It is with great sadness we announce after 10 years of fun and merriment, Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is closing. Unfortunately, like the original Playland at the Beach, we will be making room for housing. In this case it is apartments not condos. In another eerily similar repeat of history we are closing on Labor Day, as did our namesake park.
Come visit us for one last time before we close. Come say "goodbye" and experience a little bit of San Francisco history and enjoy the excitement at "Museum of Fun". Experience the 30+ pinball games, carnival skill games, dioramas celebrating Halloween and the Yuletide season, and miniature circuses, including the Marcks Family Miniature Circus one last time. The smiles you leave at Playland-Not-at-the- Beach will live on and be a lasting remembrance of our lost "Museum of Fun", Playland- Not-at-the-Beach.
I haven't been in a few years, but I can attest that this place is a marvel and you should go check it out before another glorious piece of history is chucked into the woodchipper of gentrification.
Oh, and also they're auctioning off everything, just in case you were thinking of getting me a Laffin' Sal for my birthday:
Michaan's Auctions has been commissioned to liquidate the contents of The Playland Not at the Beach Museum, a collection of circus nostalgia and prized memorabilia from 20th century American amusement parks such as San Francisco's beloved Playland at the Beach, for which the museum was named.
The 9,000 square foot space houses funhouse mirrors, pinball machines, penny arcades, circus sideshow attractions and vintage video games like Galaga and Centipede.Thousands of historical items are offered in this auction such as original signage, relics of vintage rides and games, rare photographs, employee uniforms, and prizes from the Playland arcade games.
A highlight is 'Circus World,' a 300,000-piece hand carved miniature circus that took the late Don Marcks of El Cerrito 50 years to create. Each of its tiny elephants is unique - a curled trunk here, a quizzical expression there - all forty of them! Originally founded in 2000, the museum officially opened its doors May 30, 2008. Its current home is slated for demolition to make way for new condos, which has compelled the sale of this rare collection by the museum's current owners.
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Hopefully the Musée Mechanique will scoop up some items so they remain accessible to the public. Speaking of old timey museums of automatons with French names, if you’re ever in the vicinity of Souillac, France check out the Musée de l'Automate where you will find hundreds of century old delightfully creepy automated displays. There’s a mock-up of a craftman’s Workshop too with all sorts of artificial heads and body parts hanging on the wall awaiting assembly into not quite humans.
50 years is 18,250 days. So 300,000 pieces means he must have carved between 16 and 17 a day, every day, for 50 years. Or he had help, I suppose, or there aren't nearly a third of a million hand-carved pieces.
Buy a few pinballs for the pizza place?