Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
belmontdrew

Old Houston Amusement Places

Recommended Posts

My dad just had some Super 8 footage made into a DVD and there's probably three or four minutes of Kiddie Wonderland on there. The footage dates from 1972 or '73. There are also a few shots from the Rodeo Carnival and others shot on a snow day here. There's some cool scenes of hippy girls on the corner of Westheimer and Mt Vernon pelting cars with snowballs.

That would be awesome to see!! Can you post it somewhere? B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember Gooney Golf. To the right of it (from the parking lot) was Meyer Branch Library (which is probably still there). To the left of it was a restaurant. I want to say it was called Kings. I remember getting hamburgers and onion rings there.

Yah, the Meyer Branch Library where they would give out passes every summer if you read a certain amount of books. The pass I remember winning was when they bussed all us kids that won downtown to see The Nutcracker Suite.

Kings was the best. I always remember ordering there on the telephone at your table. They had these little grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in crumb type batter that were to die for. Along with their gigantic bowl of onion rings. I'd love to find someone that makes those nowadays.

The Goony Golf was always a favorite treat on the weekends. I remember the big black pirate ship on the course that was closest to the library. And the huge windmill that was quite the thing to get the ball through. After the last hole you always got the chance to win a free round when you tried to get the hole in one up the center ramp. If you made it it started ringing/buzzing made all kinds of noise. If you missed it kept your ball.

After Kings it was time to head over to the drugstore at the Big Giant for a root beer float. Then buy a bottle of cinnamon oil to start making the toothpicks for sale at Kolter on Monday morning for 25 cents for a pack of 10. Yup, those were the days. I imagine nowadays kids at Kolter would get arrested if they tried selling cinnamon toothpicks to their classmates.

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>">
name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350">

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>">
name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350">

.

Edited by SchwinnChopper68

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Working on it.

I can't wait!! Some of my best memories are from growing up at Kiddie Wonderland (ya, how many kids get to say the LIVED at an amusement park?!). Heck, I still the t-shirt my mom made me wear with the likeness of a park ticket printed on it so that folks could return me to office if I wandered off. Those were the days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! That's a great old video from Astroworld.

Thanks for posting.

Edited by RhinoVP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow! That's a great old video from Astroworld.

Thanks for posting.

I second Rhino's reply, those are great Astroworld videos Schwinn posted. Thanks! for going to the trouble, they are priceless. :) Especially since the amusement park is gone. The aerial shots are great, you can see original park rides, as well as how things looked outside of Astroworld boundaries, before every piece of land was developed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I second Rhino's reply, those are great Astroworld videos Schwinn posted. Thanks! for going to the trouble, they are priceless. :) Especially since the amusement park is gone. The aerial shots are great, you can see original park rides, as well as how things looked outside of Astroworld boundaries, before every piece of land was developed.

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) :ph34r: other older teens sneaking into the park. I heard as years passed some had cut a the chain link fence to gain access. They would be running in with long hair flying around laughing. Most times the locomotive engineer didnt notice but we would all be cracking up as they ran past. Quiet dangerous it was, but oh well.

I was too chicken to even think of doing that. We always paid, times werent that bad.

Did everyone like the miniature Rainbo Breads they would give you in that tiny bakery shop? Very fresh!

Were about 5-6 inch loaves for about 10 cents each. Mine always got crushed in the running around frenzy/ excitement of the park.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the rainbow bread place was always the first place I hit when I got there and the last when I left. So many times they were always sold out near closing and I left breadless. :angry:

If I remember correctly my yearly pass the very first year was $18. A couple weekends of mowing lawns. Also I think they had one of those cool paint spraying places where you would put a white postcard in a tub and the postcard would be spun at high speed and you would drip all kinds of colors on it to end up with a trippy picture.

Remember waiting in line at the Matterhorn and you would push your sister out of the way so you could stand under the ice cold jets of air-conditioning?

Remember landing at either side of the aerial tram, moist hot air all the way and as soon as you come inside the station you are greeted with a deep freeze of ice cold air.

I think the ride I used to take the most must have been that big round orange centrifugal barrel. They would open the door, everyone would pile in and then you would be spun so fast you hang on the walls while the floor drops 5 or 6 feet below. I being a 6th grader especially enjoyed all the mini skirted riders that would start to slide down the wall.

