Jump to content

Old Houston Amusement Places


Recommended Posts

Does anyone remember these old amusement places in Houston? what they were called? where there may be pictures of them?

The ski slope at the intersection of 610 West Loop and Southwest Freeway which later became...

The waterslide at the intersection of 610 West Loop and Southwest Freeway which finally became...

Lone Star Amphitheatre at the intersection of 610 West Loop and Southwest Freeway

OR HOW ABOUT...

Malibu go-cart raceway and arcade at the Southwest Freeway

Games-People-Play...I believe it was on Fondren....big 80's hangout with arcade, waterslides and go carts..

The little go cart place off westpark (Southwest Freeway ran in front of it)..the track was lined with red and white tires...

B)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 492
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I found an pic I took of Kiddie Wonderland in 1986, I think it was in the process of being taken down....

Yeah that photo is from 1977! This is the only other Phil I could come up with. Here's some names from the past

Speaking of the Astroworld boundaries, I still remember when we kids as a group would run and get a ride on the train that went around Astroworld. On ocassion we could see (or bust) other older teens

Posted Images

I grew up on the southeast side, so the only place I remember is the Lone Star Amphitheater, where I saw some good shows during college and the years after...Butthole Surfers, Rev. Horton Heat, Porno for Pyros are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

On the southeast side we had Pipe Organ Pizza (one of my all-time favorite birthday parties took place there), SuperTrack (which FINALLY closed recently, unfortunately), Sea Arama in Galveston was always popular, whatever the waterpark was next to Sea Arama, and of course I spent a lot of time at the Wilson Park and Beverly Hills Park pools.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember the kiddie place on south Main. Had pony rides and just down the street on the corner of Main and Breaswood was a Putt Putt place with a small arcade. Also the Perpermit Parks that dotted the Houston scene. I still pass one on the SW Freeway, its a body shop now, but they kept the red/white striped look of the building. Fame City is still there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
I went to Kiddie Wonderland several times... I didn't really like the pony riding, though.

It's now a Kroger..

i stumbled on this forum looking for old photos of hanna barbara land. games people play was on 1960. it has been closed for about 7 to 10 years now. you can still see some off the putt putt golf, part of the go cart track, and not much else. i had birthday parties there as a kid.

somewhere in all of my pictures i have some pics of me with scooby and fred flintstone at hanna barbera land. all of the buildings at splashtown are the original buildings from hanna barbera land.

i cannot remeber the name of the indoor amusement park off of 610 near 290 but i think my wife will. i went there as a kid a few times for parties and such. my wife grew up over there so i will ask her.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

When I lived in Houston (1962-64), my parents did a lot of their shopping at what was then called Gulfgate Shopping Center (now Gulfgate Mall). I remember us going to an amusement park next to it. I think the name of it was either "Playland Park" or "Peppermint Park."

Does anyone out there know what I'm referring to?

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
When I lived in Houston (1962-64), my parents did a lot of their shopping at what was then called Gulfgate Shopping Center (now Gulfgate Mall).  I remember us going to an amusement park next to it.  I think the name of it was either "Playland Park" or "Peppermint Park." 

Does anyone out there know what I'm referring to?

Chet Cuccia

It was Peppermint Park and it was at Reveille and Arnim. where the dodge body shop is now. If you search the threads, i think Peppermint park has been discussed some in the past. there were several locations in houston. One near 290 and the loop and one on the SW freeway.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It was Peppermint Park and it was at Reveille and Arnim.  where the dodge body shop is now.  If you search the threads, i think Peppermint park has been discussed some in the past.  there were several locations in houston.  One near 290 and the loop and one on the SW freeway.

Thanks. I thought that I remembered that park. I remember the big words "PEPPERMINT PARK" painted on top of the roof.

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites

Playland Park was on S. Main near where Reliant Stadium is now. It was our "Astroworld" before there was an Astroworld. It had 2 great roller coasters, and lots of other carnival-style rides and attractions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Playland Park was on S. Main near where Reliant Stadium is now.  It was our "Astroworld" before there was an Astroworld.  It had 2 great roller coasters, and lots of other carnival-style rides and attractions.

Maybe I remember a Playland Park, too. I remember us going to another amusement park, and I thought that I could see from it the neon "rock" of the logo of the Prudential building. Is that possible? Was Playland Park near that Prudential building? If it was, then it's possible that my memory is still good after over 40 years.

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites

Playland Park had a small train that would take you along the Murworth side of the park. When Playland closed, the train was transferred to Hermann Park. Every time I go to Hermann I try to ask someone if that train is one of the ones still in use, but no one knows.

Playland had a funhouse, and at the entrance was an animated clown who would kinda roll with laughter. As a small kid, that freakin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger Ward, big Indy racer.

Billy Wade, local sensation.

You are so right, Tbird. Even as I wrote that, something didn't seem right. Thanks for the correction.

BTW, Billy's brother was my once upon a time father-in-law.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heights... Do you, or anyone else, remember a bad accident at Playland's race track that happened in the early 60's, I think it was? Maybe the very late 50's. I was there. During warm-ups, a wheel came off Blackie Lothringer's car coming into the first turn where the entrance to the raceway was. I was standing at a refreshment stand between the gate area and the race track, which had only a very small wall around it. I heard a loud bang and looked up in time to see the wheel come flying over ther wall...followed immediately by Blackie's car. I was about 50 feet from where the car landed. Three people were killed and many injured, as they were headed from the gate area to the stands. If I hadn't stopped for a Coke, I would probably been where the car came down. I have tried to find out if there is anything about this accident on the internet, but have not been successful.

Do you also remember the figure 8 races, the powder puff races for the girls, and the demolition derbies that they had there?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though I have a clear recollection of things when I was 3 and 4 years old, my memories of the Playland races are a bit fuzzy. But there may have been underlying reasons for that. I remember the very first circus I went to, and all I remember from the event is standing on the steps of the house still crying about the poor guy who someone had shot out of a cannon.

I may have been frightened of the races, or maybe by a crash or two. I just don

Link to post
Share on other sites
Even though I have a clear recollection of things when I was 3 and 4 years old, my memories of the Playland races are a bit fuzzy. But there may have been underlying reasons for that. I remember the very first circus I went to, and all I remember from the event is standing on the steps of the house still crying about the poor guy who someone had shot out of a cannon.

I may have been frightened of the races, or maybe by a crash or two. I just don

Link to post
Share on other sites

Man it really trips me out how many of yall are from southeast, I feel like I'm hearin family members talk when I read yalls posts. I'm 3rd generation southeast myself. My grandparents lived in the magnolia/manchester area and my parents were from right there off broadway by milby, sellers bros., ingrando park, etc. Am I the only one who swam at glenbrook public pool, and jumped off the dreaded "hightower"? When I was up there as a kid I used to look out in the distance and see the skyline and think, "man I wanna live there one day, and now I do so ha, take that "your supposed to stay in the hood" mentality! Does anyone remember a place called "the mark" across the street from milby in the early 80's during the explosion of breakdancing? It was an arcade and a place to battle (breakdance "fight"). Supertrack closed???? Wow that's the end of an era.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Man it really trips me out how many of yall are from southeast, I feel like I'm hearin family members talk when I read yalls posts. I'm 3rd generation southeast myself. My grandparents lived in the magnolia/manchester area and my parents were from right there off broadway by milby, sellers bros., ingrando park, etc. Am I the only one who swam at glenbrook public pool, and jumped off the dreaded "hightower"? When I was up there as a kid I used to look out in the distance and see the skyline and think, "man I wanna live there one day, and now I do so ha, take that "your supposed to stay in the hood" mentality! Does anyone remember a place called "the mark" across the street from milby in the early 80's during the explosion of breakdancing? It was an arcade and a place to battle (breakdance "fight"). Supertrack closed???? Wow that's the end of an era.

Talk about how time flies! The last time I went to any amusement park was to Astroworld back during the summer of 1978. 27 years ago!

