Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Municipal Pier took eighteen months to build and opened in September 1909. The Pier was rebuilt a total of two times in 1917 and 1924. This photograph shows the original construction, using cement piles, which it was believed would withstand storms and wear. The Santa Monica Pier was designated a landmark in 1976.

The Santa Moncia Pier was also a film location for a handful of movies (Source AFI Database) -

The Son of Kong (1933) from RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. was a sequel to King Kong. The Strange Bargain (1949) was a suspense thriller directed by Will Price. The framed suspect throws a gun that he believes was the murder/suicide weapon off the Santa Monica Pier. Released on April 1, 1950, Everybody's Dancin', starred western swing star Spade Cooley who televised his weekly show from the Santa Monica Pier in 1948. The movie premise follows a family who run the Waltzland Ballroom on Santa Monica Pier during World War I. Quicksand came out in 1950 starring Mickey Rooney, whose petty theft of $20 in cash snowballs into murder and blackmail. A lot of the action in the film takes place on the Pier, with the main characters heading back to the Pier at the end of the film. Pretty Maids All in a Row opened in Los Angeles on May 10, 1971, starring Rock Hudson and Angie Dickinson in a coming of age farce that included murder. Roger Vadim directed this film. The Santa Monica Pier is featured when a car is driven off of its end. Cactus in the Snow, released in 1972 starred Richard Thomas in a story about a young man trying to experience life before being deployed to Vietnam. Several scenes were shot at the carousel on the Pier. Harry and Tonto starred Art Carney, who is a man in his 70s who has been displaced from his apartment in New York, along with his cat, Tonto. They wend their way west after many misadventures.