I heard some crazy stories of people losing their lunch in there spraying other riders but fortunately I was never there when that happened.

I dunno, one of my fondest memories has always been the 25 cent shooting gallery with those guns shooting at all the animated stuff in the 1860's bar with the player piano and the bar maids. They had tons of secret animations if you knew where to shoot. The owl was my favorite.

We also used to spend hours and hours inside the arcade center with all the games and all the old timey games. We were experts at making the rounds every few minutes checking for quarters and extra games that others missed or forgot about.

This has nothing to do with Astroworld but who remembers that museum of torture or museum of weapons near the astroworld hotel? I will always remember the oak barrel where it's closed around your neck then 4 or 5 starving rats were let out in the enclosed area around your face. That must have been one of the worst ways to die ever invented by a sick mind. They also had some full size casket with steel knives pointing inwards. They would close the casket up on the intended victim slowly. I remember visiting that place around 1970-71 ish.

352g7ye.jpg

2hn6zqo.jpg

j0w93p.jpg

Edited by SchwinnChopper68

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Great stuff, Schwinn! You are DA MAN!!!

I remember those little loaves of bread and getting a new map every summer when I spent the day at Astroworld. Parents would drop me and a friend or two off -- we'd spend the day riding the rides, sweating like pigs...and oh yeah -- scoping out all the hot chicks! Parents would pick us up after the fireworks display in the evening (which I thought was one of the best displays around). Ahhh...those were the days. I don't think I'd drop my kids off anywhere like that now -- the world has certainly changed since those days.

I dig this site...really brings back the memories.

PS: Brent Spiner, the actor who played Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation (a graduate of Bellaire High), was an actor on the Crystal Palace show at Astroworld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The world has certainly changed since those days.

I'm sure every generation says and will say the same thing but I will tell you one thing. In the 60's and early 70s we would close down our entire block on Halloween and have gigantic block parties. Every house was done up except for one or two old coots that could not be bothered. Hundreds of lit pumpkins, skeletons walking around, gigantic black kettles with dry ice inside them stirred by local moms made up with 3 inch long green noses. Free sno-cones, hot dogs. One or two homes made up inside to be haunted houses with grreat actors and the radio shack halloween special effects record playing in the background. We would walk all over our neighborhood for 5, 6 or 7 blocks door to door gathering fresh made soft ball size popcorn balls, caramel corn balls, huge red candy apples, big juicy caramel apples that were still warm (yum yum, the best!! :P ) wax bottles of multi colored juices, home made brownies, popcorn strings, you name it. All sorts of home made candies. No x-rays or inspection needed or even thought about. Just dig in and enjoy.

Alas nowadays methinks that will never happen again. Perhaps it still does happen somewhere today but in a smaller community where one knows just about everyone. On the other blocks I only knew maybe 10% of the people in the homes yet most families there all had kids growing up and most families were into the holiday spirit. On my block I knew everyone except for the couple old coots that stayed secluded and watched WWI doughboy movies and Combat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need to take pictures of the souvenirs we stock piled on over the years. Still have:

1. A complete minature tea pot set of Astroworld tea set I got for mom one time, has all of those original rides and charaters engraved in color on them.

2. A tall beer mug in shape of that German style village with Astroword pictures on it.

3. A tall 7 Up very long and streched in a warped shape they sold at that glass blower shop they had. You walked in a this dude was making all kind of shapes and junk out of various soft drink glass bottles. I think it was in the Swiss Village?

Does anyone remember the name of the 2 separate car riding location? One was a Model T old fashioned car ride on those metal tracks.

2nd was a sports car (like Speed Racer) type of ride. They had those guys yelling not to bumo into each other but you did it anyway. Imagine whiplash as a kid. Ja! The names of these two rides fail me. What really gets me is they should have auctioned them off or something what became of all of those model T's and race cars?! :angry::D

Remember how spooky the Swamp Buggy was? You had to wait in very long, long tines sometimes. Once strapped in it went straight up in the darkness of what was supposed to be a old tree trunk and once on top it tilted out at and freaking angle as if to tip you over but it stayed at that angle as it careened down around and around and around and you could see all of Houston or dowtown skyline for short glimpses as you either got sick or screamed you brains out. It was always hilarious hearing all the Marsha Brady look-a-likes screaming around you. As normal we staggered out of the little buggy one it was over.

