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Casino Pier At Night

I think I have mentioned on this blog before that ever since Harry Smith (Jr.) got me hooked on collecting postcards four years ago I’ve amassed a lot of what is available out there – probably about 700 vintage Seaside Heights postcards. Thus, when I attend postcard and collectible shows these days, it’s not easy turning up postcards that I haven’t already purchased. But every now and then, like this past week, I get lucky and find something that I haven’t seen before. Here they are…four new postcards…recently purchased from an international postcard dealer. I especially like the first view. Between the Kohr’s Frozen Custard stand (left) and the cigarette stand (right) is the ice cream stand owned by a former 4th grade teacher from the Seaside Heights Elementary School – Miss Christie. She sold two specialty items that you’ll probably remember – (1) waffles and ice cream and (2) a unique treat that involved placing a rectangular slice of ice cream on top of a cone (the top of which was also shaped like a rectangle) and dipping the ice cream in chocolate and nuts. Once the chocolate and nuts hardened the finale was a tooth pick mounted maraschino cherry.



17 responses »

  1. Great Sky Ride views of Casino Pier! This was my favorite ride. Thanks for posting.

  2. I might be the first to bring this up since this attraction was relatively short lived (from 1966 to 1968) yet in your first postcard is an extremely rare image of the Casino Funhouse, which was designed and built by Mr. Ralph Lopez Jr., who also designed and built the Palace Amusements Funhouse and the Circus Funhouse, both were located in Asbury Park. As a child of 3 I wnet through that funhouse only once, yet I vividly remember the entire inside to this day, 45 years later. For the longest time I had been searching for images of the Seaside Heights Funhouse and so finally you have found a great one! I personally have a rare Seaside post card showing a side view of that Funhouse where you can clearly see the large 16 foot long rotating barrel as well as the upper floors exposed walkways. It’s sad that such a great funhouse had not lasted more than 2 or 3 seasons, and yet the building continues to stand there for over 45 years, a truly well built structure symbolizing what very few of us remember as a great classic House of Fun and Amusement during a more simpler time. Kudos to your find!

    • Thanks for that great background information!

    • My friends and I would go in this fun house all the time, the ticket taker would let us play in the rotating barrel as long as we wanted and also slide down the big slide at the end as much as we wanted. Another feature I remember it having was the tilted room painted in psychedelic colors with blacklights.

    • OMG OMG OMG! FINALLY someone who remembers that funhouse! And a photo to go with the memory! I’m ecstatic! I remember 2 Seaside funhouses from that era. One had a tilted room with floors that went up and down in spots, I believe. (Forgive me because it’s been sooooooooo many years!) The other one had the slide – and around the slide was (if I’m not mistaken) a toilet with the head of a mannikin in it. I remember being horrified yet fascinated by it.

      I also remember going through the barrels – they were awesome! I sure wish I could see your postcard with the barrels – what memories it would bring back! I remember the psychodelic room too.

      Reading another poster’s recollections, maybe I’m wrong about their being 2 funhouses during that time.

      Thank you both for posting the postcards and the memories. I finally feel like I reconnected with a great little part of my past that I’ve been trying to find for years.

      • Unfortunately I was only 3 years of age when that great funhouse was built; luckily I have a good memory from so long ago. I don’t recall that “head in the toilet” display you mentioned…that’s not to say it wasn’t there…perhaps I just missed seeing it, lol. But those other challenges (as they were called) you mentioned were all there, i.e. the barrel, slide etc. In fact. from what I remember, the set-up went like this:

        First you paid for your ticket; upon entering the building facing west you had to walk through the rotating barrel, which measured 7 feet in diameter by 16 feet long, 3 revolutions-per-minute; out of the barrel and onto the shifting boards, which slid back and forth; then onto another set of shifting boards which slid from side to side; then across a short rope & wood plank bridge suspended over some water; those 4 challenges were visible to onlookers through huge arched openings in the north side of the building. From there you entered further into the funhouse just under the big slide, where it became dark, finally opening up into the big tilted-room; this room was brightly lit with ultraviolet (black lights), the walls were painted with huge red-orange and black circles radiating from center small arcs to huge 16 foot arcs with small white spots in the black portions. You were guided by railings up, down and sideways in that room. You left that room and had to climb a ramp with small wooden cross-slats to keep you from sliding back down the ramp; this ramp brought you to the second level of the funhouse. This area I cannot remember 100%, however from what I recall the second level had pitch dark areas to navigate; then you had to walk through these huge skeleton-key shaped openings, again painted with day-glow paint and lit with black lights; the “keyholes” were offset from right to left, about 4 or 5 of them. You then traveled out on a ledge (with safety rails of course) where the crowd could watch you from the boardwalk. Out here you had to walk across what’s called roll-over-discs; then back into the darkness fro a few seconds, then back outside again onto a big 4 foot revolving disc, then back inside again; then back outside onto either lily-pads or smaller revolving discs, then back inside again; then back outside for a forth and final time on the west side of the building (just over the big yellow FUN HOUSE lettering), here you walked across a long row of steel rolling pins; then back into the funhouse. From there it was darkness again, probably with a few more areas of black-light lit walls etc. Finally you entered the back out into the big area with the barrel; onto a platform where you had the choice to either slide down the big stainless-steel slide, or walk down a narrow set of stairs to the first level (Being only 3 and too nervous of the slide I remember taking the stairs down; my brother took the slide). After the slide/stairs, you had to walk to the side where there were black see-saw boards which were powered to go up and down. I believe you could either navigate those boards or walk around them to the two huge cross-bar turnstiles to exit into the Casino arcade, near the carousel. That’s what I remember about that great Funhouse while it existed from 1966 to 1968 or so. Btw, if anyone remembers in later years inside the Casino arcade, those big turnstiles were used as pay-entrances to use the bathrooms inside that building. For years afterwards (40 years exactly, until 2006) the only interior remains of that funhouse were the many dome-shaped ceiling lights against a bright red ceiling where 2 spinning wheel games of chance were located. In 2006 new ownership of the building by Jenkinsons of Point Pleasant Beach decided renovation was necessary and all the original arched shaped openings and overhead garage-type doors were removed and the ceiling was replaced with conventional leak-stained drop ceiling tiles. The upper sloping black & white zebra patterned roof was also replaced, after withstanding over 40 years of sun and seasonal weather.

        All that remains now is the outside turrets and that strong structural shape which was designed to support the weight of an unlimited amount of patrons who enjoyed that building while it was one of the greatest Funhouses ever built.

    • Wow, I thought I was the only one who still remembered or cared about that Casino Arcade Fun House. I remember it very well. I was a bit older than you (born in 1961). I only went inside it a few times, but can vividly picture all the visible stunts. I can picture that barrel on the south side of the building where the garage doors remained for years. When the weather was bad, the doors would close but the barrel still spun. I used to watch it spin through the windows of the garage doors. The outside of the barrel had large poka dots like Wonder Bread.

      I remember the sliding boards on a couple of tiers on that south side. But I also remember spinning disks (and a bypass that I used as a kid). Then you went around a wall near the front entrance (east end of bldg) and wrapped around inside the arcade near the carousel. You went along some bridge with water or a big gap as I recall. I don’t remember the water, but it was a black-painted pit of some sort. The water may have been a maintenance hastle after the first year. I’m a little fuzzy on whether the tilted room was downstairs or upstairs. I thought it was upstairs for some reason. I remember that long skinny claustrophobic hallway with the triangles and keyhole shapes you had to pass through. Then the hall way ended with a mirror, you felt like you were trapped, but then you peaked around the mirror and you were at the top of the big slide. Near the end, I thought there was a glasshouse with bright incand. lights and then prison bars where you had to find the rubber ones to get though. And yes, to the other poster, I clearly remember that TOILET BOWL (or bowls) where you peaked inside and saw some weird head. And then you exited through those big iron one-way revolvling bar doors. And you’re right, they continued to be used for the pay toilets nearby.

