The Santa Monica Pier from TheCameraForum on Vimeo.

a chuck jones film

Background

Beautiful sonny Sunday afternoon.  Sony A7r.  Sony 55mm f/1.8 & Leica 35mm Summicron non-ASPH.  Add magic and stir.

History

Santa Monica has had several piers over the years; however, the current Santa Monica Pier is actually two adjoining piers that long had separate owners. The long, narrow Municipal Pier opened September 9, 1909,  primarily to carry sewer pipes beyond the breakers, and had no amenities. The short, wide adjoining Pleasure Pier to the south, a.k.a. Newcomb Pier, was built in 1916 by Charles I. D. Looff and his son Arthur, amusement park pioneers.  Attractions on the Pleasure Pier eventually included the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome building (which now houses the current carousel and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places), the Blue Streak Racer wooden roller coaster (which was purchased from the defunct Wonderland amusement park in San Diego), the Whip, merry-go-rounds, Wurlitzer organs, and a funhouse.  The Carousel was built in 1922 on the Pleasure Pier and features 44 hand-carved horses. It was rebuilt in 1990 inside the Hippodrome. A calliope provides musical accompaniment.

The bridge and entry gate to Santa Monica Pier were built in 1938 by the federal Works Project Administration, and replaced the former grade connection.

The Newcomb Pier was privately owned until it was acquired by the city in 1974. During the 1960s and 1970s various plans were proposed that would entail removal of the pier. The strangest one called for the construction of an artificial island with a 1500-room hotel. It was approved by the City Council, but citizens formed “Save Santa Monica Bay” to preserve the pier. The outstanding order to raze the pier was revoked by the city council in 1973. That same year the Carousel and Hippodrome were memorable sets in the film The Sting, although the story was set in Chicago.

In the 1950s Enid Newcomb suggested to family friend Morris “Pops” Gordon that his two sons, George and Eugene, purchase and operate the Pier’s arcade. It didn’t take much persuasion, for the Gordons instantly took to the Pier and ultimately made Playland Arcade into the Pier’s longest running enterprise offering the day’s contemporary games alongside those of yesterday, providing inexpensive entertainment to a diverse crowd. George’s daughters Marlene and Joanie have kept the business within the family, and the next generation of Gordon’s is already in training to maintain the family tradition.

It seems that my desire to make a movie on the pier is nothing new.  In fact, The Santa Monica Pier has quite a famous history of being used as a location for both Film and Television productions.

In Popular Culture

Films

Films which prominently used the Santa Monica Pier include Tillie’s Punctured RomanceQuicksandElmer Gantry1941 (film)The Opposite of SexNight TideBeanThe StingA Night at the RoxburyMiracle BeachTitanic, “The Lost Boys“, Forrest Gump (there is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant on the pier, owned by the company that produced the film), Not Another Teen MovieIron ManDesperate Teenage LovedollsDark RideCellularThe Hottie and the NottieRuthless People (the pier is the site of the movie’s climactic final scene), Love StinksHancock, the indie romantic comedy She Wants Me, and Hannah Montana: The Movie (the scene with Lilly’s birthday party). During the earthquake in the movie 2012, the pier can be seen sinking beneath the waves. The 1964 Natalie Wood film “Inside Daisy Clover” features the pier in the beginning of the picture. “The Glenn Miller Story” with Jimmy Stewart has a sequence toward the beginning where he goes to the “La Monica Ballroom” for an audition.

Television

Video Games

Music Videos

Source In Part: Wikipedia.org the people’s reference source.

 

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