The Bamboo Shoot was always one to look forward to in summer. At the very end we always yelled everyone lean forward! So more water would cover us! Nice cool off! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought the "original" entranceway to Astroworld was beautiful, especially at night. It had that world globe, a fountain, and colored lighting. The multi-colored lamppost bulbs were replaced with boring white ones in later years. There were also orange advertisement signs placed around town. The remnants of one sign can still be seen at Almeda & 610 South (southeast side, x from Texaco).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always thought the "original" entranceway to Astroworld was beautiful, especially at night. It had that world globe, a fountain, and colored lighting. The multi-colored lamppost bulbs were replaced with boring white ones in later years. There were also orange advertisement signs placed around town. The remnants of one sign can still be seen at Almeda & 610 South (southeast side, x from Texaco).

Just for the sake of nostalgia, here is a 1980 commercial. :)

2nd video has good close ups of the rides in it more recent final days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

take it a bit off topic (or not), but how do you guys think of Rock The Bayou festival is going to work out? I mean its interesting, I didn't know about it until I was volunteered to buy some tickets to this thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
take it a bit off topic (or not), but how do you guys think of Rock The Bayou festival is going to work out? I mean its interesting, I didn't know about it until I was volunteered to buy some tickets to this thing.

Are you going???

A nice and less sweaty alternative would be to find the VH-1 History of Metal in re-runs and watch the hair band episodes. Particularly fun is the interview with Warrant's lead singer (who looks like a guy you'd see working at the DMV in Akron) lamenting how the label zeroed in on the band's least favorite song for the single, and thus were rocketed to B-list stardom that eventually landed them at state fair cherry-pie eating contests. Paraphrasing...... "cherry pie this, cherry pie that, I was the f-ing cherry pie guy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you going???

A nice and less sweaty alternative would be to find the VH-1 History of Metal in re-runs and watch the hair band episodes. Particularly fun is the interview with Warrant's lead singer (who looks like a guy you'd see working at the DMV in Akron) lamenting how the label zeroed in on the band's least favorite song for the single, and thus were rocketed to B-list stardom that eventually landed them at state fair cherry-pie eating contests. Paraphrasing...... "cherry pie this, cherry pie that, I was the f-ing cherry pie guy."

I might go for one of the days, so I'll hand my ticket to someone else who wants to go. Of course, *I* might not even go. outdoor events aren't my thing, but I might be persuaded to go to the evening performances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to transportation, Astroworld had something nobody elese had. That overpass over IH 610 was/is the ONLY privitely owned bridge spanning an Interstate highway anywhere in the US.

Also, there was a small amusement part on N Sheperd Dr. between Sears and Pinement Dr. What was the name of that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When it comes to transportation, Astroworld had something nobody elese had. That overpass over IH 610 was/is the ONLY privitely owned bridge spanning an Interstate highway anywhere in the US.

That is very interesting to know.

I sure wish someone could divulge if they ever knew any of the drivers of the Astroworld Cam passenger trains? Bet they have funny and crazy stories to tell. Having to use them to get into the park really added to the anxiety of want to get in and run around the park! What became of these colorful trams???

Immediately after buying our tickets we always bolted for the Texas Cyclone! That was our number main goal! :D

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/376719/point...ags_astroworld/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>"arrow" never made it to the Bubble at Gateway swimming pool and wants to know how you could breath in it.

Gateway swimming pool, that's why I'm here. It was a large aquatic complex located on Main street near Kirby. Now there is a mini-storage facility built on the front part of that property, the back part and adjoining lot are overgrown and might still yield some Gateway artifacts.

