Opened in 1898, the Steel Pier billed itself as "The Showplace of the Nation." Built mainly of steel pilings with a wooden top, it jutted a quarter-mile out to sea, and offered movies, clowns, acrobats, dancing bears, boxing kangaroos and high-divers, in addition to bands, singers and Vaudeville acts.
It hosted performances from big band leaders such as Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, and movie stars such as Bob Hope and Charlie Chaplin. Abbott & Costello honed their "Who's On First?" routine there. Fred Astaire, Mae West, Ricky Nelson and The Three Stooges all packed 'em in at the pier.
The pier burned in a 1982 fire.
If you looka t the posters, they include the Diving Horses (a very famous US act), Poncie Ponce (actor in "Hawaiian Eye") and the Four Seasons.
Outside the venue
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Isn't the internet amazing? Where did you get the photos of Herman's Hermits at Steel Pier? That is a day that I never thought I'd see again except in my mind's eye. I am one of the young girls (age 11 at the time)you see stuffed ... Read More
Isn't the internet amazing? Where did you get the photos of Herman's Hermits at Steel Pier?
That is a day that I never thought I'd see again except in my mind's eye. I am one of the young girls (age 11 at the time)you see stuffed into the room in the photos. I was lucky enough to be spending that week with my big-city cousins in Philadelphia, when their mom put us all in the station wagon and drove us to Atlantic City for the concert. I wish I had a microscope, or a much larger copy of the pictures, so I could try to pick us out of the crowd. (I am sure I could do it as I remember just where we were standing in that room.) It was a very hot day in August, and the inside of the pier was even hotter, likely in excess of 100 Farenheit. The band was very late getting to the venue, and we just stood, and stood, and stood, waiting for them, each of us leaving the ballroom periodically to try to cool off, but not straying too far so we wouldn't miss anything.
The concert itself was exhilarating. I couldn't believe they were actually there in front of us, all the way from England. I remember watching them run out of the theater and down the stairs after the show, separated from us fans only by a metal fence. The whole experience is a major and pivotal childhood memory for me; and the first of many, many shows to come, including seeing Peter Noone solo several times over the years. He brings a wonderful energy to his performances. In 1994, I ran into him sitting in a hotel lobby the afternoon before one of his shows, and I mentioned that I'd been at that Steel Pier show, and he said he remembered it quite well.
So thank you for posting the photos and bringing back all those memories! Oh, and please note that Steel Pier was rebuilt in 1993, but it's not the place that it once was. The great concerts now take place in the casinos.
I just wanted to tell you how excited my cousins were to see the pictures that you posted. My cousin Eileen in California, who I haven't even seen since we were teenagers, told me that this was a very memorable concert for her, too. And she also ... Read More
I just wanted to tell you how excited my cousins were to see the pictures that you posted. My cousin Eileen in California, who I haven't even seen since we were teenagers, told me that this was a very memorable concert for her, too. And she also remembers how hot it was in the ballroom.
I still think they put us in a different room for our show. For some reason, we weren't in the regular ballroom, and I don't remember stairs. But it was a long time ago and I could be wrong.