Fun Factory

Recently I found out that another SoCal institution will only be a memory, the Fun Factory at the Redondo Beach Pier, which has been an oceanside attraction since 1972. Much like Gill’s in my last post, I can claim no fond memories of birthday parties spent running around playing the dozens of arcade games or countless rides on its indoor tilt-a-whirl, but some of my friends do.

If there was ever a place that made me feel like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone, this place is it. Inside Fun Factory you will find a games ranging from an original Pong console to slightly newer things like Dance Dance Revolution, with everything in between. The place is decorated with a massive collection of old signage, from gorgeous old hand painted menus to political signs and other random things, like bicycles and dusty old piñatas. And what can you win with all of the tickets you get? Everything from a little doll to kitchen gadgets to art prints and even mystery boxes filled with the most random assortment of items. It’s just plain bizarre.

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It’s unclear just when Fun Factory will shut its doors for good, as it recently negotiated with the City Council, and simply came to the agreement that it must vacate within the next three years. What will take its place? A new shopping center. I am eager to know if there will be an auction, as I would love to own some of the signs that cover the walls and ceiling.

Outfit
Jacket: Country Roads Antiques, Orange, California
Top: Ross
Jeans: Thrifted
Boots: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Scarf: Belonged to my mother
Purse: Patricia Nash

25 Cent Entertainment

What a trip! While I had loads of fun, I can say I am certainly glad to be home.  The main reason I tagged along on Patrick’s business trip to San Francisco was to visit the various filming locations of Hitchock’s Vertigo.  And honestly, I didn’t have much interest in other things.  However, the lure of In-n-Out on Fisherman’s Wharf lead me to what I can consider the highlight of the non-Vertigo related visits… The Musée Mécanique.  Located along Fisherman’s Wharf, it is a museum dedicated to coin-op amusement machines!  And it is simply amazing!

Most machines are from the 1930s and 40s, with later ones scattered about.  There is everything from simple musical entertainment with marionettes, to pinball, to movies, to photobooths!  There was hours of entertainment to be had!  I dropped lots of quarters to interact with various machines, including a fab fortune teller machine that you placed your hand on only to have little things move under it! I gave a slight squeal of surprise before my palm reading popped out.

There were also just downright morbid ones! Including multiple execution ones! Such as this French Execution…

And what girl can’t resist a good photobooth?  After all, I got proposed to in one!

I highly recommend this place is you ever make it to San Francisco.  There is no admission cost, and most machines only cost 25 cents!  Still cheaper for the whole family than visiting the tacky wax museum (which costs $14.00 a person, I might add)!  Heck, it may be the most fun you have in SF!  And don’t worry about packing loads of quarters, there are plenty of change machines!

Stay tuned for Vertigo entries!