Over ten years ago when editor George LaCross and I first met to discuss the formation of Laff In The Dark, we were amazed to learn that we had both separately visited Old Orchard Beach in childhood. George had spent five days there with his grandparents in 1961. We recalled with uncanny detail each dark ride and funhouse that had thrilled us and how nothing we'd ever seen could compare to the Palace Playland pavilion.
As seen in the top photo, the massive entrance of the pavilion at the corner of Old Orchard Street and West Grand Avenue invited patrons to stroll through a building that extended back an entire city block. At that time, it was operated by Bernard Osher and held kiddie rides, a Dodgem, a Whip, all kinds of games, arcade machines and food stands, including a full cocktail lounge.
In addition, Palace had another group of rides and concessions in a large lot outside the building. In this area, Palace Playland seemed to have a 'policy' of "moving the furniture around" every season. I noticed that some of the rides I'd seen the year before had been shifted to different locations when I returned.