What began in 1975 as the Fun Fair section of the park, Movietown was for years a collection of miscellaneous flat rides without any discernible theme to it.   The Time Warner ownership of Six Flags brought a new emphasis on cross promoting brands and properties.   Movietown was designed to celebrate the movies and New Jersey's role in the development of the film industry, giving the look and feel of a movie lot, with sets and props from films as part of the scenery for the rides based on movies and moviemaking.


The area that became Movietown was originally the Fun Fair section of the park, added for the 1975 season.   The section was a heavily wooded area with winding paths through the trees, and hosted a collection of flat rides and small coasters that changed through the years.

As the park got away from a strict theme for the section, it became home to the (then) thrilling Lightnin' Loops and Freefall rides as the milder flat rides were slowly retired or moved.   
With the acquisition of the Six Flags chain by Time Warner, an effort was made to bring the "theme" back to the Six Flags Theme Park experience, and the un-themed former Fun Fair area.   The section became Action Town for the 1992 season with the introduction of the Stunt Show Arena.  The Stunt Show Arena was a first for Six Flags chain, and would eventually be replicated in parks from coast to coast.

The existing structures of Action Town were given fresh pain and a bare bones makeover in anticipation of bigger things to come for the following season.
For the 1992 season, Six Flags worked with up and coming coaster manufacturers Bolliger & Mabillard to create Batman The Ride, for Six Flags Great America.  This coaster was revolutionary and really rocked the theme park world.   Six Flags Great America and B&M had a history of creating innovative coasters, first working with INTAMIN creating the Dive Coaster design, and later with innovations on the standup coaster design.

For the 1993 season, they duplicated the experience of Batman the Ride for Six Flags Great Adventure, and added a clone of the ride as part of a conversion of Action Town into Movietown.

As part of the Movietown makeover, existing rides were renamed and re-themed, and new structures were added bringing a new cohesion to the formerly mismatched group of attractions.

One of the new structures added as part of the Movietown makeover was a new restroom building.   As part of the construction of Batman The Ride, the area's only restroom was removed, so a new facility was needed.

The new restroom was built on the opposite side of the section, between the Freefall ride and Showcase Theater.  

To fit the new Movietown theme, the restroom building was given a Moorish look with arches and a barrel tile roof, with a faux entrance at the center and the name "The Blue Parrot" over the door.   The name was a reference to the classic movie Casablanca, which (of course) is a Warner Brothers movie.
An important part of Movietown was the addition of a new shop to sell merchandise related to the Time Warner movies, TV shows and characters, and create the brand synergy that the company was striving for.   Time Warner was following the example of Disney, where parks promote movies, TV shows and characters, while at the same time characters, TV shows, movies and magazines promote the parks.

The Time Warner Gift Boutique sold a wide array of gifts and souvenirs promoting Batman and the Justice League characters, Looney Tunes, and just about any other characters and franchises.   The store had a similar look to the company's Warner Brothers Studio Stores, with a mix of action figures, clothing, plush, and other merchandise. 

The shop also showcased the diversity of entertainment offered by Time Warner and created brand awareness that had been lacking for the company up until that point.


The existing twin restaurant buildings adjacent to the New Batman The Ride coaster were remodeled and re-purposed as part of the Movietown makeover. 

A new patio was created between the two buildings, bringing much needed seating for the restaurants which had been lost in the front of the buildings.

In spring of 1993, the restaurants were still under construction as the new facades were being added and new walls of fake building fronts were constructed to enclose the patio.


The combined restaurants and their accompanying patio were given a unified look with a new marquis entrance, and the new name the HBO Backlot Commissary.   The HBO cable network was another division of the Time Warner family of companies.  

As the spring went on, the new art deco inspired facades took shape, and on the sides, Gotham City inspired facades were created to match the adjoining Batman The Ride scenery and Batman Stunt Show Arena.   The overall look created a juxtaposition of sets just like in a working movie studio.

The new patio area of the HBO Backlot Commissary was decorated with varied props and set pieces to further the feeling of being in a working studio.

The props, set pieces and the new tables and colorful umbrellas created an inviting and interesting place to eat, and relax with the action of the rides happening all around.  

The former patio area for the restaurants was now an open space which allowed clear sightlines for Batman The Ride and the restaurant itself.

Around the Movietown area were several poster cases which promoted Warner Brothers films of the past and present.   Presented here are some of the posters that directly tied into the attractions of Movietown and the rest of the park.   

As new movies were being promoted, new posters like the Batman & Robin poster were added or replaced some of the others.   
As part of Action Town's transition to Movietown, much of the area was overhauled and improved with new plantings, fences and pavement, as well as fresh paint and new names.

A major part of the overhaul involved re-orienting and retheming the existing Scrambler and Looping Starship rides.   The two rides were a part of the loosely themed Old Country area, but with some clever landscaping and movement of the entrances, they were included in Movietown. 

Matching portals were added to the entrances of the section, creating a more defined area.   

The park's existing Freefall ride was renamed Stuntman's Freefall, and was given a fresh coat of paint.   The new industrial dark colors complemented the adjoining Batman Stunt Arena building. 

Theme elements were added to the ride queue with movie posters and descriptions of great stunt sequences from Warner Brothers movies.   The were added to the wall behind the ride which was given an industrial look to match the new colors of the ride itself.
The parks generic Scrambler ride was given a makeover with fresh paint and new fences and signs.   The ride now became the G Force Centrifuge, and was supposed to look like something used by NASA for astronaut training.

