The horse-shoe building configuration of the Magic Palace bears a very close similarity to the design of the Cockeyed Circus funhouse that was built during the same period at Palisades Amusement Park, Fort Lee, New Jersey by Philadelphia Toboggan Co.

 

These Magic Palace stunts are shown here with their corresponding Philadelphia Toboggan Co. promotional illustrations.

Some additional PTC catalog images of stunts that were in the Magic Palace in some form, including the Spider, Falling Barrels (or crates) and Lily Pads.


Although Philadelphia Toboggan did
not invent the Magic Carpet conveyor attraction, it was a common item that they installed in many funhouses, sometimes as the centerpiece. It was so popular that some funhouses, such as this one and others at Coney Island and Rye Playland, took the device's name as their own.

Sadly, In 1989 the park closed and at auction the Palace brought in a $5,000 bid from a man from Rochester New York, whose father painted the building many years ago. The roof pieces, stunts and other parts were carted off and stored for years.

In 2005, Rick Doan and Cathy Herbert bought these and brought them back to Ridgeway, Ontario, next to Crystal Beach. Many months of work saw a lot of the pieces scraped down to bare metal and the original vibrant colors were noted and repainted those colors. These stunts and roof pieces were then hauled out to a 2 day summer event at Crystal Beach, called Crystal Beach Memory Days for the next 3 years until the event was no longer held. The pieces were last displayed at the 100 year reunion of Ridgeway, Crystal Beach High school in 2008.

The story does have a somewhat happy ending as in the summer of 2010 the collection was then sold to an American who plans to build a Crystal Beach Amusement Park Museum in Buffalo NY near the Peace Bridge.
Hopefully this does happen and not only will the Magic Palace pieces be displayed but many other Crystal Beach Park artifacts from local collections will be displayed, from Big Band posters, to a Comet Car, a Tumble Bug Car, pictures, signs etc.

©2010 Rick Doan
Photo and Text Credits:
Dan Wilke
Gary Walkowiak
Cathy, Rick and Barry Herbert
Paul Kassay
Marion Knapp