the Fun Factory

by Diana Varey October. 15, 2019 98 views

From 6th grade on, I lived in Southern California — Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach. It was a great place to be back in the 70s... but that's a story for another time. I saw a post on a FB group about the closing of the Fun Factory at the Redondo Beach Pier after being a pier staple for nearly 50 years.

The Redondo Beach pier is a special place for me. I spent a lot of time at the pier and at the beach around the pier. Again, on another post at another time, I might share some of those memories, but for this post, it's the memories of the Fun Factory that I want to highlight.

The Fun Factory was full of a variety of arcade, carnival, and video games. It was a fun place for pier visitors, especially families, as well as a destination for local kids who wanted a safe place to hang out and play the games.

I'm not a typical carnival or arcade game enthusiast, but back in the 80s, my husband and I discovered that we enjoyed video games. It was quite by accident that we walked through the Fun Factory one evening, dropped a couple of quarters in the Space Invaders machine, and continued to play for hours. There were a few games that ended up being our favorites and we visited often and spent hours, and quarters, playing the night away. At the time, it was relatively cheap entertainment.

I don't know how long we kept up our visits to the Fun Factory. We eventually stopped going. Maybe we got bored. Maybe money became an issue. Most likely, it had something to do with personal computers making their debut in our lives and we could sit comfortably on our couch and play to our hearts content.

Life moved on. We had our first kid and moved out of state where we had our second. But we still have family in the area and every time we visit, we make a trip to the pier. It's full of good memories. I knew the Fun Factory was going to close down so I made a point of going in and taking photos when we were there the summer of 2018. I knew the day would come when the Fun Factory would no longer exist. That day arrived this last weekend, October 13, 2019.

That's my son there in this last photo. He's nearing 30 years old. He grew up in a different time and in a different place, so he doesn't have the connection to the Fun Factory that I have. But I know there are many, many people out there that do. It's a sad day saying good bye to such a special place. I will always treasure the memories.

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