2011-02-04 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Rockaways’ Million Dollar Amusement Park
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

This 1939 Brochure advertised the new (but smaller) Rockaways’ Playland, which had to be rebuilt and made smaller by 200 feet, due to the construction of the new Parkway along the boardwalk to be known as Shore Front Parkway. Playland was known as the Rockaways’ Million Dollar Amusement Park, and had many new rides and attractions. Among them was the mainstay ‘Hurricane’ Rollercoaster.

Rockaways’ Playland began in 1928, when a group from Rockaway bought the park, which was the former L.A. Thompson Amusement Park on the site. The old Thompson Park dated back to 1902 in Rockaway Beach. The new and smaller Playland park earned the title of being the biggest little amusement park in the world. In 1987, as did happen to many other amusement parks in the country, the wrecker’s ball demolished rides and attractions that had brought happiness and joy and thrills to millions over the years. New housing was built on the site a decade or so later. R.I.P.

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