*The Bubble: Gateway pool featured diving boards and a high dive, the deep end was 18 feet, that's about the deepest pool I've ever seen. At the bottom of the deep end was a "bubble," which was a clear dome made of fiberglass or plexiglass, rimmed with a metal band. Maybe 3 feet in diameter and about 1.5 feet from the rim of the dome to its highest point in the center...that is, just enough for you to stick your head up in it. It floated about 3 feet above the bottom of the pool, being chained to the bottom of the pool with 3 chains that were stiffend with metal sheathing. Directly below the dome the bottom of the pool was pierced with a hole from which air bubbled. The air rose toward the surface of the water and got trapped under the dome, forcing water out of the dome and creating an underwater air pocket. You swam down to the bottom and popped your head up into the dome. The water level stayed beneath your chin and you could then stay down there as long as you liked, breathing fresh air and watching surface action thru the clear dome. The bubbles kept the air fresh. Some kids told me about smoking down there, that would have taken some ingenuity with plastic baggies. 18' is a long way down, it took me several years to be able to make it. The first time I made it I was so surprised. I was afraid to go into the bubble, so I swam a circle around it, examining it warily. The next dive I went ahead and entered it and then enjoyed it from there on out. I've never seen nor heard of anything like this. It seems like it would carry a lot of risk. For one thing, there's no way the life guards can monitor people who are spending extended periods of time 18' down. For another, it seems like there would be a risk of surfacing too fast with a lung full of air under 18' of pressure. Anyway, I can tell you this, it was great fun and it made me a good deep water swimmer.

*The bobber: This was some sort of converted deep sea buoy. It was anchored by steel tethers in 5' of water. It was shaped like a ball with half of it submerged and half out of the water. On top, jutting towards the sky, was a pole with a ladder, rising up about 6' from the ball with a crow's nest on top. You climbed up into the crow's nest and tried to rock the bobber back and forth. The goal was to rock it 90 degrees and touch the water. I didn't even weigh 100 lbs at the time, so I never could rock it very much.

*There was a large, rectangular trampoline.

*There was a large table set with a maze, thru which I think you started tops spinning and they battled it out. I never saw this in operation so I'm not sure what it was.

*There was a seperate indoor facility that housed a large pool and was used for swim meets and training.

>Regarding the Playland park:

The one in Houston was Texas first amusement park. There was a sister park in San >Antonio from 1947 to 1980. The giant 2 humped rollercoaster that was the Houston landmark served as the logo of the corporation. There is a wikipedia articla and a book on the San Antonio park: http://www.playlandparkbook.com/index.html

>TexasCE "I can't believe so many people remember Kiddie Wonderland.

Kidde Wonderland on S. Main near Braeswood: I would be amazed if many people didn't remember it. That thing seemed to hang on and on and on. Someone here mentioned that it opened in the early 50s. I went to it as a kid in the early 60s. I was amazed that it continued to hang around in the late 70s, having most of it packed up in the early 70s and just the pony ride left. When it continued to hang around into the 80s, I was utterly shocked. I don't know when it finally closed down, but it was there for at least 30 years.

>"Norhill Dennis" asks about the baseball stadium formerly located on the site of Finger's: The Finger's Fabulous Furniture showroom near 45 and Cullen has a snackbar that doubles as a sports museum dedicated to the baseball stadium that was home to the Houston Colt 45s. There is a home plate there that is in the same location as the former stadiums home plate. Stop by and visit the museum anytime during business hours.

>Roym posts a picture of a 3 hump coaster.

That's a fabulous photo, but the one at the Playland here in Houston was only 2 humps.

>BigDukem69 wants to know where S.Main drive in was and kiddie park underneath the screen.

South Main drive-in was located at the Y intersection of S. Main and Stella Link. That lot is now occupied by a commercial warehouse strip center.

>hbcu mentions Peppermint park, and someone else mentions confusing Peppermint and Playland parks:

Both parks were instantly recognizeable Houston landmarks: Playland Park featured 2 giant rollercoaster humps, and Peppermint Park was an indoor park that was housed in a giant tin single-story building that was painted in vertical pink and white candy stripes. That tin building was moved and still stands, candy stripes and all, as an automotive body shop, visible from 59 but further south, down closer to highway 90. I don't see how anyone can confuse a candy stripe painted building called "Peppermint Park" with anything else.

>Someone mentions Westwood mall and its 2-story merry go round:

That same, or a similar, Merry Go Round is now housed in Memorial City mall.

>belmontdrew wants to know if anyone remembers Games People play.

Yeah, I remember that. That's actually still there and was still operating until recently (as of 2008). It's main attraction was batting cages for the next 20 years after its "games people play" heyday. It also feature the mini-golf course for many more years.

