Krofft’s world had short life

Q: You recently detailed the Funtown amusement park. In the Omni Hotel, many years ago, there was an amusement park. Do you know what happened to it and what is up there now?

—Stan Citron, Atlanta

A: Atlanta has long been a city of change, but the World of Sid and Marty KrofFt must have set a record for brevity.

It came and was gone with the wind in the span of six months inside what we now know as the CNN Center.

We’ve been on a ride of closed, but not forgotten, amusement parks.

I profiled one earlier this year that flourished on the land where Ponce City Market now stands, and last week, wrote about Funtown, which was on Stewart Avenue in the 1960s.

The World of Sid and Marty Krofft, which opened in May 1976, was a funky, colorful and multilevel wonderland.

If you missed the 1960s and ’70s, brothers Sid and Marty Krofft were former puppeteers known for their imagination and odd characters. They created rides for Six Flags and had several TV shows, including “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost.”

The Omni International – as the CNN Center was called then — had just opened and the Kroffts were asked to create a theme park.

A long escalator took visitors to “a land that we had never been to,” Sid Krofft told Creative Loafing in 2003.

There was a human pinball machine, the signature Crystal Carousel, which floated on air, and various themed areas. Strangely costumed performers wandered throughout the park.

Unlike now, downtown wasn’t a destination in those days, and the area around the Omni was sketchy, at best. Inside, tickets were considered too expensive and the rides often didn’t work.

Attendance fell way short of projections. By November, losing money was no longer an option.

The park closed on Nov. 7, 1976, and the space was practically unused until CNN moved into the building and turned the area into broadcast studios in the mid-1980s.

One ride remains. If you buy a ticket for the Inside CNN Studio Tour, you can enjoy the escalator that used to take guests to the Krofft’s unique world.

ExploreLearn more: Though an epic failure, The World of Sid & Marty Krofft is recalled with fondness