Luna Park at the Adelaide beach suburb of Glenelg in 1930, before it was moved to Sydney.
Image courtesy State Library of South Australia

become Luna Park beside the harbour bridge 


LUNA PARK SYDNEY IS THE TRANSPORTED VERSION of the amusement park dismantled and moved from Glenelg in 1935.

In March 1928, F.S. Gordon had originally proposed an amusement park near Wrigley Reserve in 1928. It was based on similar parks in Maiselles and White City London would include a scenic railway, water chute and and other attractions. Gordon's proposal didn't progress, although reclaimed land was set aside at Colley Reserve.

Glenelg Town Council granted a lease to build a scenic railway (The Big Digger) to David Atkins in 1929. The lease was expanded to allow for other attractions, including a Ferris wheel, Noah's Ark, River Caves and Goofy House.  Atkins and Herman Phillips founded Luna Park Glenelg Ltd, and built a park based on Luna Park Melbourne.

Disputes flared between park management and the Glenelg council. Atkins asked the council several times to reduce the rent in response to a sharp fall in crowds. The council refused.

Requests to open some of the rides on Sundays were also unanimously rejected. Local residents also claimed that the park was a magnet for undesirables types.

Fearing a further deterioration in relationships with the council, Atkins began scouting for alternate locations. In 1934, a site was found at Milson’s Point, Sydney, at the former construction site for Sydney Harbour Bridge, on the shore of Lavender Bay.

Luna Park Glenelg was voluntarily liquidated in 1934, under the claim that the park wasn’t profitable. But when the assets were auctioned, they were all bought by Atkins an Phillips. Rides were dismantled and shipped to Sydney. They were assembled at the Lavender Bay site and Luna Park Milsons Point opened in 1935. It is still operating as Luna Park Sydney.

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