Great Old Amusement Parks
Great Old Amusement Parks Previous Broadcasts
KQED Life: Sat, Jan 7, 2012 -- 11:00 PM
Long before giant theme parks and computer-controlled thrill rides, America was punctuated by beautiful, charming amusement parks where many families gathered for a cool escape on a hot summer day. This program celebrates these pre- Disney parks - some that continue to thrive, as well as a few that are now part of history. It catches a ride on old wooden roller coasters, vintage bumper cars and many other cool classic rides as it looks at amusing amusement park history and discovers what's so special about these amazing places.
The show visits Playland in Rye, New York, and Kennywood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - the only two parks in the country recognized as National Historic Landmarks. At Northern California's Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, viewers hop on the antique Loeff carousel (circa 1911), where brave riders can still lean out and grab for the "brass ring." The special also travels to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana - a traditional old "themed" amusement park, where sections of the park represent different holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and the Fourth of July. It's one of the few places where people can talk to Santa in August.
Using his trademark "scrapbook documentary" style, award-winning producer Rick Sebak takes viewers across the country in this wonderful celebration of old wooden and mechanical getaways and the communities that support them. Viewers find out how the parks have changed over the years and how they've remained the same.
- KQED Life: Sun, Jan 8, 2012 -- 5:00 AM