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Venice was built under the provision that the beach could never be commercialized so Abbot Kinney built the amusement parks of Venice of America over the ocean. Construction of the first park, the Atlantic Pier, began in 1909.

 

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Venice was built under the provision that the beach could never be commercialized so Abbot Kinney built the amusement parks of Venice of America over the ocean. Construction of the first park, the Atlantic Pier, began in 1909. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
After Coney Island's Dreamland Amusement Park was destroyed in 1911, Abbot Kinney decided to construct its replica on the pier. Fun House was one of them. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
After Coney Island's Dreamland Amusement Park was destroyed in 1911, Abbot Kinney decided to construct its replica on the pier. Fun House was one of them. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Parades of all kinds went through Weingart Avenue and the new Venice of America. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Parades of all kinds went through Weingart Avenue and the new Venice of America. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
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The Race Thru The Clouds opened on July 4, 1911 and was the first racing roller coaster on the West Coast. Its Venice precursor, The Merry Window Waltz, had moveable seats that gave the rider a waltzing effect. This coaster, however, was much faster and included many steep dips. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The first major amusement attraction on the pier was the Aquarium. In typical Kinney fashion, it housed the finest collection of Pacific Coast sea life. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The first major amusement attraction on the pier was the Aquarium. In typical Kinney fashion, it housed the finest collection of Pacific Coast sea life. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
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A view of the front of "Zaza Frazee! the European Sensation" show entrance where for only 5 cents you can see a female changing into a male. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
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Pickering added several of Venice Pier's classical amusements, such as J.A. Ellis' Dentzel Carousel, a Hades Attraction, a Japanese Tea House (seen in the image), William's Palace Inn, and Bump the Bumps, a large wooden slide. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Kinney leased pier space to amusement business extraordinaire and partner, Ernest Pickering | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Kinney leased pier space to amusement business extraordinaire and partner, Ernest Pickering | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The objectification of gender, ethnicities and people with disabilities became a high point of competition at the pier. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The objectification of gender, ethnicities and people with disabilities became a high point of competition at the pier. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Hundreds came to the grand opening of Atlantic Pier. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Hundreds came to the grand opening of Atlantic Pier. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The next big project was a scenic railroad ride complete with mountain terrain and tunnels. The figure-eight route ran behind the dance hall and pavilion on the north side of the pier. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The next big project was a scenic railroad ride complete with mountain terrain and tunnels. The figure-eight route ran behind the dance hall and pavilion on the north side of the pier. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The new park was meant to be an elegant location for high class entertainment which included rides, exhibits, and other novelties. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
The new park was meant to be an elegant location for high class entertainment which included rides, exhibits, and other novelties. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Hype and innovation were the rule, and it was on the Venice Pier that Felix Simmonds, a concessionaire, claimed to have invented the hamburger bun -- Jeffrey Stanton | USC Digital Archives
Hype and innovation were the rule, and it was on the Venice Pier that Felix Simmonds, a concessionaire, claimed to have invented the hamburger bun -- Jeffrey Stanton | USC Digital Archives