Seaside History

Playland: Amusements in the 1930s

July 17, 2013 | by Nate Burke

Recognize this classic Seaside landmark? For just over sixty years, countless kids and adults have come to the Oregon Coast to get behind the wheel of a vintage bumper car, play a round of mini-golf, or scream with delight on the Tilt-a-Whirl. Since the 1950s, this stretch of Broadway has been dedicated to the amusements you can still find here today. But even before these installations, this spot was home to Playland, a popular destination for kids and families. Playland was, of course, even more old-fashioned than the vintage locale you can still find today, and back in the 1930s (as pictured here) it was still slick as a whistle.

At Pop’s Korn Krunch stand in the mid-1930s, you could get yourself a Coney Island Red Hot for ten cents.  A Red Hot was actually an old term for a hot dog – whether it was referring to the spiciness or to the actual served temperature, your author is a bit too young to know. After you waited a bit for your food to settle, you could go for a twirl on the indoor merry-go-round, or try your hand at the penny arcade games such as the coin-op strength grip tester (where you could find out if you were a “Macho Man” or a “Wet Noodle”). You could also try your hand at a game of Fascination, a table game that started in the 1920s, where players roll a rubber ball up an inclined wooden deck, lighting up the backboard in lines similar to Bingo. Fascination is a race against the clock, played against other players, where winners receive tickets to trade for prizes.

Today in our fast-paced digitized age, you can still play a classic game of Fascination at Seaside’s Funland Arcade just a few blocks down Broadway from the Bumper Cars and the location of the old Playland building. It’s one of the few Fascination games remaining in the country and gives you a great taste of 1930s amusements.

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Wave Meets Wall

Back in 1925, the waves would encroach on Seaside's Turnaround with a dramartic ferocity

Learn More
Let’s Fly a Kite

On the beach at Seaside is perfect for this. There are no overhead wires and the beach has few up or down wind drafts from the winds which move across the ocean. This makes kite flying easier and explains why kites are a common part of the Seaside landscape. Kite flying is for dry days as wet kite lines can act as a conductor for static electricity and lightning in a storm.

Learn More
Destinations Magazine: Great Escapes

Vacations are the “great escapes we need,” says Destinations magazine, “to relax, recharge and rejuvenate oursel...

Learn More
Snail Mail: the Agony & the Ecstasy

Snail mail in Seaside circa 1909.

Learn More
Digging for the Bounty!

Razor clamming on Oregon

Learn More
Artillery on the Beach

Artillery on Seaside

Learn More
How to Treasure the Beach

No one owns the Oregon Coast — it belongs to everyone. Thanks to 1967’s landmark Beach Bill, Oregon has some of the most prote...

Learn More
The Pull of Progress – Seaside in 1921

Postwar Seaside saw a boom in growth and development.

Learn More
The Move to Mobile Browsing

Is your site optimized for mobile browsing? It should be. The Seaside Visitors Bureau is constantly tracking trends in the hospita...

Learn More
A Chinook Fishing Tale

Chinook Salmon Fishing in and Around Seaside Oregon

Learn More
Making Seaside Beautiful: Gardens

Seeking help on starting a garden plot sent me in search of Pam Fleming, whose reputation as a resource on Seaside’s Gardens was a bit understated as I was to discover. I met her at the Grand Opening of Back Alley Gardens (find by walking through Natural Nook Florists 734 Broadway).

Learn More
A volunteer assists those watching whales at an unknown location along the Oregon Coast.
Where to Watch for Whales

It’s possible to see gray whales off the Oregon Coast year-round, but one of two peak periods occurs in late March, when some 20...

Learn More
Ice cream time in Seaside, Oregon
An Adventure to Share

A winning family vacation in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Broadway Retro

A look at downtown Seaside during the 1960s

Learn More
The Best Part of Waking Up

Delicious breakfast dining at favorite Seaside local hot spots.

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
Color Now Bursting on the Coast

Pick up a colorful bouquet of summer dahlias at roadside stands along Highway 101 and other coast highways

Learn More