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Old Home Movies of Six Flags Great Adventure
Growing up in New Jersey, if you wanted to ride a thrill ride, you could always go to the shore. But if you really wanted a thrill with a capital T, you would head to Jackson, NJ and visit Great Adventure. It would eventually be purchased by Six Flags, so the official name might be Six Flags Great Adventure, but everyone I knew called it just Great Adventure or G.A.
I didn’t go there until well into the 1980s, but my sisters had gone multiple times in the late seventies and the early eighties. So our home was filled with stories and ephemera from the park. While I would eventually build my own memories at the park, I have always been fascinated by its early days and would have liked to visit it back then.
While I can’t time travel, I can, thanks to the magic of the internet, occasionally find old home movies of the park online. So I thought I would share three that I found with you.
The first one was posted by Matthew B. It is just 2 minutes and 37 seconds, but packs in a lot of rides and wide shots of the park. The highlight here is the ride in Skyway.
The Skyway is a great way to see the park from above, and this video does not disappoint. You get a view of something you won’t see today, and that is trees for miles in almost every direction.
The Skyway has some history. It was moved from the 1964 World’s Fair. So it not just the only ride system that predates Great Adventure, it is a functioning piece of the Fair that is still running today.
Make sure you also check out Matthew’s short video of the Drive-Thru Safari from 1984.
The next video was posted by 19king14. I think they got the date wrong. They say it is from 1975, but I believe it is actually from 1977. Whatever the case, it is the closest home video I have found to showing a pre-Six Flags Great Adventure.
Shot on 8mm, the film quality and camera work is excellent for a home video. If you can’t watch this whole video, just jump to the 29 second mark where you will see a remarkable site, Spider-Man! This Spider-Man including is why I think the video is from 1977.
That year was the only one where the Kiddie Kingdom section of the park was transformed into Marvel’s Kiddie Kingdom. No new rides were introduced to the park, but they did add Spider-Man, Captain America, and Ms. Marvel as roaming characters in the park.
Much like the video from 1980, this video includes shots from the Skyway, but also a couple of shots of the fountain and other details, like this one of a garbage can.
I find it remarkable when a person takes the time to capture these details. It’s a shame that shooting on film was so expensive, or we would probably have a lot more material like this. The biggest problem with this video is that it is not long enough.
The final home movie by TheBaslotte is a real treat. Not only does it feature Great Adventure, but it also includes footage from New Jersey more infamous amusement park, Action Park.
The Action Park mostly shows some footage of the Alpine Slide before cutting to some roller skating. Then it heads to Great Adventure and you get some fun long shots of two shows, including the Aqua Spectacle Diving Show and the Fearless Bauers.
I am surprised that more footage like this doesn’t exist. But when something on the internet gets attention, it attracts imitators. So make sure to watch, like and follow the people who have been nice enough to share this material with us.
Oh, and if you have any early Great Adventure memories you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.