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
Talk about how time flies!  The last time I went to any amusement park was to Astroworld back during the summer of 1978.  27 years ago!

Chet Cuccia

This is not really on topic, but what about the Blimp Hangar out on I-45. I remember when we used to drive to Ftl Worth to seem my Grandparents we would pass by the Hangar and sometimes the blimp was out there. I have no clue where this was or what is there now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The blimp base was at 45 and Holzwarth.

A bit of trivia. As you head north on I-45, just as you cross Cypresswood, there is a small stand of pine trees next to the highway. That is an old cemetery. You used to be able to see it from the freeway, but the new freeway was built over and around it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As you head north on I-45, just as you cross Cypresswood, there is a small stand of pine trees next to the highway. That is an old cemetery. You used to be able to see it from the freeway, but the new freeway was built over and around it.

This is the Wunsche Cemetery, just south of Spring High School on the east side of the freeway. Perhaps you've heard of the Wunsche Cafe in Spring... :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is the Wunsche Cemetery, just south of Spring High School on the east side of the freeway. Perhaps you've heard of the Wunsche Cafe in Spring... :)

As probably all of you know by now, I lived in Houston from 1962-64. I do remember one night my parents and I were sitting in the parking lot at the then-Houston International Airport (now called Hobby) and watching a Good Year blimp landing. It was quite a sight to see in the dark. I remember seeing the lit up "flying shoe" logo.

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of the Wunsches, but I never knew that was their cemetary. That's nice to know.

I rode the Goodyear blimp out there once. It was a fun thing to do, but not as thrilling as one might think. Once, while in the Navy, I was catapulted off the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. Now that was a trip!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got 8mm film of Astroworld in the late 60's, when it first opened. I wonder if people would be interested in something like that.

As a child, I was traumatized when they changed Hannah Barbera Land to Splashtown. Long after I had forgotten about Hannah Barbera Land, there was something that seemed evil about Splashtown - bad vibes you might say. Now I remember why.

It's great to see HAI Forumers exploring their inner child. I wonder if somebody has broken out bawling over this thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've got 8mm film of Astroworld in the late 60's, when it first opened.  I wonder if people would be interested in something like that.

As a child, I was traumatized when they changed Hannah Barbera Land to Splashtown.  Long after I had forgotten about Hannah Barbera Land, there was something that seemed evil about Splashtown - bad vibes you might say.  Now I remember why.

It's great to see HAI Forumers exploring their inner child.  I wonder if somebody has broken out bawling over this thread.

Yes, it would be interesting to see a film like that. I would think that most everything you would see (the rides at the time, etc.) would be gone now, replaced by other rides.

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, it would be interesting to see a film like that.  I would think that most everything you would see (the rides at the time, etc.) would be gone now, replaced by other rides.

Chet Cuccia

We could probably start a whole new thread on old rides at Astroworld that are no more.

Let's see, off the top of my head:

Astro wheel

Needle

Barrel of Fun

Black Dragon

Link to post
Share on other sites
We could probably start a whole new thread on old rides at Astroworld that are no more.

Let's see, off the top of my head:

Astro wheel

Needle

Barrel of Fun

Black Dragon

The only name of a ride that stands out in my mind is "The Texas Tornado." But keep in mind, the last time that I went to Astroworld was way back in the summer of 1978.

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
The only name of a ride that stands out in my mind is "The Texas Tornado."  But keep in mind, the last time that I went to Astroworld was way back in the summer of 1978.

Chet Cuccia

Hey, it's still there. Last time I rode it was in the mid '90s though. One of the best wooden coasters ever. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Texas Tornado has some kind of historic value to it, now that I think on it. Here's a little article on it:

http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/coast.../late_80s.shtml

And I was wrong. According to this it isn't at AstroWorld any more. I think I will cry.

