Morgan Davis 
Conservatory of Flowers 


Tuesday February 7, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM PST

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Playland at the Conservatory
Playland early years


Conservatory of Flowers 
100 John F Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

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San Francisco's Playland at the Beach:

the Early Years of 1914-1945

an evening with James R. Smith, Playland historian

Peek back into Playland! Join us for a lecture with James Smith, author of Playland at the Beach: the Early Years. He explores the phenomenon of Playland through World War II. Take a time-machine fun ride through Playland, as historian James R. Smith shares rare photographs and stories from his books.

San Francisco's great amusement park, Playland at the Beach, gone for nearly forty years: but who can forget the Big Dipper roller coaster, the Fun House with Laffing Sal outside, the Shoot the Chutes or the Rocket Speedway? San Francisco’s magical amusement park was the site of fun and games, It’s Its ice creams, and restaurants and nightclubs from the 1910s to the 1970s. Join us to take a time-machine fun ride through Playland history, as we explore the Conservatory's delightful exhibit, complete with a Laffing Sal, vintage photo booth, Zoltar, arcade games, and a Dodger Bumper Car.

Time: 7-8 pm, doors open at 6pm for viewing Playland Exhibit and Galleries, where Marvin Gold, an employee at Playland at the Beach (the later years) will be answering questions in the exhibit! Q & A with James and Marvin to follow lecture.

Age appropriate: Suitable for any age

Fee: $5 Entry; Free to Conservatory Members

Tickets will be available at the door, but registering in advance is appreciated as it helps organizers to know how many guests to expect!



Tickets will be available at the door for the first 100 guests!

Doors open at 6 pm to view Playland, the lecture begins at 7!


Jim Smith photoHistorian James R. Smith will share rare photographs and stories from his book, San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Early Years. California historian James R. Smith is the author of the books San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach: The Early Years, covering 1914-1945, San Francisco's Lost Landmarks and co-author of The California Snatch Racket: Kidnappings in the Prohibition and Depression Eras. A well-respected authority on San Francisco history, he has spent many years researching and chronicling the stories of San Francisco and California. He is a fourth-generation native of San Francisco and a sixth-generation Californian.