Places from the Past - Seaside Heights, NJ

Gone but not Forgotten

The page is the launching ground for an idea..... Together we can build an interesting and valuable archive about Seaside's past. Places that were a part of Seaside Heights in the recent past are still part of the collective memories of many people. Let's try and get some of these things recorded and saved.

I have started this list with a few things that may or may not be interesting to you. The real value of this project will come as it grows - as a result of your contributions! This part of the website will grow as we learn more and get more input from you. If you have a story, picture or even a short anecdote you would like to share please let us know. You can find out how to submit content here.

We can add more history pages (Boardwalk, different decades, different places off of the boardwalk, etc.) as more information and topics get added. I would love to hear from you with information, whether complete or not.

As you can see from these initial entries you just need an idea or a few sentences about a topic to give it a start. Once started, it will be easier for others to contribute with additional information. For instance someone may remember a past event or place but not be able to place a date related to this. Another person might know when and let us all know. Personal accounts, pictures, questions - send em in! Do realize editorial discretion is necessary in organizing and presenting information on the site. Please do not be upset if something you contribute does not show get posted to the website.




Barnegat Cold Storage Building

The old large building was torn down to build Rainbow Rapids in 1977. That water park was later renamed Smuggler's Quay. It was demolished in 2006 and replaced with condos. I haven't yet found out anything definitive about the original building, other than I remember stopping there with my grandfather when I was very young. Please write me if you have any information or photos of the original structure.


Perkin's Pancake House

Before becoming an every changing series of differently named clubs, there was a Perkins Restaurant at the corner of Boulevard and Hamilton(?). I do not know the details of the years it was there, as I was quite young when it changed into a nightclub. I do know that a few of my family members worked in this place too.

The fact there was a Perkins there is not that interesting, I know. What I think could be interesting is to try to draw up a history of the building. I would guess this structure has been a number of businesses over the years. Does anyone have any memories of this building and what it was at different times?

Skillo games

30 yrs. ago my mother and I were hooked on Skillo (bingo-like game)
in palors on the Boardwalk. Do these places still exist?

Skillo games

My grandmother and her 2 sisters often went to skillo games.
At one time, 1970s, I think there were probably 10 skillo place son the boardwalk. I remember Freds, Sand, Surf, Luckys, Sonny&Rickys, and 3 Jacks on the funtown end. Perhaps one now remains.

My grandmother would play 20 cards per game. Amazing!

Surf Skillo

What would summer on Seaside boardwalk be without everybody's grandmother playing at Surf Skillo! If anyone has a picture of the place it would be cool to see it! 1970s summer hitting the boards at Seaside to win a peace sign, laughing bag, and skillo bingo!

Miniature golf courses

At one time, there were 4 miniature golf courses on the boardwalk.

There was a rooftop one by Franklin Ave, freds off the boardwalk, a skytop at Casino and the best one at Funtown called Golfland. This is where the big arcade and Sawmill are now.

Thanks for the memories

I remember the batting cages at Bat em out. There was a little restuarant there, I had forgotten about that. My Mom owned a ceramic studio is Ortley Beach around 1980 and I used to go there in the summer. What great times. Rainbow Rapids was great but there was another water park called Splash Down which I liked even more. I remember going to skillo with my grandmother. How cold and quiet it was in there! And the sound of the people going through all those little cardboard squares. There was also a game they would play called Fasination and I know that was there until at least 1988 because that was my senior year at Toms River High School East and we would go and I remember playing that at least once. It was similar to bingo except you would roll little rubber balls down a lane. I was fortunate enough to work one summer at the boardwalk - 1986. So much fun. I remember Union Jack's wheel getting most of money trying to win cassette tapes. Thanks for the posts!

Thanks for the memories

Fascination replaced skilo at Lucky's.

There was also a game called Pokerino at one of the funtown arcades where you had to roll 5 balls and try to make different poker hands.

I think pokerino was around until the early 70s when the funtown section of stands underwent a rebuild. Te machines then seemed to disappear.

I worked at Flo's Pizza and

I worked at Flo's Pizza and Bat Em Out when I was 13..1987.. I had to get working papers, and later in life realized working a 13 year old until 1am is not really legal! When I wasn't bussing tables, I was filling the pitching machines, with people coming down from the boardwalk under the influence.. Hit the ball boy was often heard.. Good times.. 3.35/hr.


Anyone have a picture of Flo's? Scouring the internet but can't seem to find anything!! Thank you!

