Legend City was a locally-owned, home-grown theme park in Tempe modeled after parks like Disneyland and Six Flags Over Texas. Memories of Legend City represent an important shared experience for millions of visitors who passed through the gates during the twenty years that the park operated from 1963-1983. Since Legend City has closed, no individuals, corporations or investment groups have been willing to attempt a theme park in Arizona of the scale, vision and boldness that the creators of Legend City built over a half-century ago.
Join the Tempe History Museum for the Legend City Exhibit Opening starting at 5:30 p.m. on Fri., November 6. This family-friendly event will give you a taste of the fun that was Legend City and will include music, carnival games, food trucks, circus performers and more. A ribbon cutting ceremony and introduction of special guests kicks off the exhibition at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
The entire changing exhibition space at the Tempe History Museum will be dedicated to telling the story of Arizona's very own theme park, Legend City, from Nov. 6, 2015 - Oct. 2, 2016.
It’s the museum’s privilege to display information and hundreds of pieces of memorabilia and photos including portions of actual amusement rides, staff costumes, concert tickets and more. Take a walk on the wild side in a re-creation of the Legend City Dutchman's Shack- the park's famous tilt house, or stare into the eyes of Kurley Q, the ventriloquist dummy used by Legend City performer and Miss America 1965, Vonda Kay Van Dyke.
Tempe History Museum is located at 809 E. Southern Ave., next to the Tempe Public Library. Like us on Facebook for historic photos, stories and event updates.
Legend City: A Ghost Town
Nov. 6, 2015 - Jan. 24, 2016
Legend City: A Ghost Town is a look back at the final days of Arizona’s old west theme park. Photographer Pat Gorraiz gained entrance to the park in 1984, after it was closed to the public for good but before it completely disappeared. His black and white photographs documenting Legend City’s crumbling attractions will be on exhibit at the Tempe History Museum from November 6 to January 24.
PAST COMMUNITY ROOM EXHIBITS
AZ: More Than 5 Cs
Aug. 25 - Oct. 4, 2015
Members of the Tempe Artists Guild, most of whom live and work in Tempe, portray contemporary images of their surroundings in paintings and drawings. This exhibit, Arizona: More Than 5Cs, showcases paintings that fall under the theme of cactus, cattle, cotton, clouds, canyons, citrus, climate, copper, cities, children, casual, classy, captivating and celebrated.
Rock City: Concert Photos from the Phoenix New Times
June 9 - Aug. 23, 2015
The Rolling Stones, U2, Katy Perry and so many other incredibly famous artists performed in Tempe. Explore a variety of photographs of great musicians at Tempe venues curated from the archives of the more than 30 years of music coverage by the Phoenix New Times. Opening night party: June 11, 6-9 p.m. with music, refreshments and fun hosted by the Phoenix New Times.
Elvis “The Cat” Del Monte
Jan. 26 - May 31, 2015
Frankie Martinez, better known by a stage name Elvis the Cat Del Monte, was a fixture on Mill Avenue in the 1990s. He frequently took the microphone and performed cover songs with Tempe bands like The Gin Blossoms and Dead Hot Workshop. He was also a prolific artist, and was well known for designing flyers for bands selling his work at local shows. This exhibition showcases the art of this beloved Tempe character.