Beach Municipal Auditorium and Rainbow Pier
In 1932 the 8,000-seat Municipal Auditorium, surrounded on three sides by a lagoon, was constructed on the beach. In order to protect the auditorium from storms and coastal erosion, a horseshoe (rainbow) shaped breakwater was constructed around it. The half-circular Rainbow Pier, arching from Pine Avenue to Linden Avenue, surrounded the auditorium and the lagoon. The light poles on the horseshoe pier were painted a variety of colors, making it a colorful area for walking or driving. In the late 40's because of sand filtering in through the rocks making the bay unusable, the city filled in the water to make more land. The Municipal Auditorium and bandstand area were demolished in 1975 to make way for the Convention & Entertainment Center.
my family's genealogy, I ran across this photograph of the Municipal
Auditorium in Long Beach, CA. It was taken by my grandmother,
Lillian Kniss-Leonard, sometime around 1952.
Letti Randles, Long Beach Polytechnic Class of 1937, wrote:
My family lived on California Avenue near 19th Stret, and the railroad tracks ran down the center of California on a mound that divided the street. The huge boulders and rocks that were used to build the Rainbow Pier were hauled on the freight train past my house and down Alamitos to Ocean Avenue and the pier site. We watched the Pier being constructed and the Municipal Auditorium go up. It was fun when they finally finished and we were able to ride the little boats around in the lagoon.
When my father bought our first car, we were
treated to rides on the road that went around the circumference
of the pier. It was sad to watch the lagoon gradually fill up
with sand by the ocean breaking over the pier, over the years.
It has been years now since I have seen it, so I always like
to remember the way it was.
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