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1970s

1970s

1972 1973 1974 197719781979

1970

1972

1972 – The existence of the pier was threatened by a campaign to eliminate it and build a luxury resort island in the bay. Battle lines were drawn. In the end, the “Save the Pier” opposition won and the beloved pier was saved.

1973

Video by youtube user PismoBeach:

March 1973 – a fire spared the carousel, but damaged the upstairs apartments which were then condemned. The carousel was privately owned and in poor condition.

B. Williams photos

1974

The horse pictured here, top left, was one of two small horses that were inside of the chariots. One was retained by the owner of the carousel when he sold it to the city in 1977, the other one disappeared in the early 1970’s. The few remaining windows in the carousel building were painted over, creating a dark and uninviting atmosphere inside.

B. Williams photos

1977

1977 – Despite the family-fun daytime scene in the picture, top, left, the pier was a run-down, rough and tough place. Gang activity, outlaw bikers and rowdy adults had chased the families away. Inside of the carousel building, the horses wait to be rescued in their crumbling building. In 1977, the city buys the carousel and the pier achieved landmark status – the future looks brighter. The flowers and butterfly on the chariot are original paint.

1978

1978 – A lessee promises to restore the carousel, put in a restaurant upstairs and build a water park. The carousel building is cleared of debris, the grates are removed from the windows, allowing sunlight and fresh air inside. There are high hopes for the deteriorated carousel and building. The plan fails to materialize. The city reclaims the carousel.

B. Williams photos

1979

1979 – The decking out front of the carousel building is replaced. A “B” movie cult classic, Blood Beach,starring John Saxon, uses the open space for the scene in the film where the monsters under the carousel building are blown up by setting off a special-effects explosion.

B. Williams photos

More video footage circa 1979 provided by youtube user PismoBeach: