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Photo Essay: We're Gonna Have Fun, Fun, Fun!

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Detail of creepy-cool clown mural painted by "Wizard" in 1975, which marks the entrance to fun!

A few weeks back I promised to continue the photo essay of my next-door neighbor, the Redondo Beach Pier, where there is always something weird and wonderful to see and do. The Fun Factory is the next best thing to a cheesy, down-the-shore/midway arcade. Sure, Santa Monica Pier has its Ferris wheel, calliope and similar games of chance, but The Fun Factory has such an extensive jumble of bizarre coin operated artifacts, games, kiddy rides, crane machines, fortune tellers, pinball machines, vintage video games and whatever else you can think to stick a token into, that it just wins the prize for coolest, redemption palace in LA county. "Redemption" is how they describe those novelty amusements that devour all your laundry money. By the way, this 300+ game space can be enjoyed even on the most blustery of days, as it is an indoor attraction. Neener-neener-neener, SM Pier!

Those of us raised in the South Bay recall being dropped off there with a fist full of quarters on lazy summer afternoons, while the folks grabbed a cocktail at Old Tony's. (Okay, child endangerment laws were different then.) As packs of teens we might spend first dates "trying" to sneak into the Starboard Attitude bar, but ending up playing Ms. Packman or Donkey Kong amidst the din of robot voices and the swirl of day-glow color.

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Even though it's meant to be a kid friendly establishment, I think The Factory is a highly entertaining and trippy place to take a date. Nothing spells love like whipping some dude's ass...at air hockey. Of course, then you have to let them win at skee-ball. Anybody who can actually win you something from a wedges & ledges table...well, that's a true test of...worthiness. Attached to the arcade is a pretty decent seafood restaurant where you can grab a tasty nosh between making goo-goo eyes and cashing in your tokens. Talk about yer one stop shoppin.

Vaguely unnerving clown murals aside, hold on to your quarters and prepare to enjoy as much amusement as you can stand--after the jump!

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Several of LAist's own have initimate knowledge of this tilt-a-whirl. Elise Thompson, claims she has never puked once in the gazillion times she's ridden it. I plead the 5th. Click here for Anti's

virtual reality spin

.

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Foosball and air hockey for miles. What more could you ask for?

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I've been trying to figure out how to heist this for years.

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There's lots to ride if you're 5, but Tom, Jerry and Donald are just so maniacal looking.

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We call it base-ketball!

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Who needs PlayStation 3, when you got T2 and Millipede!

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Win coins, jewelry, gadgets, stuffed animals

and

fist-sized jaw breakers!

The Fun Factory is located at 123 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach Pier, Redondo Beach, CA (310) 374-9982. They'll validate on weekdays.