This photo essay just popped up on SFGate. These melancholy 1972 photos really capture the last, sad days of Playland: http://tinyurl.com/nfp5dgw
I remember going to Playlnd in the final months, and feeling the pervasive sense of ennui that hung over the entire joint, as if everyone knew the end was near and no one really cared. Check out the body language of the ride and arcade operators. They look like the stoners in "Dazed and Confused."
Those of us who grew up in the 1950s and '60s missed Playland's glory days, when sailors and soldiers jammed the midway, cruising for bobby sox- wearing teenage girls. By the time we arrived, Playland was turning moldy and rusty. Wish I could have seen it at its honky-tonk peak.