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Pontchartrain Beach Retro Flashback!


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From 1928 to 1983, New Orleanians would enjoy their summer days basking on the beaches or riding the thrilling rides of this "traditional" lakeside amusement park. The park was owned by the Batt family, who moved it from its original location on Bayou St. John, to its last location at the foot of Elysian Fields Ave, where it met Lake Pontchartrain. The park contained one of the best Vettel coasters, the Zephyr. The Screamin Demon from The Great Escape originally called Pontchartrain Beach home before being relocated to its current location. The park contained many classic rides, such as a tumble bug, caterpillar, rotor, whip and a virginia wheel. Basically just a long boardwalk, the park filled in any space possible with a new ride each year. I remember going to the park as a child, riding the Zephyr(my first coaster), the classic Sally Dark ride - The Haunted House, the Hard Rock, The Bug and many more. Like most southern parks, PB was originally segregated, and competed with Lincoln Beach, an all african-american park, just a few miles down the shoreline. The following photos come from my mother, certain private collections, photos from the web, as well as some brochure images to boot. I have included an online video of the Zephyr as well. More photos to come soon! Enjoy!

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Front entrance to the park

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Boardwalk area...sorry for the photo quality

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Zephyr lifthill.

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Cinema 180

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The Ragin' Cajun(or Screamin' Demon)

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Ron Toomer's Ragin Cajun

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The corkscrews

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Ship's Ahoy Restaurant

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Always was afraid of this ride as a child....

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The Zephyr

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The Sky Ride

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The Shy Ride and kids petting zoo.

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Sky Ride and Music Express

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The Haunted House

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Old Pontchartrain Beach postcard

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Old Pontchartrain Beach postcard

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Zephyr

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My brother on some childrens ride.

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Merry Go Round

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The Hard Rock - indoor drunken barrels ride themed to a mystical rock collection...very trippy, great light show...very loud as well.

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Kiddie Land

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Pennant

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The Ragin Cajun station, and corkscrew footer - circa 2007....has finally been demolished

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More Kiddie Land

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1950's aerial picture of the park.

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Postcard

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Mini-Golf course..."Around the World in 18 Holes"

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Brochure

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Haunted House

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Pennant

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Admission tickets.

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Merlin Rainbow...yes, Pontchartrain Beach jumped on the whole "magic" bandwagon of the late 60's and 70's as well.

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Postcard

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Classic Beach poster from the final year.

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Zephyr video from the internet.

Edited by daveydo5172
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The following rides were located to other parks:

 

Ragin Cajun = Steamin" Demon at the Great Escape

The Log Ride = relocated to Indiana Beach and still operating(I believe)

the Paratrooper = also relocated to Indiana Beach

the Galaxy roller coaster = relocated to Fun Fair Park in Baton Rouge and now at Dixie Landing in Baton Rouge

the Yo-Yo = Hamel's Amusement Park

Jungle Jeeps = In storage at Dixie Landing

Astro Wheel = In storage at Dixie Landing

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This is the first time I've seen photos of this park besides on rcdb.com. The park looks so classic-boardwalk-ish. Its a shame it's closed now, I wander if it never closed how it would be today. I hope it wouldn't be bought out by a major company (SF/CF), hopefully it'd still be a family owned park. I love how tropical looking the park is, it's so beautiful. I wish you had more photos!

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I believe it was the first. It had the old support structure over the Loop and the Corkscrews. The second model went to Libertyland. It had the old support structure over the loop but the corkscrews had the more modern single column supports.

 

I was surprised to see the station for the coaster remained standing for so long....very cool.

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There was much speculation and rumors, however, I interviewed the Batt family a few years back, and they werent able to compete financially with the likes of Disneyworld and Astroworld, which were there closest competitors. Also, insurance rates went through the roof in Louisiana at the time, the big recession of '82 and '83(which hit New Orleans very hard) also played factors in the closing of the park.

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Super-mega-awesome photos; thanks so much! I remember reading about this park as a kid and desperately wanting to go there. Really heartbreaking that it's gone, like so many traditional parks. *heavy sigh*

 

Also, I could be wrong, but wasn't Cedar Point's Corkscrew the first loop/cork combo?

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I visited the park in the summer of either 1981 or 1982 during a week long trip to NO. We went to the park several times that week and rode as much as we could. Ragin' Cajun and Zephyr were our favorites, of course. I have pictures from this park stored away somewhere. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

~K

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  • 6 months later...
  • 4 months later...

In a truly sad bit of news, Pontchartrain Beach's founders son, Harry batt, Jr...who helped spearhead his fathers vision, died Sept 18th of this year...you helped me with my goals and direction in life....you will be sadly missed!

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  • 1 month later...

^^

"By the sea - By the sea

By the beautiful sea -

You and I - You and I

Oh how happy we'd be..."

 

Great look at Pontchartrain! We 'almost' went to the park

back in 1982 during a NO visit, but for some reason,

changed our plans.

 

Sorry we missed out on it. Darn.

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