"The Thriller, owned by Oscar Bruch & Sohn, opened in 1986 on the German fair circuit. [...]It was purchased by Six Flags, moved to Astroworld in 1998 and renamed the Texas Tornado (originally called Taz's Texas Tornado, but the Taz was dropped for the 1999 season). After the 2002 season the Texas Tornado was dismantled and sent to Six Flags Marine World (Vallejo, CA) where opened for the 2003 under the name Zonga."
Link to post
Share on other sites
Playland Park was on S. Main near where Reliant Stadium is now.  It was our "Astroworld" before there was an Astroworld.  It had 2 great roller coasters, and lots of other carnival-style rides and attractions.

I think this is Playland Park

11222.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit that I haven't been to Astroworld in years. But the talk about the Texas Cyclone reminded me of the first "real" roller coaster there, Dexter Freebish's Electrical Roller Ride -- which later became Excalibur I think. When that opened, I was probably about 12, so 1972, and a friend and I spent practically our whole day riding that ride, running around, getting back in line and riding again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think your memory may be confused...you are probably thinking about the Texas Cyclone not the Tornado.  Its another wind storm so similar  :P

Sorry, Kirzania, I was replying to Ashikaga. I know Taz wasn't there in 1978 when he went. I was telling him HIS memory was wrong. BTW, Everytime I went to Astroworld when Taz was there it was always closed for repairs.

On another note, I remember as a kid you could ride the Cyclone over and over from about 11 until closing at midnight. We used to keep tabs on who had ridden it the most times. I have no clue what our record was but know I rode it 17 times one night.

Talking about the Dexter Frebish/Excalibur, remember there was that spot in the bottom turn where there was "blood" on the support pole. :o

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this is Playland Park

11222.jpg

I've learned not to get Playland Park confused with Peppermint Park, which was near Gulfgate Shopping Center. I remember going to the later back then (1962-64). And I think that we also went to the former.

Maybe someone out there can jog my more-than-40-year-old-memory. I remember us going to an amusement park closer to downtown than Peppermint Park was. From that park, I thought that I could see the top of the Prudential Building; the neon logo of its "rock." Is it possible that could have been Playland Park? Was that park within "eyeshot" of the top of the Prudential Building?

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've learned not to get Playland Park confused with Peppermint Park, which was near Gulfgate Shopping Center.  I remember going to the later back then (1962-64).  And I think that we also went to the former.

Maybe someone out there can jog my more-than-40-year-old-memory.  I remember us going to an amusement park closer to downtown than Peppermint Park was.  From that park, I thought that I could see the top of the Prudential Building; the neon logo of its "rock."  Is it possible that could have been Playland Park?  Was that park within "eyeshot" of the top of the Prudential Building?

Chet Cuccia

Maybe you are thinking of Hermann Park? They have a kids train and the zoo is there. you probably could have seen the Prudential building from there back then.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe you are thinking of Hermann Park?  They have a kids train and the zoo is there.  you probably could have seen the Prudential building from there back then.

I don't know. Like I said, I moved away from there back in 1964. I thought that one evening we went to an amusement park and from the ground I looked up and saw that neon logo "rock" of the top of the Prudential. My memory about my time in Houston has been accurate about 75 percent of the time. Maybe this memory is part of the remaining 25 percent.

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember the kiddie place on south Main. Had pony rides and just down the street on the corner of Main and Breaswood was a Putt Putt place with a small arcade. Also the Perpermit Parks that dotted the Houston scene. I still pass one on the SW Freeway, its a body shop now, but they kept the red/white striped look of the building. Fame City is still there.

What a great memory! I am 52 years old and grew up in Bellaire & Sharpstown until I was 9. Mom & Dad used to take me to ride those ponies at OST & Main. One of my early childhood fond memories.

Other memories in Houston as a child . . .

* Seeing Snow White at the movie theatre in the old shopping center on the north side of Bellaire Blvd. just east of the train tracks on the east end of Bellaire.

* Going to see Kitirik at Channel 13 and Captain Bob on Channel 2 at their old studios on Post Oak Rd.

* The deep drainage ditches along Avenue A (now Newcastle) and Post Oak Rd. in Bellaire.