Hi Larry. My name is Becky, but my nickname was Sparky when I was a child growing up at Playland Park. When I say growing up, I mean I lived at the Park. I hate to tell you but you are wrong about the humps on the roller coaster. The twelve years I lived at the Park it had Three humps down to the turn which was a soft square turn, then three small humps back to the fourth elongated soft hump leveling off to the boarding platform. There is a perfect picture of the coaster in posting #3l7. I don't know what coaster you are remembering but it was not the coaster at Houstons Playland.

My good friends Les and Marge Oldfield owned Gateway Roller Rink and Crystal Pool on Main St at Ost.. The bubble at the bottom of the pool was the bubble from the belly of a B-17. Gateway Roller Rink was built first and then the pool was built later. They were my home away from home and Les and Marge were my "adopted parents". The roller rink operated as such up until 1954 or 55, and then Les changed it to an indoor training pool for swimmers. I swam with the synchorinzed swimming team and we would do shows at different pools. Les just passed away two or three years ago. I believe there are some postings about Cyrstal Pool, which was the largest pool in Houston next to the Shamrock pool.

The picture in posting 317 shows the coaster before the rest of the park was built so there is nothing but bare land around it. The Plantation night club was built much later and would have been in the foreground. Hope this post clears up any questions. Sparky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone remember the name of the 2 separate car riding location? One was a Model T old fashioned car ride on those metal tracks.

2nd was a sports car (like Speed Racer) type of ride. They had those guys yelling not to bumo into each other but you did it anyway. Imagine whiplash as a kid. Ja! The names of these two rides fail me. What really gets me is they should have auctioned them off or something what became of all of those model T's and race cars?! :angry::D

Remember how spooky the Swamp Buggy was? You had to wait in very long, long tines sometimes. Once strapped in it went straight up in the darkness of what was supposed to be a old tree trunk and once on top it tilted out at and freaking angle as if to tip you over but it stayed at that angle as it careened down around and around and around and you could see all of Houston or dowtown skyline for short glimpses as you either got sick or screamed you brains out. It was always hilarious hearing all the Marsha Brady look-a-likes screaming around you. As normal we staggered out of the little buggy one it was over.

The Bamboo Shoot was always one to look forward to in summer. At the very end we always yelled everyone lean forward! So more water would cover us! Nice cool off! :)

The old cars were the Texaco Antique Taxi's, as for the smaller cars though, I can't remember a name for them. I think that Texaco sponsored those as well though.

Was "Swamp Buggy" the name of that tree trunk ride? I can't for the life of me remember that ride. That looks to be about the location of the bumper boats, then later on the Gunslinger. I remember the bumper boats from about 74, so I'm guessing this ride was removed late 60's or very early 70's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The old cars were the Texaco Antique Taxi's, as for the smaller cars though, I can't remember a name for them. I think that Texaco sponsored those as well though.

Was "Swamp Buggy" the name of that tree trunk ride? I can't for the life of me remember that ride. That looks to be about the location of the bumper boats, then later on the Gunslinger. I remember the bumper boats from about 74, so I'm guessing this ride was removed late 60's or very early 70's.

YES! The Swamp Buggy was the very tall, huge, aged tree trunk meant to look like it was in a Lousiana swamp I guess. It looked so mysterious from a distance but we always ran to it as the lines were so very long. As you got in they strapped you in and sometimes with strangers (which kind of was fun) kids thats is and then it would go straight up I mean into the sky it seemed once on top everyone said "lean over" and it would tilt out (real scary idea) :o then it would careen at that angle all the way down in circles. Had a fine view of everything except for the mass steel surrounding you.

Another big Houston mystery, who ended up with all of those cool Antique Taxi's & race cars?

You just remined me of another thrill! They did have a shooting gallery I think it was a saloon of some kind? They had mannequins dressed up like the OK-Corral and barmaids, like Kitty. They had mechancial voices and all kinds of sound effects. Now I am thinking of the blast of cool airconditioning you felt as soon as you entered these cool venues in the hot summers ala 1973-75. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a little digging around, I found that the Taxi's were originaly called "Le Taxi". I think these went to another amusement park, possibly in Mexico along with the Astroneedle.

Many of the rides were auctioned off, and some have even turned up on eBay.

If your ever riding down Hwy 6 just a mile or two past Arcola, be looking to the south and you'll see some of the old car's from the Astrowheel in the front yard of a house. It's the home of a former Astroworld mechanic, who's son I used to work with years ago.

