Re: Playland Memories from a Whitney family relative owners of Playland

01/19/09 - posted by Mary Lou

When I was young I'd go to Sutro's to swim with my parents. I remember hearing that they closed to pool due to someone getting ripped open by the big slide as they came down? Not sure if that's a fact. Then as a pre-teen, my friend and I took ice skating lessons on Sat. mornings there. It was a very scary place if you wandered around. The Ripley's "Believe It or Not" with all the mid-evil torture devices and the mummy's in the museum, Tom Thumm was there too. But I'd love to go into the dressing rooms by the ice rink and look out the little worn windows at the surf, it was like nothing else, such a view over the crashing waves.
As it burnt down on 6/26/66, I saw smoke out my window of St. Mary's hospital where I had just given birth to my daughter. The nurse told me it was Sutors. I remember there had been lots of articles in the papers saying that "they", who ever "they" were at the time, wanted it torn down so they could build condos. I always thought that this was the easy way to have it gone.
I'm a native San Franciscan, as were my parents and grandparents, all from Noe Valley. They also thought it was a planned burn. I still miss Sutor's, Playland and The Fox Theater. The Fox was another City mistake, to take down that beautiful place to build an ugly, eye sore high rise... What were they thinking?
Mary Lou

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.