The new futuristic and industrial looking fences bore the NASA logo, and turned what is one of the most generic rides found in most parks and fairs into a themed experience.   Rocket parts and other space themed elements were displayed in the surrounding area which served as the entrance to both the Scrambler and the relocated entrance to the Looping Starship.

The newly themed ride entry area used images and hardware from the space program, as well as from the Warner Brothers film The Right Stuff, which would later become a ride of its own.  The space theme elements from the movie created a logical reason for the two flat rides to be included in the new movie themed section of the park.

New fences and landscape plantings reoriented the Looping Starship entrance from Old Country into Movietown, as well as provided enhanced theme to both sections, with the new screen of pine trees and futuristic space age look appropriate to the respective sections.
  The Looping Starship was redubbed Space Shuttle Flight Testing as part of its inclusion with the other Right Stuff/NASA themed elements of Movietown.

The new long entrance was given additional theme elements with large pictures celebrating the space program adorning the industrial looking panels of the fences.  

New lighting and additional themed signage around the Space Shuttle completed the makeover in a cost effective way, which still managed to bring a theme to the formerly oddly placed ride.


The park's second Ferris Wheel, known as the Panorama Wheel or Little Wheel over the years was included in the Movietown conversion, becoming Phileas Fogg's Balloon Ride.   The tie-in was to the Warner Brothers classic film Around the World in Eighty Days. 
The ride got a fresh coat of paint and overall rehab as part of the section makeover.  

The new elaborate sign and re-landscaped queue area gave the ride a new lease on life, and brought increased ridership with the increase in traffic through the section.

The Splashwater Falls ride was given a new name and minimal makeover as part of its inclusion in Movietown.   The ride became the Movietown Water Effect, and was supposed to be a simulation of a special effect wave for a movie production.   The new sign for the ride was a clever construction of PVC pipe which formed an arch over the entry.



Throughout Movietown, theme elements were added all around which further created the unifying look the section had been lacking up until then.   New names, props and scenery brought color and interest to every corner. 

Batman The Ride and the Batman Stunt Show served as anchors to bring the crowds, and the surrounding attractions with their new look and new themes offered people an array of "new" experiences.

Some of the details like the street signs, the "film" fence and the Batmobile in the center of the section really added to the other-worldliness of the section and made it something more than just the amusement area it had previously been.
For the 1994 season, Movietown expanded to include the Skeeball Barn, which became the Studio 28 Arcade.

New shows were brought in to Showcase Theater promoting other Warner Brothers movies.    The movies Maverick and Dennis The Menace were some of Warner Brothers big summer releases that year, so shows were created to help promote the films in the Six Flags parks.
In 1995, additional fake fronts were added to the area next to the Stunt Arena, and a Coca Cola Cool Zone was built.    The Cool Zone offered an opportunity for guests to cool off with mist while purchasing Coke, and was designed to fit the Gotham City look of the adjoining facades and Stunt Arena.

Additional theme elements were added over time as well, with special clap board entertainment signs and more props being brought to the section.

Warner Brothers sold their interest in Six Flags to Premier Parks, which took on the Six Flags name with the acquisition, and things were about to change drastically in Movietown.    To promote the Batman & Robin movie, a new coaster was to be added to the middle of the section.


At the end of the 1996 season removal of Phileas Fogg's Balloon Ride, the Space Shuttle and G Force began.    The Space Shuttle and Scrambler would find new homes as part of the area near the Right Stuff simulator, but the Little Wheel would be removed never to return.  

The new coaster dominated the Movietown area visually, but disappointed with inconsistent operations, debuting almost a year late.

With the addition of Chiller the new Snowy's Snacks was added , and the Time Warner store was renamed Justice League Headquarters.    Other changes to the buildings and queues around the Chiller were also made to accommodate the new ride which took over so much of the real estate in the middle of the section.
 In 1998, a second and much needed restroom facility was added between the Justice League Headquarters and Studio 28 Arcade.
A ladder climb game was added in front of the Gotham City themed wall facing the Stunt Arena during the 2004 season.  

In 2005, the pavement of sections of Movietown which had been covered with generic blacktop received a new bright blue topcoat which made it more welcoming and fitting in a theme park. 

At the end of the 2006 season, the Freefall ride was removed, and then at the end of the 2007 season The Chiller and Movietown Water Effect were removed for the construction of The Dark Knight Coaster, starting the next chapter in the history of Movietown as the park gets back to basic and strives to bring back themed experiences.

This aerial view of the park from January 2008 shows the Movietown section as the Dark Knight Coaster construction is underway.   The former station structure for The Chiller sits next to the new coaster building, its fate unknown at this time.
January 2008 Aerial Photos were provided courtesy of:

Some of the remnants of the great theme elements of the Movietown section still remain after years of decline.   The plaque explaining the significance of New Jersey in the film industry still stands on the remaining portal near Granny's Fried Chicken.

Around the Justice League Headquarters shop, the walk of fame style stars are still in place, though some of the rides they celebrate are long gone.
Then: Now:
As the Fun Fair area of the park, before becoming Action Town and later Movietown In January 2008 as Movietown is transformed with the construction of The Dark Knight