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      The Amusement Park: LA's Pioneers of Fun with Stephen M. Silverman in Los Angeles


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      June 4, 2019

      Tuesday   7:30 PM

      453 South Spring Street
      Los Angeles, California 90013

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      The Amusement Park: LA's Pioneers of Fun with Stephen M. Silverman

      Note: Your ticket includes - and is the same price as - the book. Stephen M. Silverman, author of The Amusement Park: 900 Years of Thrills and Spills, and the Dreamers and Schemers Who Built Them, will lead a journey back to the pre-Knott and pre-Disney beginnings of the Southern California amusement industry. Join us to learn about the Ostrich Farm (1882), Washington Gardens (1887), Chutes Park (1890), Mt. Lowe Railway (1893), Alligator Farm (1907), and the elaborate Selig Zoo (1911), whose movie-producer owner aspired to turn Lincoln Park into the Southland's Coney Island--a mere 3 miles northeast of The Last Bookstore. The Amusement Park is a rich, anecdotal history that begins nine centuries ago with the "pleasure gardens" of Europe and England and ends with the rise and fall and rise again of some of the most spectacular playgrounds in the world. It's a history told largely through the risk-takers who brought their visions to life, from the eccentric Mary Elitch to the bold railroad tycoons. There are also those who undermined their dreams. Also paid tribute are the artisans and craftspeople who fashioned the creative landscapes, as well as a glittering array of supporting players--from Al Capone and Annie Oakley to Catherine the Great and Topsy the Elephant. And, of course, there are the rides, whose marvels of engineering and heart-stopping thrills are told at full throttle. Vividly lighting up the tale are such legendary escapes at Copenhagen's Tivoli, the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Coney Island, Cedar Point, Legoland, Dollywood, Ferrari World, Universal Studios, the original and subsequent Disneylands, and many, many more. Stephen M. Silverman is the author of 13 books, including the biographies of filmmakers David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) and Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain). "An inspired chronicler who speeds along with a well-choreographed mixture of fact, anecdote, and analysis," says Kirkus Reviews. The founding editor of People Magazine's website, he has written for Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Times of London, and Vogue. His first job was selling ice cream in Disneyland. All events are subject to cancellation, so please check back.

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