Did you know that the Shooting Gallery was the first of it's kind anywhere? It was a shame when they turned it into just another dumb carnival game. -_-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sports car ride, if I remember correctly was called Spin Out. Several years ago, before Astroworld had even closed down, someone in Sealy Tx was selling the fibreglass bodies from two of the Spin Out cars. They were quite large; in the 6' long range. The two car bodies ended up selling for something like $20!

I considered bidding on them, but what do you do with something like that?! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The sports car ride, if I remember correctly was called Spin Out. Several years ago, before Astroworld had even closed down, someone in Sealy Tx was selling the fibreglass bodies from two of the Spin Out cars. They were quite large; in the 6' long range. The two car bodies ended up selling for something like $20!

I considered bidding on them, but what do you do with something like that?! :P

Spin Out! That was the name! The cars looked like small Speed Racer cars in all colors. You could have driven around the city in one!

We may have strayed from topic, but here is the whole enchilada on our now gone Astroworld:

http://saveastroworld.com/

and you must see this!

astro-girls-525.jpg

and The Swamp Buggy in the distance! Wild ride it was!

2248412577_0a4930a419.jpg?v=0

Edited by Vertigo58

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After a little digging around, I found that the Taxi's were originaly called "Le Taxi".

Behold...Le Taxi! and there is the Astroworld Train in the background!

MeDaddyLeTaxiSM.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the photo I posted of the "Clock of Texas" that was in Sharpstown mall:

>DUDE!!!! :lol:

>How did you ever find that? Thank you.

By searching and searching and searching the web, the same way I ended up here searching for Gateway Swimming pool. What is amazing is not that I found the picture of the "Clock of Texas," but rather that I had to search so hard for it. Massive web search sessions yielded no information on the clock. I was beginning to think that I just imagined it. Even my mom and other family members didn't remember it. No one at Sharpstown knows it ever existed. You would think there would be millions of photos of it floating around and people reminiscing all the time, and 8mm movies...but nothing. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I felt like Jodie Foster in that movie where no one remembered her daughter on the plane. hahaha.

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FYI - probably one of the best websites for Astroworld information is: http://www.sixflagshouston.com/ ...it has everything you want to know - and then some!

Maybe it even has the little places where everyone used to score. :blush: The Fright Shack or haunted house during Halloween was our favorite place to smooch and get away with it.

The darkness was on our side for a change. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In high school, we used to go to a laser tag that was somewhere off Bellaire and Gessner (?) I only remember the general location - it was made in what had been an old Safeway grocery store I think and had a second story catwalk where you could view the players below and read on TV screens what the scores were.

Sounds like you're thinking about Photon!

There was another one in the general region, lower-rent, called Star Laser Force.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like you're thinking about Photon!

There was another one in the general region, lower-rent, called Star Laser Force.

i'm thinking Chimmney Rock at Gulfton,.....Yes, it was Photons. That place was so packed all the time, I have always wondered why it went out of business. I also remember the 20 lbs of equip you had to put on!

I wore a costume there once, including motocross boots......didnt help, they still kicked my ass!! :)

I got to the enemy pod and shot it, only once, every other time I was slaughtered.

Coug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely random thought... and I may have imagined the whole thing.

But does anyone remember there being a bungee tower right off the West loop, North-bound side, somewhere between Bellaire and Memorial Park ? This would have only been there briefly, seems like a few months, probably around 1990...

Anyone remember this ? have photos ? or was i really just imaging things on my daily commute to school....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump.. cuz this was a serious question.

I commuted the west loop twice a day for 9 yrs to go to school.

I distinctly remember a bungee tower being erected sometime around jr high.. I distinctly remember thinking.."yah, thats gonna cause rubbernecking being right on the freeway".. i remember it not lasting long.

I really am curious if anyone remembers this.. nobody i've ever asked in the past does.

Google searches bring up nothing.

Id really like to know if i was imagining this and if i did, what was it i saw that made me remember it as a bungee jump.

Anybody got anything ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason I didn't go to Kiddieland as a rule is because we had a small park near the Heights called "Happyland" that I went to often. In fact, until your post, I couldn't remember which of the two was Happyland and which was Kiddieland.

