April 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Santa Monica Pier Turns 100

When the Santa Monica  Municipal Pier opened on September 9, 1909 thousands of people came to enjoy the novelty of walking on water – or at least above it, thanks to the 1,600-foot-long, concrete pier which took 16 months to construct.

Now, 100 years later, the Santa Monica Municipal Pier will celebrate its 100th birthday in spite of several efforts to raze and replace it; the ever-changing pier is still a source of laughter and wonderment for thousands each year.  

Throughout the years, the Pier has evolved and avoided demise under many owners and visionaries. The first, Charles Looff – the man behind Coney Island’s first carousel heard about the Pier’s popularity and headed to Santa Monica with an expansion plan. After lengthy negotiations, he began construction on the Blue Streak Racer roller coaster on Santa Monica’s north beach. In 1924 the Pier’s new owner, Santa Monica Amusement Company expanded the amusement park further. In 1933, the Santa Monica Yacht Harbor was born. The Harbor housed many yachts, fishing boats and cruise liners to Catalina. Most controversially, a shuttle service to mobster Tony Cornero’s off-shore gambling operations was based there – until 1939 when it was shuttered after a three day standoff between then-Attorney General Earl Warren and Cornero.

The Santa Monica Pier is now run by the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation (SMPRC) which was established by the Santa Monica City Council in 1983 after the latest attempt to tear down the Santa Monica treasure was defeated by residents. The SMPRC is a non-profit, public benefit corporation and thanks to them the public will enjoy a series of fun-filled events which will remind us of how lucky we are to live in Southern California.

Party With the Pier This Summer
April 18th – Sideshow at the Pier – Enjoy an old fashioned carnival featuring jugglers, fire-eaters, tap dancers, singers and other high-energy, interactive entertainment. 

Highlights of the entertainment-filled day will include: magic shows, musical performances; a vaudeville inspired variety show; plus Karaoke and Air Guitar contests, street performers and aerial artistry.

June 20th – A Celebration for Kids – Enjoy a day of family fun Pier style.  Activities will include: arts and crafts; fitness classes and demonstration for the whole family, storytelling, dance performances, fashion shows, kids cooking instruction; and the opportunity for the whole family to go fly a kite.

July 23rd – La Monica Ballroom – Enjoy a dance extravaganza which will invoke the spirit of the La Monica ballroom which would’ve celebrated its 85th anniversary.  Big bands will play hits from a variety of genres Salsa, Swing and all styles in between and instructors will provide free instruction on how to move to the tunes. 

September 9th – Centennial Day – Celebrate the Santa Monica Municipal Pier’s actual birthday all day and night.  During the day, the Centennial Day Grand Re-opening Ceremony will mark the beginning of the Pier’s next 100 years with dignitaries and officials of all varieties, brass bands, giant puppets, dancers and artists along with the cutting of a huge birthday cake.  The party will continue into the evening with a concert and three barges which will illuminate the night sky with the first spectacular fireworks display in eighteen years.

in News
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