THEN AND NOW: Downtown Long Beach Marina and Skyline

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THEN: Aerial view of Downtown Long Beach, Calif. on October 29, 1953. In the early 1920s, the original Long Beach Municipal Auditorium was constructed on the beach and on 20 acres of landfill located south of today’s intersection of Ocean and Long Beach Boulevards. After the construction of the auditorium, there were problems created by storms and coastalerosion. In order to protect the auditorium from these problems, a horseshoe (rainbow) shaped breakwater was constructed around it. Because of its shape it was named “Rainbow Pier”, even though it was actually a breakwater with a road constructed on top of it. The Rainbow Pier went from Pine Ave. to Linden Ave. Just to the left of the Rainbow Pier is the Ocean Center Building which is still standing today. Also still standing is the Breakers (to the left behind the Municipal Auditorium and the Security Building (to the left behind the Breakers).


NOW: Aerial view of the Downtown Long Beach (Calif.) Marina on July 2, 2009, from Airship Venture’s Zeppelin “Eureka”. On the former site of the Municipal Auditorium site now sit the Convention Center, Performing Arts Center and the Long Beach Arena (Whale Building). The water inside Shoreline Drive is named Rainbow Lagoon Park (a reference to the former Rainbow Pier).

2 thoughts on “THEN AND NOW: Downtown Long Beach Marina and Skyline

  1. Dennis Kessinger

    Wonderful photos, thank you! I was born and raised in Long Beach. My Dad would take me to Rainbow Pier and the Municipal Auditorium (and The Pike, PierPoint Landing, etc.) and as a kid in the 1950’s I’d ride my bike downtown without a care in the world. Thanks for the memories!

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