The Joan De Arc

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Phoenix, Arizona / Saturday, December 24, 2016
Founded AD 1968 / $10.00

©  2016 by JPB Publishing Ltd.

Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 59 / Low 41

On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Entertainment A3 / Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5



Mr. Legend City passes on

(BP) - Joan De Arc residents were saddened earlier this year to learn of the passing of Louis Crandall, the enterprising local artist and advertising agency owner who, in the early 1960s, simply dreamed up and then brought into being the iconic Disneyland-style theme park for Phoenix called Legend City.
     Crandall, 87, died of natural causes in Provo, Utah on September 11, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his children Janie Crandall Hjorth, Mem Crandall Bryan, Annette Crandall Olson, Ruthie Crandall Dangerfield, and Lou Crandall Jr., and by his beloved poodle Willie.
     Louis Crandall was born July 27, 1929, in Mesa, Arizona to Louis Packer Crandall and Louise Marie Crismon. He graduated from Mesa High School and Arizona State University before starting a successful advertising agency in Phoenix. His dream of building his own theme park was inspired by a series of visits to Disneyland in the late ‘50s.
     Crandall defied a chorus of skeptical naysayers in forming a board of directors, lining up financing, and then constructing his amusement park south of Papago Park in Tempe. Legend City opened with great fanfare in June, 1963 and ran for 20 years. The park experienced financial challenges early on and Crandall was forced out in 1964. He relocated to Provo where he started his life anew as a developer and businessman.
     In his later years, Louis Crandall assembled and opened one of the greatest printing museums in the world, the Crandall Historical Printing Museum in Provo. The museum features one-of-a-kind exhibits and artifacts that include a working replica of the Gutenberg printing press. Crandall’s family plans to continue operating the museum and is accepting donations at
     While the printing museum became his focus for many years, Crandall never lost his passion for the long-lost amusement park he left behind in Phoenix. His last visit to the Valley was in November 2015, when he attended the opening of a Legend City exhibit at Tempe History Museum.
     Louis Crandall was laid to rest in the Provo East Lawn Cemetery on September 17, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners.
     Crandall’s eldest child Janie said of her father, “We are very proud of our dad's accomplishments. He loved people and wanted to make people happy. He was also a wonderful dad.”

                                         Christown Spectrum celebration quite a gas
                                                                                                                        By J. Beaver

     Things got decidedly groovy over at Christown Spectrum Mall in September as the ageless Phoenix shopping center celebrated its 55thbirthday with an elaborate ‘60s-themed bash.
     Approximately 300 celebrants showed up for the fab three-hour event, which was imbued with a highly nostalgic atmosphere designed to hearken back to the mall’s first decade of existence in the 1960’s. Apparently, after many years of ignoring Christown’s rich history, the mall’s management has finally discovered the value of nostalgia as an effective promotional device.
     The RAVE, a totally boss local ‘60s retrospective rock band, took the stage in the old Court of Fountains and performed a slew of classic tunes from back in the day including “All My Loving,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “California Girls,” and “I’m Henery the VII, I Am.” The well-executed live performances of ‘60s standards made more than a few nostalgic attendees wish they could still stroll down the mall to Bill’s Records to purchase the discs for themselves.
     Management decorated the walls of the mall with an excellent selection of vintage photos of the old Chris-Town Center dating back to its opening in 1961 and prominently placed a towering birthday cake comprised of colorful balloons in the Fountain Court just inside the main entrance. Just outside the mall, a beautifully preserved Volkswagen bus from the early ‘60s provided a nice photo op for party guests. Totally freaky.
     The nostalgic character of the birthday fest was further enhanced by a variety of retro happenings including a hula-hoop contest, psychedelic pixel painting, “far out arts and crafts,” face painting, and a balloon twisting class. A photographer was on hand to take free “hippie photos” for attendees and a drawing was held for three “outta sight” prizes, which included stays at local resorts. As the gathering sang “Happy Birthday” to Christown, mall employees distributed large quantities of chocolate and white birthday cake.
     Present at the festivities was local writer John Bueker, popularly known as the “Not Particularly Hip Historian,” who used the occasion to announce the disappointing news that his highly anticipated book on Chris-Town Mall would not be forthcoming after all.
     “Arcadia Publishing basically changed their minds,” Bueker said quietly as he munched on chocolate birthday cake in front of Costco. “They suddenly decided they needed the mall to pre-purchase an ungodly number of books before we could move forward, and that just wasn’t going to happen. Bummer, man.”


On the INSIDE: Editorials A2 / Entertainment A3 / Nostalgia A4 / Crossword A5


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