View Full Version : History of PKI

08-18-2002, 02:51 PM
I have some questions about the history of Paramount's Kings Island.

1. What family/company owned Paramount's Kings Island before Paramount bought it.

2. What was the fisrt roller coaster that Paramount added to the park?

08-18-2002, 03:28 PM
1. Kings Entertainment
2. The Bat (I think)

08-18-2002, 06:12 PM
1. Taft
2. FoF(Top Gun was already planned when Paramount bought the park and wanted to give it a movie name. It was supposedly originally going to be called Son Of Bat).

Ler Llama
08-20-2002, 10:33 AM
I had posted the following in a previous thread a year or so ago:

In another thread, the question was raised about the amusement parks that were owned and/or operated by Taft. I have put together a brief history as I know it, and if I have any information wrong (stands a chance) or missing (stands a very good chance), please let me know. Thanks.

The Taft Broadcasting Company of Cincinnati began as owner and operators of radio and television stations. In 1957, Taft entered into the production and distribution business with the purchase of Hanna-Barbera Productions. Both Hanna and Barbera continued on with the company. Later, Taft also acquired Ruby Spears and World Vision.

Taft entered into another realm of the entertainment business in 1969 with the purchase of the Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati. Soon after, Taft announced that 1,600 acres had been purchased north of Cincinnati and would be home to the new Kings Island amusement park. Coney Island saw itís last season in 1971, and Kings Island opened in 1972. Many of the rides at Coney Island, including Turnpike, the Log Flume, the Carousel, the Tumble Bug, Monster, Scrambler, Giant Slide, Round Up, Flying Scooter, Galaxi, Sky Ride Rotor, Cuddle Up and Dodgem were moved to Kings Island. (coneyislandpark.com)

This was followed with the opening of Kings Dominion in 1975. The Kings Dominion theme park was opened by Family Leisure Centers, a joint venture between Top Value Enterprises and Taft Broadcasting Company. The Family Leisure Center's joint venture was dissolved and Kings Dominion became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Taft Broadcasting Company in 1980. (kingsdominion.com)

In 1981, Canadaís Wonderland opened. Taft Broadcasting was an original investor in this theme park.

In 1983, Senior executives with Taft Broadcasting purchased the theme park division of Taft and formed Kings Entertainment Company (KECO) with Kings Dominion, Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, Kings Island in Cincinnati, OH, and Canada's Wonderland in Toronto, Ontario. This leaves Taft Broadcasting with just itís stations division and production & distribution division.

In 1985, after Santa Clara purchase Great America from Marriott, KECO is recruited to manage the park, resulting in a five-year contract that included an option for KECO to buy Great America, an option that was exercised in 1985 (pgathrills.com)

In 1989, Taft Broadcasting is reincorporated as Great American Broadcasting.

In 1992, Turner purchases Great Americanís production and distribution arm, including Hanna-Barbera (and I believe Ruby Spears?). World Vision Distribution was purchased by Spelling, who was then purchased by Viacom, Paramountís parent company (it kinda comes around full circle). Great Amercanís broadcasting stations is reorganized as Citicasters, which is merged with Clear Channel.

1993, KECO is acquired by Paramount, giving them ownership and/or management of Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Great America, and Canadaís Wonderland.

(Sidenote: I know that Carowinds opened in 1973 and was originally owned by E. Pat Hall. I donít know when Taft and/or KECO began its affiliation with Carowinds)

08-21-2002, 02:52 AM
It wasn't going to b called Son of Bat... Its original name was going to be Swoops and I know this because there was a sign advertising it near the old Wild Animal monorail back in late '92 shortly before the end of the year. it also explains why that particular Top Gun isn't an inverted like the rest of the TG's.

02-06-2006, 08:08 PM
The affiliation of Carowinds with Taft started in very late 1974/ early 1975.

02-06-2006, 08:11 PM
Did you know that this thread is about 3 1/2 years old? Necro posting!

02-06-2006, 08:35 PM
No, I didn't look at the date.

02-07-2006, 12:25 AM
Does it matter?
Its an interesting thread.
Kinda funny... if somone had tried to post a new thread about this they would be ragged and told "hey theres already a thread about this, USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION!!!!" But if somone usees the search function and posts on a old thread they are necro posting! HOW STUPID!
Its like a rock and a hard place around here!
Lighten up guys! Stop being so dag gum cyber!

02-07-2006, 02:06 AM
^^Cannonballer has a point, but I just took it as a joke. It is an interesting thread though. I would like to see if there is anymore input following its ressurection. I did not knwo that all of those rides had come from Coney Island. That is very cool! A lot are still there!

02-07-2006, 06:03 AM
^^Cannonballer has a point, but I just took it as a joke. It is an interesting thread though. I would like to see if there is anymore input following its ressurection. I did not knwo that all of those rides had come from Coney Island. That is very cool! A lot are still there!
We are talking Coney Island in Cinncinati rights? I thought when Kings Island moved adn was renamed Coney Island was demolished! I guess I was wrong.

Sandy W
02-07-2006, 08:34 AM
Hi I am putting my two cents worth in. I am glad that this thread was found. I love reading park History. When I first visited PKI back in 1977 yep you read that date right. I was still in CT and Taft had the then new Kings Island. I have somewheres some really funny postcards of the old rides. I do know they were once at the old site which Coney Island at the present in Cincy still operates till this day. I love Sun-Lite pool. Its nice not to have a two hour wait to ride. Coney is a good alternative stop. PKI was named Coney Island as was stated earlier. They got tired of being flooded by the Ohio River. Which if you visit Coney you will see a mark on one of the buildings telling you this is where the water came up to. I did not know the timeline of the purchase of the company and when Paramount came into play. I appreciate the dates and info. I enjoyed working a few seasons there and am glad to just relax and visit now.

02-07-2006, 10:00 AM

This may be slightly off topic but this is the link to Coney Island history and how Kings Island was created. It is interesting how Coney Island refused to die even after all these years.