Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses

Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses

Amusement Parks can be a lot of fun. There’s the typical rollercoasters, tilt-a-whirls, and such, but when I was a kid, a lot of Amusement Parks had my favorite attraction, the Funhouse. They had their heyday in the 50’s and 60’s, so the younger GaGers might not be familiar with them, but the Funhouse had interactive activities inside, where you walked around at your own pace, and you could actually do things, as opposed to most rides, where you sat in a car while it pulled you around.

When you went in, you never knew what you would encounter next. There might be floor boards you’d have to walk across where the boards would move back and forth in opposite directions, or a staircase that would rock from side to side as you walked up, or a room full of mirrors where you’d have to figure out which way to go to get through, or walk through a room that was slanted at 45 degrees, or maybe a big slide. These places were terrific if you had a date.

Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses

A room full of mirrors. Which way out?

Videos aren't as good as the real thing, but this gives the idea.

There wasn’t really a limit on how much time you wanted to take doing something, but most people would move on after about a minute out of courtesy (there was usually a group behind you!).

There are few Funhouses left anymore, as they’re kind of from a bygone era. Supposedly the electrical wiring in Funhouses was substandard, and you could just imagine the present-day requirements for electrical wiring, safety concerns, handicapped access, or whatever. I could picture lawsuits in the making.

There’s also the possibility of mugging or rape, concepts that would have never even dawned on me decades ago.

What signaled the end of Funhouses as far as I felt, was an experience I had in my last walk in a Funhouse, somewhere around 1970, I guess. I was walking through a Funhouse, having fun, of course, and when I reached the place where the moving floorboards were, there were two teenage boys hanging around smoking. Part of the fun of Funhouses was that you could mentally leave the outside world outside, while you enjoyed the surreal world inside for a few minutes. These two weren’t really ‘doing’ anything, but their mere presence shattered that surreal illusion.

That’s probably ANOTHER reason why Funhouses could never come back - lack of consideration for other people. You just do whatever you want, and screw everybody else. It’s sad, really. A lack of courtesy.

I’ll admit, the computer games today are mind-blowing compared to what entertainment we had decades ago, and the internet is great for learning things and connecting with people (some of these applications, like Snapchat and Twitter, I have no idea how they even WORK!). Still, I miss the old Funhouses, and they’ll always be something fun I can remember.

Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses
5 Opinion