THEN AND NOW: Long Beach Arena / Municipal Auditorium

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TOP: View of the Long Beach Arena in 19__. The Arena has hosted various entertainment and professional and college sporting events, including the volleyball events of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Entertainers like Frank Sinatra, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Metallica, Kiss, Led Zeppelin and Grateful Dead have also headlined here. Long Beach Arena was the site of the first National Hockey League game involving an expansion team, as the Los Angeles Kings and the Philadelphia Flyers, both expansion teams, played on October 14, 1967. The Kings won, 4-2. The Kings played in Long Beach for the first half of their expansion season while the Forum was being completed. On the left is the Municipal Auditorium that was built in 1932 that hosted events including Liberace in 1947, and the comeback performance of Judy Garland in 1955. In its heyday, the auditorium held twice as many events annualy then any other in the United States, include 600 free events each year.

BOTTOM: View of the Long Beach Arena in 2009. The Arena The Arena was home to the former Long Beach Ice Dogs team, which played professional ice hockey in the ECHL. The Ice Dogs ceased operations of the team in 2007. Along the exterior wall of the drum-shaped Arena is “Planet Ocean”, one of environmental artist Wyland’s Whaling Walls, which was dedicated on July 9, 1992. At 116,000 square feet (11,000 m?), it is the world’s largest mural (according to the Guinness Book of Records). The mural depicts migratory gray whales and other aquatic life that can be found in the waters off Long Beach. In celebration of Earth Day in 2009, Wyland touched up the existing Whaling Wall and added a large mural of the earth on the roof of the arena. On the left is Parker’s Lighthouse at Shoreline Village and the Hyatt Hotel.

One thought on “THEN AND NOW: Long Beach Arena / Municipal Auditorium

  1. Mike Denton

    I saw Humble Pie, I believe in 1972, at the Long Beach Auditorium. Steve Steve Marriot, lead singer for the band said, “I hear they are going to tear this building down tommorow, lets see if we can start tonight! It was a great concert!

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