Legend City

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LC - Panoramic

   November 6, 2015 - October 2, 2016

Exhibit Overview

Legend City was conceived in the late 1950s as an Old West-themed amusement park. It opened in 1963 as Arizona’s answer to Disneyland. During its twenty years in operation, Legend City was an entertainment destination - a unique and fun place for a magical afternoon or evening out. Since Legend City's closure, 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.

The exhibit featured hundreds of souvenirs, photos and memorabilia, including a gondola from the Skyride, a car from the Horseless Carriage ride, costumes from Wallace & Ladmo shows, park employee uniforms and more. Visitors were invited to 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.  

Video featured in the exhibit

Entertainment was a major part of the Legend City experience, and certain entertainers were especially important to that experience and helped to endear the park to young visitors, including Wallace & Ladmo and Mike Condello and The Spiders (Alice Cooper). Legend City’s Compton Terrace featured the best of the best in live music, including Stevie Nicks, AC/DC, The Grateful Dead, REO Speedwagon, Elton John, Moody Blues, The Police and many more.

Exhibit Highlights

LC - Dutchmans Shack (Jay Mark)
Replica tilt house
photo: Jay Mark

LC - Vonda Kay Van Dyke & Jared (Jay Mark)
Vonda Kay Van Dyke (l) with her ventriloquist dummy
Kurly Q and Miss America dress, standing with
Legend City exhibit curator Jared Smith (r)

photo: Jay Mark  

LC - Dolan Ellis - (Jay Mark)
Arizona's Official State Balladeer, Dolan Ellis
photo: Jay Mark

LC - Marshall Shore (Jay Mark)
The Hip Historian, Marshall Shore, peers through a 
Legend City antique car

photo: Jay Mark

LC - THM Crew & Louis Crandall (Jay Mark)
Legend City creator Louis Crandall (r), with museum 
curators Jared Smith (l), Dan Miller (2nd from l),
and Josh Roffler (2nd from r)

photo: Jay Mark

Exhibit Sponsors





Interested in learning more about Legend City? Search "Legend City" in your favorite web browser.
Love the Legend City exhibit logo? Stop by the Tempe History Museum and shop the Museum Store for unique gifts and products including the Legend City exhibit shirt!