Commemorative photos of a trip to the park have always been an important souvenir. Photos with elaborate or unusual settings or situations have often been a part of those in-park offerings.
|Novelty photos of all
kinds have been popular souvenirs of a visit to Great Adventure. The
park's photo contractor was always looking for new ways to sell photos
and new opportunities in the park.
The 1976 remake of the movie King Kong had a large cultural impact, and looking to cash in on that, the Souvenir Gorilla Photos kiosk opened. The kiosk had a massive gorilla hand that guests could sit in Fay Wray/Jessica Lange-style, with a giant face of a gorilla painted on the backdrop behind it. It recreated the scene in the movie where Kong picks up the heroine to look at her. The photo-op's ape hand could accommodate several people so it was popular with groups of friends and families.
|During Halloweekends in 1989, the King Kong Encounter came to the park with a giant inflatable ape which had previously been on the Empire State Building to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original King Kong film. For the event, the photo-op hand made its way across the park to the base of the huge Kong which was positioned near the Big Wheel where guests could purchase their souvenir pictures.|
|After the King Kong Encounter
event the hand and backdrop made its way back to its original location
in the park. However, the 1991 season was the final year for the Gorilla Photo, and a giant chair took its place.
For 1992 and 1993, "The Best Little Chair in New Jersey," became a popular new photo opportunity in the park with guests posing in the oversized upholstered seat holding giant props like huge baby bottles and other larger than life objects. In a park that was built to feature lots of larger than life structures, the big chair was a good fit.
|The stand was
enhanced with thematic enhancements (like the rest of the park) in the
1990's under Time Warner ownership. The nearby western themed area
was expanded to include the stands which were located on what was
originally part of the Enchanted Forest's original entrance in 1974 and
1975. Now considered part of Frontier Adventures, all of the
neighboring buildings received old west theme elements which were added to the facades.
Gone was the vinyl awning over the chair, replaced by a wooden roof and
coral fencing. A large wooden sign sported the photo-op's new name
"Big Chair Photo."
The Big Chair operated for ten more years. For 2004, the Big Chair was removed and the stand became Front Gate Photo West where people could order photos which were taken by roving photographers.
|For the 2005 season, the stand
became part of the newly themed Golden Kingdom section of the park.
Numerous crates, barrels, and props were added to its roof and a vinyl
owning was once again added. The stand took on the name Kingdom
Photos for two seasons in 2005 and 2006.
Since 2007, the stand has been used for a variety of things including games and ride information. The decorative props have been removed and the building is a shell of its former self.
|Original Spotlight: September 11, 2023. GAH Reference#: SHOP-1980-002|