Abridged from Wikipedia:
Pacific Ocean Park was a 28-acre nautical-themed amusement park built on a pier at Pier Avenue in the Ocean Park section of Santa Monica, California in 1958. Intended to compete with Disneyland, it replaced Ocean Park Pier (1926-1956). After it closed and fell into disrepair, the park and pier anchored the Dogtown area of Santa Monica.
Pacific Ocean Park was a joint venture between CBS and Santa Anita Park. It opened on Saturday, July 28, 1958, with an attendance of 20,000. The next day, it drew 37,262, outperforming Disneyland's attendance that day. Admission was 90 cents for adults, which included access to the park and certain exhibits. It was locally known by the acronym POP ("pee-oh-pee"). It was also marketed as "Pay One Price", though other rides and attractions were on a pay-per-use basis. Six of the pier's original attractions were incorporated into the new park, including the Sea Serpent roller coaster, the antique Looff carousel, the Toonerville Fun House, the Glass House and the twin diving bells.
By January 5, 1959, POP had attracted 1,190,000 visitors. Although plans were made to add four new attractions, only two were completed, at a cost of $2,000,000: Space Wheels and Fun Forest.
The park was used as a filming location for television shows such as Route 66 (TV series) ("Between Hello and Goodbye", 1962), The Millionaire ("The Jeff Mercer Story", 1959), The Fugitive, Get Smart (1968), The Twilight Zone, The Mod Squad, and films such as Gun Crazy (1950), Vicki (1953) and The Chapman Report (1962).
The Miss Teen USA beauty pageant was held at the park in 1962, with the winner, Linda Henning, 15, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota crowned by television comedian Soupy Sales.
In 1965, Santa Monica began the Ocean Park urban renewal project. Buildings in the surrounding area were demolished and streets leading to the park were closed. As a result, visitors found it difficult to reach the park, and attendance plummeted to 621,000 in 1965 and 398,700 in 1966.
At the end of the 1967 tourist season, the park's creditors and the City of Santa Monica filed suit to take control of the property because of back taxes and back rent owed by the park's new owner since 1965. The park closed on October 6, 1967, and its assets were auctioned off from June 28 - 30, 1968. The proceeds from the sale of 36 rides and 16 games were used to pay off creditors. The ruins of the pier became a favorite surfing area and hangout of the Z-Boys of Dogtown fame. The park's dilapidated buildings and pier structure remained until several suspicious fires occurred; it was finally demolished in the winter of 1974 - 75.
Other than a few underwater pilings and signs warning of them, nothing remains of Pacific Ocean Park today. A few miles north, the original Santa Monica Pier features a newer amusement park, similarly called Pacific Park.
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