04/02/02 - posted by Dennis O'Rorke
At the time of the Sutro fire I was living at 711 48th ave. My living room window overlooked Playland and the little trains from Funtier [sp?] Village ran just below my yard.On the day of the fire I vividly remember the smoke blowing over the hill from Sutro Park. We walked up to the park and saw the flames. I had several conversations with the Mounted Patrol officers that were at the scene. They had the Ocean Beach/ Kellys Cove beat. They were convinced that the fire had been deliberately set and suspected that a local person with a history of setting fires was responsible.Anyway after the fire cooled down I collected some semi-melted pieces of stained glass and a few other artifacts that I probably still have somewhere. I will always remember the Merman in the window and the steam powered motorcycle. There are some nice shots of the inside of the building in the movie "The Lineup" with Eli Wallach. I lived next to Playland for many years and collected a few souvenirs when the buildings were being demolished.I has the painted plywood hat from the clown figure right above Laughing Sal which I believe I gave to a person named David Warren who had a Playland Museum. Or at least a Playland Collection. I believe he operated the Camera Obscura for some time. Well enough for now.
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