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Established 2000
Location El Cerrito, California

Playland-Not-At-The-Beach is a non-profit, family-oriented museum in El Cerrito, California celebrating America's bygone amusements, operated entirely by volunteers.

The museum's 25 exhibits have specific emphasis on the attractions that once existed at Playland at the Beach and the Sutro Baths & Museum. Included are numerous artifacts from the original Whitney’s Playland at the Beach, including the giant clown's blue hat from the top of the Playland Funhouse, and Walking Charley, one of the original hand carved life-size wooden characters from the terrace above Laughing Sal in the front window of the Fun House.[1] Thousands of historical items are present, from cases of never-opened books of Playland tickets to original signage, parts of rides and games, rare photographs, employee uniforms, and prizes from the Playland arcade games. Additionally, there are over 30 pinball games, carnival skill games, dioramas celebrating Halloween and the Yuletide season, and miniature circuses, including the Marcks Family Miniature Circus.[2]


Playland-Not-At-The-Beach came into fruition in 2000 when El Cerrito businessman Richard Tuck purchased a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) building that was formerly a grocery store.[3] Tuck, an enthusiastic collector for the majority of his life, used the former store as place to keep various objects he had acquired, including Playland artifacts. Upon hearing of his Playland relics, community members began to show an interest and volunteered to organize and catalog his collections. Tuck then made the decision to turn the building into a Museum dedicated to Fun. After eight years of designing and construction, Playland-Not-At-The-Beach opened on May 31, 2008.

Playland-Not-At-The-Beach was featured on the local San Francisco television show "Eye on the Bay" on November 23, 2009.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ford, Dave (2004-07-16). "Museum tries to recapture the spirit of Playland". Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  2. ^ Jones, Carolyn (2008-05-31). "Laughing Sal presides over new Playland museum". Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  3. ^ Ford, Dave (2004-03-12). "Playland's Peter Pan / CEO indulges his 'inner 12-year-old' by creating a museum dedicated to the former S.F. amusement park". Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  4. ^ "Playland at the Beach profile - Video Library". Retrieved 07-02-2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°55′01″N 122°18′46″W / 37.916831°N 122.312836°W / 37.916831; -122.312836