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Bill Cotter

The Lake Amusement Area at night

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lake-amusement-night.jpg

August 1965

It looks like there are a lot of lights on the Amphitheater, possibly an electronic marquee of some kind. Randy, any photos to see what it is for sure?

lake-amusement-night-2.jpg

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In daytime pictures from the NYS tower, I can't see anything that looks like a display board, just some cut outs of water skiers at several points along the aquacade wall (and the brick wall is definitely visible). But I haven't found a closeup yet. I'm thinking it was more like Christmas lights strung along there... but the night pictures do look like a grid pattern with rectangular shaped lights, don't they?

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Okay, here's what was going on, and explains why we can see the brick walls in distant daytime shots.

Here is a daytime photo of the main entrance.

Water_Ski_Light1.jpg

I noticed the bricks above the cutout seem to change pattern, which is kind of strange. So I zoomed in. It's some kind of grid that is attached to the two columns on the ends, but NOT attached to the middle columns- meaning it's probably draped behind those two columns. It looks something like chained link fence. I put in the little green arrows to point out the attachment points. And the top edge matches perfectly the height of the lights in our two nighttime photos.

Water_Ski_Light2.jpg

This photo nailed it-- a publicity shot of the Governor of Florida at the grand opening in April '65. Take a look at the upper left. The foot of one of the water skiers can be seen, on top of that 'chain link' grid material.

Water_Ski_Light3.jpg

Here is a closeup.

Water_Ski_Light4.jpg

So it seems to me that the 'chain link' MAY have been some kind of plastic electrical grid which had lights in it. In the daytime you could see the bricks right through it.

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Hmmmmmmm......... the 'chain link' stuff was already at the main entrance for Wonder World at the beginning of '64........ I can see it clearly in two photos....yet in the one night time photo I have (again, from the NYS tower)....it's not lit up. I wonder if it flashed on and off and that one photo happened to catch it 'off'. ? Need more night photos. :)

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I spotted that mesh in a June 1964 shot (below) but have yet to see anything indicating it lit up, or if so, in any sort of pattern.

amphitheater-mesh.jpg

Interesting that we never noticed it before, but then again, I guess most night shots didn't capture that much detail.

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Bill, check out your Set 190 picture #037, and Set 205, picture #066. The grids appear to be lit up across the top rows. And I think the top row may be lit up in your picture above as well.

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