What was it like to hit the midway at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver back in 1960?
The PNE was celebrating its 50th anniversary that summer, and this “Day in the Life” segment captured for CBUT TV (CBC Vancouver) gives us a glimpse at the sights and sounds of the fair by day and night, from the sleepy a.m. prep to the noisy, smoky night.
You’ll see in this clip that many things haven’t changed over the years — crowds still flock to the PNE to try their luck at games for garish prizes, rides (like the Scrambler, which is still there) provide gut-twisting thrills, and there are plenty of treats to enjoy.
Then again, a few things have changed — you won’t see staff in suits at the turnstiles, most fair-goers don’t dress up like they used to, there’s no smoking wherever you please, and we don’t have an “adults only” show of “ebony dancers” that offered a preview tease that turned some lovely young ladies into objects to ogle (it’s the most cringe-worthy part of the doc, for sure). There were a lot more casino-style gambling games and a lot less diversity, too.
Want to see what PNE and Playland were like via photos from its first half-century? Check out this set of images for a little more time travel.
This year, the PNE runs until Sept. 2. Info at pne.ca.