Rainbow Rapids memories

I remember going to the Rainbow Rapids water slides in the late 1970s. I loved that place. I'd love it if someone would post photos of it, since I don't have any. I went there with my friend when I grew up in northeastern New Jersey (& once on an outing with my girl scout troop). I am now 44 and live in another state far away (& go to water parks with my six year old daughter), but Rainbow Rapids was my first one and I still have fond memories of it. I think I remember that it had 4(?) different slides, each with different names -- I probably have the names of the slides in my diary from that time period (if I can find it).
{I realize you were probably only looking for memories of Seaside Heights from BEFORE the late 1970s, but I was born in 1967 & can't provide those myself}.

The Forgotten Skilo

Everyone is forgetting Henry's skilo (later Henry's Arcade)....How about Bill's arcade (later to be Royal) Central (the last of the nickel pinballs) the Potato Pancake guy....Pete Gogalak football..the slot car track in casino arcade.....the Italian car track on funtown...."It's the Swiss Bob...fasted ride on the boardwalk"

Growing up on Seaside's Boardwalk

Growing up on the boardwalk in Seaside, held my happiest time of life, and today, holds my most fond memories.

I knew every inch, every bent board, or protruding nail.

When I got older, I purchased Lucky's Fascination, corner or Boardwalk at Webster Ave, and I operated the games there until I lost my lease in 1995, when I was forced to leave by beloved Seaside, and relocate in Wildwood were I still operate Fascination, plus a Retro Arcade today.

During the 70's, 80's and 90's, I made it my quest to purchase, and preserve as many of my great memories from growing up Seaside, and it resulted in thousands of the great old Arcade games we all remember which filled the air with the clang of bells and chimes during the 50's, 60's and 70's.

I purchased game wheels from some stands, signs, and even the entire Skilo system from Surf Skilo including tote boards, and the Wheel.

I have the Skilo cards, and tote board from Strand Skilo too !

Of course, all the Fascination Tables and even the rug, ceiling, showcases, and doors from Lucky's Fascination, and even a few Fascination tables from Quinn Davenport's Fascination which was on Hamilton Ave from 1952 until 1974.

Yep, Bingoreno, Pokerino and twenty-one, from the Carousel Arcade, three in a row from the Central Arcade, the gun slingers and Jumbo the Elephant from Casino Arcade, plus more from Henry's Playland, Lucky Leo's, the Royal Arcade, and Carbone's Funtown Arcade.

Way too much to list, and all still very much alive and well.

Untouched from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, these treasures have been waiting to be resurrected in a huge Amusements Museum.

A living place where we all can escape back into our childhood of the Jersey Shore, before there was a TV show so named.

It has been my life long quest.

And it has been achieved on smaller levels in locations where I have operated just some of these memories in Wildwood.

After the Fire which destroyed Seaside Park's boardwalk and a few blocks in Seaside Heights, I wrote to the Governor, and proposed the construction of the New Jersey State Amusements Museum on the sight where the fire destroyed so many memories...

A place where those memories could be brought back for us, and generations to come who would never got to experience the Seaside of our day.

A living hands on, playable experience; an escape back into time....

And I have everything to do it, including the experience of having spent a lifetime in the Amusement business on the Jersey Shore.

The only thing needed is a huge building, as my collection could fill a 150,000 sq foot area, the size of a super Walmart !

Yep, an area covering the size of all 5 blocks that burned.

Several years ago, I wrote a book remembering all the wonderful places I knew on the Boardwalks, and along the strip in Lavallette, Ortley, and Ocean Beach; it is still available on if you search my name, Randy Senna, and it is titled, Boardwalk, My Life and Jersey Shore.

If you like reading the fond memories of those who posted on this site, you will love the book !

So, here's to you dear Seaside; as you live on in all of our memories, and thanks to everyone who holds on to their dreams !

Randy Senna

Your idea brilliant. Any hope

Your idea brilliant. Any hope it will really come to fruition?!

Search of friends

I have been trying for over thirty years to contact the owners of the boardwalk cigarette gaming wheels at Seaside during the fifties and sixties. We were long time friends and schoolmates. Please help if you can. Thanks.

Those Were the Days...

Just got home from Wildwood and one of the arcades had Pokerino machines! My earliest memories of Seaside Heights is my mom and dad each holding one of my hands and leading me into what seemed to be a gigantic place at the time, the Carousel Arcade. Pokerino was the first game I recall playing so when I found these machines at Gateway 26 in Wildwood, it harkened me back to the Summer of 1971 when I was only 4 and a half years old. I can recall clear as crystal my Dad teaching me how to play Skee-Ball, and banking the ball off of the left side of the alley to ricochet it into the 40 and 50 point circles, something I still do to this very day when I play Skee-Ball.

