Lakeside Amusement Park has been a staple of Denver summer fun since it opened in 1908. Up until 1985, the Funhouse was one of the Lakeside's most distinctive, and dangerous, attractions.
The Funhouse was stocked with an array of mechanical devices that were, for the most part, designed with the intention of sending the rider directly to the ground. Anyone who actually had the pleasure of visiting this attraction will also tell you that the ancillary effects of the Funhouse were skinned knees and elbows.
These problems do not, however, seem to be impacting the colorful characters in this Harry Mellon Rhoads photo titled, "Possibly a Band Leader," taken some time between 1930 and 1940. The band leader, a few women from the chorus line and another gentleman (possibly a musician?) are seen standing on what was a series of rotating barrels that moved in different directions with the intention of toppling anyone walking through them.
We're guessing that the barrels were not in motion when this picture was taken as everyone seems to be simply hanging on, rather than hanging on for dear life.
As for the unidentified bandleader and his close friends, it seems likely that they were playing a gig at either the Casino Theater or Riviera Ballroom, both of which hosted a variety of musical events during that era.
Sadly, the Funhouse at Lakeside was shuttered for good in 1985 and there hasn't been live music in its boarded up ballrooms for decades. But for anyone who visited it, the Lakeside Funhouse was a place they'll never forget, even after the skinned knees and elbows healed up!
Do you love reading about Colorado History? If you do, be sure and follow the Western History and Genealogy Department on Facebook.