Take Me Home Books For You and Me Tales of San Francisco Purchase Books Speaking and Tours HistorySmith Links and Friends Contact Us

In 1913, Arthur Looff and John Freidle formed a partnership to create an amusement park, located at Ocean Beach on the Great Highway, called Concessions at the Beach. Looff owned the Hippodrome, housing the first of San Francisco's three famous carousels, and Freidle owned a shooting gallery and a baseball knockdown game called Babyland.

That meager start grew to ten major attractions and countless arcades by 1921, including the Shoot-the-Chutes water ride. By then the park had taken on the name of its top attraction, billed as Chutes at the Beach. The remaining nine attractions were the Bob Sled Dipper roller coaster (Bobs), the Aeroplane Swing, the Whip, Dodg `Em, the Ship of Joy, the Ferris Wheel, the Looff Carousel, Noah's Ark, and the scenic railway Figure 8 gravity coaster. (Read More)

Radio Appearances
  • March 19, 2010 — KQED Forum - Scott Schafer, host
    Listen to Jim talk about Playland at the Beach with Tom Wyrsch, producer, "Remembering Playland"; Richard Tuck, Master of Fun, Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, El Cerrito, CA; Marvin Gold, former employee of Playland at the Beach on San Francisco's KQED

Copyright 2004-2013 by All rights reserved.