I still remember my Dad telling me "If you get lost, go stand near the big sign that says "SALT WATER TAFFY" and we'll go there and find you." My Dad passed away in July 1978 when I was only 11, and that August my mom, my grandmother, two of my aunts, 4 of my cousins and I stayed at a flat on DuPont Avenue. We would stay for a week every year until 1987. And even during the 1990s and early 2000s when I myself became a Dad, we stayed in Seaside at other places. And every time we went near the Carousel Arcade and that big giant SALT WATER TAFFY sign, I would get teary eyed remembering my Dad. Even as I type this I am rather nostalgic and teary-eyed.

The invasion of reality shows like Jersey Shore, Hurricane Sandy and the fire may have destroyed my beloved Seaside Heights, but nothing can ever take away those fond memories. The angst and yearning I feel for things to be the way they were during the 1970s and hurts so good.

The Whistle Stop restaurant was awesome too. Royal Arcade was great. I remember Fred's Skilo, Surf Skilo, Strand Skilo & Sonny & Rickey's Skilo. Sadly Skilo and Skilo parlors no longer exist and to me that is a real shame. In this modern day and age of instant gratification, I don't see many, if any people having the patience to play a game that takes more than 20 seconds and actually requires some concentration skills.

Fred's Skilo was the parlor of choice by my mom, grandmom and aunt. I remember how it was a sea of smoke in there, since smoking was allowed back in the day. I also remember purchasing bottles of Yoo Hoo while sitting there while my mom and aunt and grandmom played Skilo. I remember the giant wheel they used, and if a number repeated, they simply called the first available number instead.

The summer of 1984 when the Olympics were in L.A. and we had Carl Lewis & Mary Lou Retton. I remember Royal Arcade having the video game "Track & Field". Loved that game!!!

My cousin and I in the early to mid 80s would eat at a restaurant off the boards called the ShortStop. It was baseball themed. I was sad when that went away.

Endless memories, I could write about this for hours if I allowed myself.

Central Arcade

I just returned from SH with my wife, and we brought all of our arcade tickets that we've collected over the years to hopefully cash some in for some little prizes and such. We were sad to find that Central Arcade was gone. We wanted to go there not just to cash out our points, but to show them this

We thought it would be a blast from the past for them! Since we couldn't show them, I thought I'd post it here.

The Central Arcade

Wow, the Central Arcade... I worked there several summers.. Along with Sodl's, the old Sawmill, the Aloha Motel, The Fore and Aft... Holy misspent youth!!! I remember that I liked the Central because they always had their machines working, unlike some, not all, of the other arcades that didn't seem to keep up with repairs. I learned a lot from the last owners, who now own Fantasy Island on LBI and have Pockerino and a few Three in Line games on the floor. They had a ton of older games... Some books took pics of the games. I know it gave me the pinball bug forever... I own quite a few of the older ones that I remembered cleaning every day. It was a more relaxed type of fun. The noise of all the games being played at night was deafening!!!

More memories

Been going to Seaside since I was a baby, 47 now. Worked at Henrys Playland, Coin Castle, Casino Pier. 1st job was game operator on "carousel pier", which was the northern end of funtown pier, where the wet banana waterslide was (1985). Lucky to have spent my teen yrs living in Toms River (TR East '88) before living in TR, lived in North Jersey. Stayed at Holiday motel in Seaside Park (now Desert Palm), or had a bungalow further south near IBSP. Remember dad & grandad crabbing in the bay with a drag net, I was about 5yo catching the runaway crabs with a butterfly net. Always went to Marucas for pizza when I was a kid, now I go there with my own kids and STILL see the same people running it.
Chatterbox bar on the boards burned, rebuilt as Chatterbox arcade (sister arcade to Coin Castle at the time); didnt last long- became a food court and now tshirt shop. The train ride on funtown pier- ran along the edge of the pier. Felt like it'd fall off into the water! Spent SO MUCH CHANGE in the arcades playing skee ball, pokerino, and I think it was called "splash down", where you put a coin in and it'd hopefully push other coins down into the chute which would get you tokens for prizes. Usually played at Henrys Playland (now Jimbos bar n grill) or Central Arcade (yet ANOTHER tshirt shop now!) The arcade at Casino Pier had a thing where you put money in, pulled a lever, and a white box would come out (about the size of a pak of cigs), In the box was some cheesy little trinket but it was something bros & I HAD to do every time we went when we were little. Little empty white boxes on the floor everywhere! I live in upstate NY now. My wife tries to understand why I need to revisit Seaside every year. Mostly for the memories.

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