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Chapter 2: The Expansion Years 1948-1955
In March 1948 the lakefront at Sandy Beach was acquired by Sam Slomowitz. He purchased additional Sandy Beach property in August 1961. Slomowitz improved the park with the addition of Kiddie-Land, an amusement area near the dance hall with a new Merry-Go-Round and children’s rides. Slomowitz also converted the restaurant into a cafeteria.
On June 12, 1948, the Sandy Beach Drive-In was opened. Built by Ray Heddon of Dallas, it was completely modern, with in-car speakers and inclined parking. The Saturday grand opening of the Sandy Beach Drive-in featured the technicolor musical I’ve Always Loved You. Regular movie features began on June 13, 1948, with the comedy The Time, The Place, The Girl, starring Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson. The drive-in was enormously popular and ran for twenty seasons.
There were other improvements added to Sandy Beach by Sam Slomowitz. The original bathhouse was removed to provide enlarged sanitary facilities. Men's and women’s locker rooms were relocated under the original dance hall.
Slomowitz improved the beach with tons of white sand from Atlantic City. Bingo was also added in the pavilion under the supervision of John Lynch. The dock in front of the dance hall was lengthened and forty rental slips for boats were made.
U-drive boats, with three-horse-power motors, were rented to the public, but after a few years the small power boats were withdrawn in favor of paddle-boats. Eventually, rental boats were discarded in favor of lake cruises on a pontoon boat.
Copyright 2006-2008 F. Charles Petrillo