Saturday, February 03, 2007


The remains of the Riverview miniature golf course, as seen on a sunbleached summer day in the early 1990s.

More Mutoscope Fun

Yet another charming slice of cheesecake from the Riverview mutoscopes.

Friday, February 02, 2007

One Abe Left

Riverview magnate Abe Frankle's obituary from 1944--fans of "Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines" will also recognize him as one of the Two Abes (A.H. Blank being the other) who together ran a number of Des Moines area movie theaters at the time. (Click on the clipping to view at a legible size.)

The Himalaya in the 1960s

This was being sold on eBay as an original slide--without even being identified as Riverview! The big giveaway is that you can see the Wild Mouse just to the right of it--with its sign visible in reverse. (I corrected the color and spruced up the general quality a bit. And Bill--did you win the bid?)

The Fabulous Coaster

A postcard view of that fabulous wooden Coaster.

Speedboat Fun

An inboard speedboat heads east, next to the park, on this ancient postcard.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A World Overgrown

The hotrod track, long since driven on, becomes slowly overgrown with beautiful flowers.

"Take a packet of seeds, take yourself out to play
I want to see a river of orchids where we had a motorway
Push your car off of the road...

The grass is always greener when it bursts up through concrete..."
- "River of Orchids", Andy Partridge

The Chutes: shot!

This is what was left of the Chute the Chutes in the early 1990s: just part of the tower, and the water track.

One from the Monochrome Set

Another delightfully naughty Mutoscope card from the part--this one dates from 1945. (They must have saved all the color ink for the war effort!)

Swimming and Coasting

The coaster and the old bathing beach, seen in postcard view.

Tickets from 1932

Tickets to a Grandstand show (might this be the State Fair instead?), and to the House of Trouble!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Park, in 1922

A nice, if fairly common, postcard view of the park, with the towers still in place.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

An Early Ad

An ad from the Frankel era--"Lost Cinemas" fans will recall that Abe Frankel and Abe Blank also owned and operated a number of early movie theatres in the Des Moines area.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mutoscope Beauty

This is but one of several Mutoscope cards I have that were dispensed at the park--most of them with 'racy' themes or pictures on them. When I say "Mutoscope", this is not the kind that was the coin-operated viewer that showed paper movie rolls or still pictures, but more of a dispenser (similar to those for fortune-telling cards) that was manufactured by the Mutoscope company.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Race for the Roses

Here's what was left of the racecar track in the early 1990's, reincarnated as a garden. (Is the layout still there now?)