Santa Monica pier was first built in the early 20th century as a Municipal Pier with a pipeline underneath it to run treated sewage out to the ocean (a process that was discontinued in the 1920s). It was the first concrete pier of the west coast of the United States.
The official ‘opening day’ of the pier was the 9th of September 1909. Thousands of people attended the event, when the pier was visited by U.S. Navy Cruiser USS Albany and a series of running, boating and swimming events took place, judged by legendary surfer George Freeth. The day ended with a ‘tableau vivant performance’ called ‘The Surrender of Rex Neptune’ as the sun set on the pier.
The pier became a favourite spot among the fishing community, but the community wanted to add an amusement park to compete with the neighbouring Ocean Park. Charles Loof, a famous carousel carver turned amusement entrepreneur, answered that wish by building a new, wider pier with an amusement park along the south side of the Municipal Pier. This pier was opened on the 12th of June 1916 and, as more amusement rides were added, the pier began to define itself as a top attraction.
Nowadays it is an internationally recognised destination with over 6 millions visitors per year. The pier offers shopping, dining, entertainment and amusement to a diverse customer base. It is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year (the individual business on the pier have their own opening days and times).