Happyland was at Shepherd and (I believe) Martin. Happyland had horses that ran along fenced trails, but that changed to a merry-go-round type setup, possibly due to liability. They also had one of my favorite rides

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bump.. cuz this was a serious question.

I commuted the west loop twice a day for 9 yrs to go to school.

I distinctly remember a bungee tower being erected sometime around jr high.. I distinctly remember thinking.."yah, thats gonna cause rubbernecking being right on the freeway".. i remember it not lasting long.

I really am curious if anyone remembers this.. nobody i've ever asked in the past does.

Google searches bring up nothing.

Id really like to know if i was imagining this and if i did, what was it i saw that made me remember it as a bungee jump.

Anybody got anything ??

I vaguely remember the bungee tower. Searching the Chron archives I only found one mention here:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=1994_1206347

"Afton Oaks Civic Club responds quickly to anything that threatens the residential character of the neighborhood. The association was instrumental in shutting down the
bungee jumping operation that was located nearby at Loop 610
."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason I didn't go to Kiddieland as a rule is because we had a small park near the Heights called "Happyland" that I went to often. In fact, until your post, I couldn't remember which of the two was Happyland and which was Kiddieland.

Happyland was at Shepherd and (I believe) Martin. Happyland had horses that ran along fenced trails, but that changed to a merry-go-round type setup, possibly due to liability. They also had one of my favorite rides

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this for Sparky

Childhood.jpg

The picture you are seeing is of my sister, in front of the "Slap the Axis" joint at Playland in the mid-forties during WW11. If you hit one of them, Hirohito, Mussolini, or Hitler, they would turn around and go the other way. They ran on an oval track that went in the back part of the joint and then came out on the other side and ran across the front as shown in the picture. I will try to scan a few of the others and send them to you. Thanks a lot, (Sparky)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I posted this for Sparky

The picture you are seeing is of my sister, in front of the "Slap the Axis" joint at Playland in the mid-forties during WW11. If you hit one of them, Hirohito, Mussolini, or Hitler, they would turn around and go the other way. They ran on an oval track that went in the back part of the joint and then came out on the other side and ran across the front as shown in the picture. I will try to scan a few of the others and send them to you. Thanks a lot, (Sparky)

This is one of the most fantastic photos ever to be put on Haif!

PS, I found a VHS tape that has best of WWII films clips of celebrity commercials and moral boosters aimed towards the war effort. There is a great clip of one of the 3 Stooges doing a very similar spoof on these same dictators. Classic. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree Sparky came up with a really sensational one there. She's suppose to be sending me more pretty soon, will get them up ASAP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I vaguely remember the bungee tower. Searching the Chron archives I only found one mention here:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=1994_1206347

"Afton Oaks Civic Club responds quickly to anything that threatens the residential character of the neighborhood. The association was instrumental in shutting down the
bungee jumping operation that was located nearby at Loop 610
."

It was on the SW corner of the 610/59 interchange if I remember correctly, where the big hill used to be that was a waterslide and later an ampitheater was built there. It's all gone now due to the Westpark tollway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[ These are pictures of my sister and me, my sister, me and our little brother testing out some new "Boards" that my Uncle Homer painted for our Mothers Mug Joint. Any one that came to Playland and had my mother take a picture should recognize the background in the first picture. The picture of my brother holding our dog, Troubles, was taken years later. You can see the lead hill of the Coaster in the background. This is the hill that we watched blow over in the hurricane that I spoke of before. My brother is facing the side parking lot where race fans parked. The building to the right of our house was the "Fun in the Dark" ride. If you enlarge that picture you can see the oval sign that was above the laughing clown advertising the ride. If you remember coming to the park, you would enter under the giant Toothbrushes which turned into Murworth Street later on. As you entered the Park you would see, looking to the right, the Bingo House, my fathers frozen custard stand, my fathers front food stand, and the ticket booth for the coaster. On race days people would park not only in the front lot but also up and down the side parking lot, my front yard, from the Bingo House to the Race track. I will post some more pictures when I can remember how I did these. Mark, Thank you. SparkyChildhood2.jpg

Another from Sparky

Edited by Sparky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeahh.. I'm glad someone else remembered this. Anyone have any photos ?

Bmil - i remember the nursery being on the NW corner of that interchange, i remember during christmas it always being well lit like a giant tent to advertise the christmas trees.. I dont remember the waterslide though, that may have been before my time.

