Nostalgia

Playland at the Beach memorabilia on auction block

Michaan’s Auctions has been commissioned to liquidate the contents of the Playland Not at the Beach Museum, a collection of circus nostalgia and memorabilia from 20th century American amusement parks, including San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach, for which the museum was named.

The 9,000-square-foot space, located in El Cerrito, houses funhouse mirrors, pinball machines, penny arcades, circus sideshow attractions and vintage video games, including Galaga and Centipede.

Thousands of historical items are offered in the auction, including original signs, relics of vintage rides and games, rare photographs, employee uniforms and prizes from Playland arcade games. A highlight is “Circus World,” a 300,000-piece hand-carved miniature circus that took the late Don Marcks of El Cerrito 50 years to create. Each of its 40 tiny elephants is unique – a curled trunk here, a quizzical expression there.

Originally founded in 2000, the museum officially opened its doors on May 30, 2008. Its current home is slated for demolition to make way for a condominium project, which the owners say compelled them to sell the rare collection.

Playland Not at the Beach is located at 10979 San Pablo Ave., in El Cerrito. Sale previews will be held on Sept. 13 and 14 and the auction will be held on Sept. 15, at 10 a.m.

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