Long before a Los Angeles limousine could be seen cruising down the PCH, the famous Santa Monica Pier opened in 1909 which makes it the oldest pleasure pier in California. Originally it was built to aid with Santa Monica's sanitation needs, local residents enjoyed walking above the water along the concrete pier. Back then there were no fun attractions on the more narrow municipal pier. No one ordered party bus services with their friends to come enjoy the rides here. Still many who books our LA limo services are interested in the history of how it really became the world’s most famous pier.


In the early 1900's amusement piers in Santa Monica were extremely popular. There were several and the owners of the piers all competed for the best attractions and favorite roller coasters. At one time there were 6 piers along Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Charles Loof, known for building the first carousel at Coney Island was attracted to the idea of building in Santa Monica. In 1916 he purchased the land just south of the municipal pier and started construction. It was the first amusement type pier on the North Beach. He then approached the city with the idea to merge the two piers into one. He passed away shortly after in 1918 and his family carried on with the management of the pier.

Santa Monica Amusement Company purchased the pier from the Looff family in 1923 and upgraded some of the rides and added La Monica Ballroom in 1924, Los Angeles limousine riders told us. It was a 15,000 sq. ft. ballroom with a massive hardwood dance floor that could accommodate up to 5000 dancers. It was the largest of its kind on the West Coast. Maybe it should have remained a ballroom, so you could just order your LA limo- or party bus services to the pier and dance away?

In the thirties a breakwater was created so that boats could be safely moored and the Yacht Harbor was born. It was a collection of fishing boats, yachts, and a base for a cruise liner that made trips to Catalina Island. However, because of the poorly engineered breakwater, it began to sink because of the sandy ocean bottom. This coupled with Marina Del Rey in 1965 was the end of boating activities at the pier. During this same period Muscle Beach was born and became very popular among bodybuilders. Eventually it was moved south to Venice Beach and is currently managed by the City of Los Angeles. Through our twenty years of serving Los Angeles with luxurious limousine and party bus services, the Santa Monica Pier has remained a destination beloved by people ordering an LA limo service.

In 1940 the famous sign to the entrance of the pier was erected. To this day it is an icon for the City of Santa Monica thanks to the Santa Monica Businessmen's Association who erected it when they poured the new concrete ramp. Although it says "Yacht Harbor", the pier hasn't seen a boat moored in 50 years. It reflects the time in which it was erected by the local citizens.

The decline of these type of amusement parks came in the 1960's because of many other inland theme parks, and of course, Disneyland. In the 1970's the City of Santa Monica purchased the pier and proposed demolishing it and building a man made island and a resort hotel, but the local citizens would not have it and the proposal failed. They began restoration efforts but not much was accomplished. In 1975 the US government designated the carousel and the Hippodrome building as LA historical landmarks.

The pier survived through the years but in a poorly kept state, taking on a dilapidated look. Many proposals of redevelopment came and went, but in 1983 Mother Nature took things into her hand by destroying over a third of the pier in two winter storms. The pier was rebuilt through a concerted effort and they begin to host a free concert series there that went on for over 25 years. It cost approximately $42 million dollars to restore the pier.

In 1996 Pacific Park opened as a new pier amusement park to LA limo providers great entertainment. It had been over 60 years, but the pier had finally returned to its roots and has numerous attractions including a ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a roller coaster to name a few. As our Los Angeles limousine services explains below, it quickly became a popular filming location as well. Today it is the only amusement park that is located on a pier on the West Coast. The pier celebrated it's 100th birthday on September 9, 2009. Today many of our LA limo clients visit the Santa Monica Pier as it is a fun place to go and stands as a memorial of its amazing past. While we sometimes have couples ordering a limousine or sedan, we also have party bus services who can fit up to fifty passengers.

Movie Filming at the Pier

Many may not realize that limo movie tours in LA are incredibly popular. Customers call us on a daily basis to look into our tours of filming locations featured in movies and TV-series. One of the favorite filming stops for Los Angeles limousine clients is the Santa Monica Pier. A large number of films and TV-series have been filmed here. Many limousine clients may not know the extensive filming history this famous pier has. Maybe the most famous film featuring the pier is Forrest Gump (1994), but it is far from just this one that includes scenes of the pier. Chumy comes to get Miller at the pier in the film The Glenn Miller Story (1954), while it is a part of the opening scenes in the movie Hot Moves (1984). Dorf finds the cheerleader here in Rescue Me (1993), while Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) finds a parked car here in Beverly Hills Cop III (1994). In the movie Species (1995), Sil (Natasha Henstridge) wakes up in a vehicle parked here. There’s a fair taking place there in the film Her (2013), while there’s a merry-go-round scene from the pier featured in The Sting (1973) and Victim of Love (1991). The pier carousels are dubbed for an amusement park in Dallas in Dead Before Dawn (1993). The first date in Like Crazy (2011) happens at the pier, and it was featured in the opening scenes of Three's Company (1976–1984) between 1977 and 1981. So why not reserve a Los Angeles limousine and walk in the footsteps of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)? Bring your friends along and book party bus services to the pier for a Forrest Gump themed party.

Book an LA limo today and venture out to the pier! It’s a perfect location for everything from dates, families, friends outings and everything in between. Of that reason, the Santa Monica Pier is a hugely popular destination for our limousine- and party bus services. Feel free to call us at toll-free (866) 319-LIMO for questions about reserving your limousine in Los Angeles. We are open 24/7 and is a top rated Los Angeles limousine company.

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