The bungeee jump was definitely on the inside of the loop though, least the one i remember.. and the chron article seems to back that up. Thanks for that find Stjnky.

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=1992_1086872

Air Boingo Houston obtained a city building permit in September to construct a 67-foot launching tower on the 610 Loop feeder road between Richmond and Westheimer.

But the attraction, due to open Oct. 17, quickly generated the ire of nearby Afton Oaks residents, who say the bungee jumpers will create a traffic hazard.

I vaguely remember the bungee tower. Searching the Chron archives I only found one mention here:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=1994_1206347

Date: WED 10/14/1992

"Afton Oaks Civic Club responds quickly to anything that threatens the residential character of the neighborhood. The association was instrumental in shutting down the
bungee jumping operation that was located nearby at Loop 610
."

It was on the SW corner of the 610/59 interchange if I remember correctly, where the big hill used to be that was a waterslide and later an ampitheater was built there. It's all gone now due to the Westpark tollway.
Edited by Highway6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first post on this topic.

Does anyone remember a Wild Mouse ride at Playland Park? It would have been in the early 60's and was a miniature roller coaster that turned sharp corners just as it seemed the car was going over the edge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone remember a Wild Mouse ride at Playland Park? It would have been in the early 60's and was a miniature roller coaster that turned sharp corners just as it seemed the car was going over the edge.

My wife certainly remembers it. She HATED that ride because of those slow but sharp turns at the top. The cars ran on a double set of wheels so the car would actually tilt outward a bit with the bottom wheels riding against the bottom of the rail. This was about 25 feet up, not so miniature!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[ These are pictures of my sister and me, my sister, me and our little brother testing out some new "Boards" that my Uncle Homer painted for our Mothers Mug Joint. Any one that came to Playland and had my mother take a picture should recognize the background in the first picture. The picture of my brother holding our dog, Troubles, was taken years later. You can see the lead hill of the Coaster in the background. This is the hill that we watched blow over in the hurricane that I spoke of before. My brother is facing the side parking lot where race fans parked. The building to the right of our house was the "Fun in the Dark" ride. If you enlarge that picture you can see the oval sign that was above the laughing clown advertising the ride. If you remember coming to the park, you would enter under the giant Toothbrushes which turned into Murworth Street later on. As you entered the Park you would see, looking to the right, the Bingo House, my fathers frozen custard stand, my fathers front food stand, and the ticket booth for the coaster. On race days people would park not only in the front lot but also up and down the side parking lot, my front yard, from the Bingo House to the Race track. I will post some more pictures when I can remember how I did these. Mark, Thank you. SparkyChildhood2.jpg

Another from Sparky

Oh my God Sparky! Your a genius!

and what a coincidence, I was scanning (finally) some vintage family pics yesterday and was going to do one my mom took in this exact local at Playland or at least I am certain. However for some insane reason we (kids or someone) cut it :angry: to where only moms head is showing above a cutout like these! Now I wish I had or still can scan it. It was taken around mid-late 40's too?

You win the oscar for best picture of the week as far as I'm concerned! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh my God Sparky! Your a genius!

and what a coincidence, I was scanning (finally) some vintage family pics yesterday and was going to do one my mom took in this exact local at Playland or at least I am certain. However for some insane reason we (kids or someone) cut it :angry: to where only moms head is showing above a cutout like these! Now I wish I had or still can scan it. It was taken around mid-late 40's too?

You win the oscar for best picture of the week as far as I'm concerned! :D

I am in the middle of moving and will be out of touch for about 3 weeks. I will post more pictures when things settle down. Sparky. (Thanks for oscar award)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone remember a Wild Mouse ride at Playland Park? It would have been in the early 60's and was a miniature roller coaster that turned sharp corners just as it seemed the car was going over the edge.

My wife certainly remembers it. She HATED that ride because of those slow but sharp turns at the top. The cars ran on a double set of wheels so the car would actually tilt outward a bit with the bottom wheels riding against the bottom of the rail. This was about 25 feet up, not so miniature!

Hi. the miniature coaster you remember was not at Playland. It was at Kiddy Wonderland where the small pony ride was. My brother ran it for a while. Hope this helps.

Share this post


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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...