      I loved going in the arcade in later years and looking around at the area where the fun house was and trying to picture where all the stunts where. The wheels of chance were exactly where the barrel was on the south end. In fact the ceiling to that stand had arched support ribs that were once clearance for the barrel. If you ever looked at that ceiling before Jenks reworked it, you could clearly see exactly where the barrel was positioned. That whole area there where the eatery and tables are and the little gift shop was where most of the visible stunts were. That funhouse left a very lasting impression on me, and I’m so glad to see others commenting on it.

      • I tried to reply to your posting…I spent over an hour writing something and my P.O.S. new HP Pavillion decided to just shut down on its own and kill all my hard work. Just another crappy o.s. (windows 7) from microsoft. Oh well, will try agian some other time.

    • On the topic of super-rare Seaside attractions, does anyone remember the spook house dark ride that was also inside the Casino Arcade? It was way in the back end (west end of full-sized building). It was to the left of the steps that brought you to the pool area. This dark ride was tucked away in a corner, but you were forced to pass by it when exiting the arcade from the back end. My mom always parked back there, and we had to pass the spook house. It always scared the crap out of me just to walk pass it. All I can recall about this dark ride (besides being scared of just looking at it and hearing click click red cars bang into each other) was that it had some kind of cannibal/South Pacific theme to it.

      There was another cool dark ride called the Monsters Den underneath one of the bigger arcades along the main stretch of the boardwalk. I think it was where Coin Castle is now. You entered just inside the arcade off the boardwalk and went immediately down a ramp where an animated witch tried to scratch your face as you went down in your car. Then you slammed into the doors and was in complete darkness except for the stunts. I remember the inside being very claustrophobic with a low ceiling and a mustly oil-buring smell combo. You were under the arcade. There was a cool room with strobe lights with black & white striped walls and a rotating wheel like the Twilight Zone. The ride gave you an authentic scare just due to its location and musty smell like you were in an old basement or something. Another short-loved gem almost impossible to find searching the internet.

      • I remember that dark ride in the arcade on the midway. The Arcade was called the Mad Hatter when I last remember the dark ride at the entrance (in the basement?) I thought it was a little bush league but it was there a few years. They had a bumper car arena with classic looking cars in the back of the arcade at the same time. Yes, nothing on the net ever talks about these two rides or the Mad Hatter.

  3. You’re quite welcome..and thank YOU for posting such a rare photo! Would you have any other postcards with other views of that funhouse? Please post if you do.

  4. When the sky ride traveled up and down the Casino Pier, I recall that the tops of the buildings on the pier were littered with fallen sandals and flip-flops.

  5. The 2nd ice cream treat you mentioned that Mrs. Christie sold at her ice cream stand was called a Walk-Away Sundae.

  6. I see that Laura beat me too it. Mrs. Christie’s specialty was indeed called the Walk-Away Sundae.

  7. I remember Joan Christie very well. My dad and his brother were concessionaires on Casino Pier.I don’t recall her husband’s first name, but he was a lovely man and sadly killed in a tragic auto accident at a very young age and she worked the stand alone for many years with help from her daughters. The photo you are showing on Casino Pier also in the background shows the shooting gallery (Bella and Joe…also very nice people) and Trudy and Tony’s Meat Ball City. Also shows Bobby Bennett’s cigarette ball toss. Pizza Shop behind it -the Nitti’s, Gary and Robert were the brothers who worked it and their Dad also was the founder. You’re really testing my memory cells!

    • Jan,
      Hi it seems you have an excellent memory of the concessionaires on Casino Pier.I was wondering if you knew who the concessionaires for the sausage(or kielbasa) and pepper sandwiches and also the funhouse were around the late fifties early sixties? Thank you for sharing your memories.

      • Hi Donna.Yes, well I spent so many summers at the Casino Pier the names of the surrounding concessionaires are embedded in my memory. As mentioned in my previous post the most noteworthy sausage stand was run by Trudy and Tony (in the 60’s) and their son Neil helped out, (he was about my age). The stand was located half in the Casino Arcade and half on the Boards, next to the ‘fascination’ game. I believe Taylor Pork Roll stand was at one time in front of the Merry-go-round on the main boards and they served sausage sandwiches. Don’t recall the names of the folks running the stand. Also don’t recall who manned the funhouse. May have been part of the casino pier ownership and the runners were hired by management.

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