* Movies at the Trail Drive In, and the new Sharpstown Drive In.

* Bissonnet was still called Old Richmond Road from the curve at about Edloe, down through Sharpstown.

* A big discount store on Hillcroft in Sharpstown called "Globe".

* That jingle . . ."Summer winter spring or fall, stroll in the air conditioned mall, with one stop to shop for all, at Sharpstown Center."

* The old Sears on South Main just south of Downtown

* U-Tote-M was a fairly large chain of convenience stores in those days. Their radio jingle? "Just in case anyone should ask you, you tell 'em U-Tote-M." Their sign incorporated a totem pole.

Probably a lot more stored in this old brain here!

Link to post
Share on other sites
What a great memory! I am 52 years old and grew up in Bellaire & Sharpstown until I was 9. Mom & Dad used to take me to ride those ponies at OST & Main. One of my early childhood fond memories.

Other memories in Houston as a child . . .

*  Seeing Snow White at the movie theatre in the old shopping center on the north side of Bellaire Blvd. just east of the train tracks on the east end of Bellaire.

*  Going to see Kitirik at Channel 13 and Captain Bob on Channel 2 at their old studios on Post Oak Rd.

* The deep drainage ditches along Avenue A (now Newcastle) and Post Oak Rd. in Bellaire.

*  Movies at the Trail Drive In, and the new Sharpstown Drive In.

*  Bissonnet was still called Old Richmond Road from the curve at about Edloe, down through Sharpstown.

* A big discount store on Hillcroft in Sharpstown called "Globe".

* That jingle . . ."Summer winter spring or fall, stroll in the air conditioned mall, with one stop to shop for all, at Sharpstown Center."

*  The old Sears on South Main just south of Downtown

*  U-Tote-M was a fairly large chain of convenience stores in those days. Their radio jingle? "Just in case anyone should ask you, you tell 'em U-Tote-M." Their sign incorporated a totem pole.

Probably a lot more stored in this old brain here!

Hey, I'm 47! I lived in Houston from 1962-64. There's a lot of stuff that I can remember. The people on this forum are very helpful. They have been able to verify if something that I think that I remember is right or wrong.

I lived on # 8 West Court Drive. It was a white house on the corner of that street and Galveston Road just down from where Park Place Boulevard dead ends into Galveston Road. Since you were in Houston back when I was there, is there anything that you personally would remember about the area where I lived?

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites

11222.jpg

Yes, that is definately Playland Park!

The main entrance was to the left of that photo. As you entered, the first ride on the left was the booth for the train which ran along side the roller coaster (behind it in the photo). Just beyond that is where Murworth is now. The round ride in the photo is the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Fame City was the best kid's place ever.  I don't even remember when it closed down or what it became.  In the 80s, it was awesome.  It's a shame that kids today don't get to experience that kind of business creativity that was around in the 80s.

I remember that place... my cousin had every birthday there for a while. Personally, I could take it or leave it. It was like an amusement park inside a warehouse. There were the bumper cars on the left, some slides it seems in the middle, a big He-Man virtual reality type thing in the middle where you went through these rooms and shot laser guns (ok, that was kind of cool), a putt-putt golf course, some of those bb guns where you try to shoot away the red circle on the target (impossible), a big video arcade on the right, and it seems like a big skating rink in the back. I think all of that stuff was at Fame City - I might be mixing and matching from other places. Can't believe I remember all that.

This one is more recent - anyone ever go to Physical Whimsical, at 249 and 1960, in the Mervyn's shopping center?

What about Games People Play? There were like three water slides, and I remember one time one of them was closed down. I heard that some kid had cut his back going over one of the seams between the sections of the slide, and from that day on I was terrified to ride down any water slide, anywhere.

Oh, last but not least... did anyone ever go out to the Oil Ranch? I think it was off of 290, near either Waller or Hempstead. There was a u-pick-em pumpkin patch, paddleboats, cows you could milk, and a big barn full of hay with rope swings and stuff. You felt like the Bobbsey Twins after it was all over. Very cool.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...