Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vintage Postcards - Six Flags Over Georgia

I was hoping that today's post would be about "Six Flags Over Oxnard", but was ultimately delighted to find that Ken Martinez has instead written about "Six Flags Over Georgia"! Here's Ken:

The Second Park - Six Flags Over Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia, which opened in 1967, is the second park opened by Six Flags and is located near Atlanta, Georgia. The Georgia park along with Six Flags Over Texas are the only two parks in the Six Flags chain that are not owned by Six Flags Corp. The parks are actually owned by a limited partnership, some in the group, heirs to founder Angus Wynne. The original theme areas were: Great Britain, Spain, France, United States, Confederacy, and Georgia. A year later the Lickskillet theme area was added and in 1973 the Cotton States Exposition area was added, featuring the "Great American Scream Machine".

Featured here is the entrance to the park with its obligatory six flags. Unique to this park was that it had two entrances, the other being at the back of the park, which finally closed in 1988 when the front entrance was remodeled to become the Promenade.

The Crystal Pistol is the main showplace for live productions and entertainment. Apparently there is a ghost story legend attached to this place about an actor named Joe who was to star opening night at the Crystal Pistol and was killed in a car accident on the way to work. Apparently Joe is still waiting to perform his number as there have been sightings of a man standing on the edge of the balcony watching performances on stage, and employees have reported a man singing backstage after closing while there is no one back there.

The "Hanson Autos" is an antique version of the guide-rail auto ride. The park also had a modern guide-rail auto ride called "Super Sports". Each of the original three Six Flags parks had both modern and antique versions of the auto ride similar to the Autopias.

The "Sky Hook", originally located at Six Flags Over Texas, was moved to this park in 1969. Thrilling riders for nearly nine seasons, it was closed in 1977. It looks very old-style being in a modern theme park.

The "Dahlonega Mine Train" is another of the Arrow Development Mine Trains that were installed in the three original Six Flags theme parks, the other being the "Runaway Mine Train" in Texas and the "River King Mine Train" in Missouri. The Georgia Arrow mine train was named after the City of Dahlonega, site of the first U.S. gold rush in 1829.

This classic wooden roller coaster with its red, white and blue coaster trains was known as the "Great American Scream Machine" (GASM). It was designed by John Allen, same designer of the Kings Island "Racer", Kings Dominion "Rebel Yell", and "Screamin' Eagle" at Six Flags over Mid-America. Its top height is 105 feet and it is an out-and-back design.

Hope you have enjoyed your visit to vintage Six Flags Over Georgia.

Information Source Material:
The Great American Amusement Parks, copyright 1976 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
Six Flags Over Georgia (Images of America) copyright 2006 by Tim Hollis

THANK YOU Ken for this fun look at a park that I knew absolutely nothing about! 


Mark H. Besotted said...

Wow, thanks for these! I'm a Georgian, and SFOG is my home park. Though I haven't been in a few years now, it feels like I grew up there. It's amazing how many of my childhood memories are still available there, from the Monster Mansion to the Crystal Pistol to the Dahlonega Mine Train. Tim Hollis, the king of Southern tourism, wrote a great Arcadia Press book about the park and it's history. The place has changed since those photos were taken, but it's still charming and filled with trees and landscaping; very unlike the steel-and-asphalt reputation of the chain.

Nanook said...


Great memories of my favorite Six Flags park. Ahhh... the pungent smell of cedar trees in the fall.

I see in the shot with the "Sky Hook", just off to its right is the dome theatre, where the Chevy Show was screened. It was a poor man's "Cinerama", utilizing an anamorphic, wide screen presentation, that when I first saw it in 1977, had seen far better days. I soon forgot how awful the film looked and sounded due to improperly-maintained equipment and poorly-trained operators, and began to laugh out loud as the 'travelogue' started down Lombard Street, in San Francisco. Evidently the production company responsible for the film was better acquainted with the geography of another galaxy, as the name they attributed to Lombard Street was instead "Lombardo Street". Nice.

Thanks, Ken & The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yet another park that I wish I could have visited before drastic changes were made to it! The Pike in Long Beach had one of those Sky Hook attractions. It was even used in an episode of "Emergency!" In the episode, the team has to rescue a man from one of the cages after it gets stuck up in the air.

Thank you for sharing more of your collection with us, Ken!

Pegleg Pete said...

These are some great images of the park as I remember it best. Thanks Major and thanks Ken. The rear entrance to the park, however, couldn't have closed permanently in 1988 as I used it on the occasion of my last visit to the park in April 1989 when New Order played the amphitheatre attached to the park during their infamous spring 1989 tour of the States - concert tickets included park entrance so my sister and I went for the afternoon. Perhaps they only kept the entrance open at that time on days when concerts were being held?

Chuck said...

Thanks again, Ken, for some great photos and info on a park I've never visited. Looking forward to the future post on Six Flags Over Oxnard!

Dan Heaton said...

These are amazing! There was so much character in the old Six Flags parks. I went to Six Flags Mid-America as a kid, and it was SO different than its current form.

K. Martinez said...

Mark H. Besotted, when I put these articles together, I always hope that some GDB reader out there will find amongst my postcard collection some images of their home park they grew up with and chime in. I remember Monster Plantation too! And yes, I have the Tim Hollis book from the “Images of America” series and love it. Arcadia Press Books are a great source for books on individual Amusement/Theme Parks.

Nanook, I agree that of the three original Six Flags theme park, it’s the best one. Interesting your mention of the quality of the Chevy Dome Show, since in Marriott’s Great America’s third season in Santa Clara, we had an IMAX theater which was pretty state-of-the art when it opened back in 1978.

TokyoMagic!, I remember that episode of “Emergency!”. From time to time I’ve watched old amusement park related episodes of TV shows on YouTube.

Pegleg Pete, you are correct. It was 1998, not 1988. That was a typo on my part. Glad you enjoyed these.

Chuck, I’m looking forward to the future post on Six Flags over Oxnard too as we discover the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created Oxnard.

Dan Heaton, glad you enjoyed these. Yes, it seems all the theme parks from the 1960’s and 70’s have changed drastically with a focus on thrills. The skylines of these theme parks are dominated by mega coasters today.