Santa Monica, Tear Down this Wheel!

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The Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier has been sold on eBay to a real estate investor from Oklahoma City. Oh, and the wheel is located in something called Pacific Park. Did anyone know that was the real name for the amusement park on the Pier?

According to the April 24, 2008 edition of The Argonaut, Pacific Park is now hosting a series of events to say farewell to the solar-powered Pacific Wheel, which has been in operation since 1996. First, Santa Monica residents who show proof of residency may take a free ride on the Wheel from now until Sunday, May 4.  Then, on Sunday, visitors and residents will be able to ride the Wheel for free, although they can expect the line to get pretty long. For every rider who rides the Wheel on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., Pacific Park will donate one dollar to spcaLA.  Finally, on Sunday evening, one lucky Santa Monica family or couple will get to be the last riders on the Wheel.

 Once the Pacific Wheel is gone, how will anyone watching a new television program or movie know that it takes place in the Los Angeles area?  The Pier, and especially the Wheel, shows up in the background, or in an establishing shot taken from a helicopter, all the time.  Fear not — Pacific Park is getting a new Ferris wheel. Installation of the new wheel will begin almost immediately after the old Wheel is removed, and is scheduled for re-opening on Thursday, May 22.

Movie and television filming around Los Angeles is expected to resume shortly thereafter.

5 Replies to “Santa Monica, Tear Down this Wheel!”

  1. What??? WHAT???

    We just rode the ferris wheel this weekend! It was a gorgeous, breezy, spiritual way to blow $20, even if it did last only 4 minutes.

    I can’t get all nostalgic about that particular wheel – a more modern wheel might load and unload a little faster, but man, if they shut it down permanently, there’d be screams heard from here to Tucumcari.

    Interesting – you could get an Aston Martin for about the same price. Let’s see – superfast sports car that can take you anywhere at top speed, or oversized toy that takes you around and around and around … decisions, decisions …

  2. Okay…I’ve been following this story for the past 3 weeks and throughout all that time, nothing has managed to mention that a new wheel would be brought in. I don’t do Ferris wheels and I lack the patience to visit the pier more than 3 or 4 times a year, but I felt a little pang knowing the wheel would be gone. But a new wheel, well that’s a horse of a different color.

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