Theme Park Maps through the ages

Theme Park Brochures, a superb gallery of theme-park maps from the 30s onwards -- I especially love the hand-drawn ones.

Theme Park Brochures (via MeFi)


  1. I love these maps! I find it interesting that the one of Belle Vue has “ladie’s” rooms all over the place, but not a single “men’s”. Are we to assume that the men just peed behind bushes?

    1. Find the four ladies’ facilities and poke your finger at the spot you’d say is equidistant from all of them. Your finger is now probably touching, if not covering, the men’s facilities. It’s the building cleverly disguised with the label “gents”. Those wacky English…

      Yes, it appears to be a four-to-one ratio. However, (1) that seems to work best at big public places, IME, or else you get women sneaking into the men’s room because there’s no line of guys (and a infinite queue of women), and also (2) number of facilities doesn’t necessarily predict, uh, thoughput, since the gents’ could be the size of a NASA hangar and the ladies’ is each a large phone booth. Well, actually, I’d expect the men will be making use of a trough feature, while the women are doing it the lady-like way, one at a time.

    2. Anon,
      There is a “gents” near the skating rink and also “lavatories” (presumably ladies and gents) near the main entrance. Perhaps it was expected that more facilities were needed by the ladies. Not unreasonable.

  2. It’s good to see this site back up… I was really into it a few years ago, and then it seemed to vanish for a while, and I had forgotten about it.

  3. I used to go to Belle Vue when I was a kid and saw my first gig at Kings Hall – Marc Bolan – it was terrifying. They filmed a episode of The Prisoner at the funfair there in the 60’s.

  4. Funny to see that pop up and what becomes of these places over time. I have memories of that part of east Manchester as being a bit grim. I bought a couple of cars from the auction site that I assume now occupies a large amount of where the old bellevue was.

    But a quick look online and from the air at least large parts of it seem quite verdant.

  5. Looking at these maps we can see where the rides of youth became other dreams. The “rock and roll” and the “helter skelter” were UK theme park rides.
    New York-based photographer did a great book on abandoned amusement parks:
    “Inside the Live Reptile Tent” was the book (Alan Rapp was its editor at Chronicle). I contributed the social historical commentary.

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