Last month, ATZ wrote about Faber’s fabulous Fascination sign going dark and being dismantled. The Coney Island arcade lost its lease after more than 60 years, a casualty of Thor Equities’ plan to demolish the historic Henderson Building. ATZ checked out a couple of Fascination parlors from East Coast to West where you can admire their splendid signage and play the game described as a combination of skeeball and bingo.
Fascination at Nantasket Beach in Hull, a seaside town south of Boston, was owned for 60 years by town selectman Leonard Hersch. “He bought the equipment from a Goldman in Coney Island in 1945,” said Jim, who has worked at the Fascination parlor for two decades. As we chatted with Jim on the phone, we could hear the din of the game parlor. Somebody won, and he interrupted our conversation to call out on the mike: “Give her five dollars!” That’s right, you can play for money in Massachusetts!
Jim told us: “Our lit sign passed away but we have a sign in big red letters.” In James Young’s photo at the top of our post, you can see all the signage on the front and how inviting it looks: How to Play Fascination: Bingo with Lights Regular Game… First Player to Light Five Lights in Any Straight Line Is the Winner… COVERALL Light all TWENTY-FIVE LIGHTS and you’re the Winner! Winning table remains Lit, all others go out. Win Cash Prizes!
Nantasket Beach was once home to Paragon Park, which closed in 1984. The 1917 Giant Coaster was dismantled and sold to a park in Maryland (now Six Flags Great America) and the property was developed into beachfront condos. All that remains of the boardwalk attractions are the antique carousel, clock tower and a few arcades including the Fascination Parlor. Richard Lawrence, who also operates the Dream Machine Arcade and a miniature golf course, manages the place. Today the Fascination parlor boasts two large screen TVs, so regulars won’t miss their football games when they play Fascination. Wine and beer are served as well as complimentary coffee and donuts. The Fascination Parlor is open Friday through Sunday year round. Check out the photos and videos of this local landmark on the website of the Hull Patriot Ledger.
The Fascination Parlor in Seaside, Oregon, dates back to the 1950s, according to owner Mark Utti. Now that summer is over, they’re open weekends only: Friday, 4-12 pm; Saturday, 11 am-12 am; and Sunday, 11 am – 8 pm. Here’s a fun video by Charlie MC of three friends playing at the Seaside Fascination in 2009. You may want to turn down the music if you’re at work.
Fascination, 189 Nantasket Ave #C, Hull, MA 02045, Phone 781-925-1900
Fascination, Funland Entertainment Center, 201 Broadway St Seaside, OR 97138, Phone 503-738-7361
Related posts on ATZ…
September 12, 2010: Video: Coney Island’s Faber’s Fascination by Charles Denson
September 9, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Faber’s Fascination Goes Dark After 50 Years
February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels
November 5, 2009: Museum Piece or Obsolete? Old Carnival Games, Stick Joints on eBay