Luna Park, Arlington

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Luna Park (also known as Luna Park Arlington, Luna Park Washington, and Luna Park Washington D.C.) was an amusement park in Arlington, Virginia from 1906 to 1915. A trolley park that was constructed and owned by Frederick Ingersoll, the park occupied 34 acres near the intersection of Glebe Road and Jefferson Davis Highway (U. S. Route 1) and featured a figure eight roller coaster, a shoot-the-chutes ride, a ballroom, circus arena, restaurants, and picnicking facilities for 3000 people. Exhibits were housed in buildings displaying different architecture styles (Japanese, Moorish, Gothic).

The Great Leon, who liked the world of carnivals, but didn't want the vaudeville world to think that he needed a summer job to help make ends meet, changed his name to Kadan Sami and built "The Hindu Theatre" at the new Luna Park. The Hindu Theatre was just a tent with a fancy midway front. Partons could witness a performance of The Hindoo Miracle Worker for a just ten cents. [1]

On April 15, 1915, a fire destroyed the Arlington park's signature roller coaster. According to the Washington Post, "the origin of the fire is thought to have been from sparks from a blaze in the woods adjoining the park" (the nearest fire hydrant was in Alexandria, Virginia, miles away). The damage was extensive, and the park's precarious finances forced the park to go out of business. The structures in the park were dismantled later in the year. [2]

References

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  1. Great Leon Vaudeville Headliner by Mike Caveney (1987)
  2. http://www.norvapics.com/profile.htm#lunapark
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