Bedrock City

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Bedrock City, the kitschy little theme park in Custer, South Dakota, was created in 1966 by a coalition of local concrete makers.

Now, artist/photographer Todd Oldham has discovered the park’s inner coolness. Oldham has been creating a series of art books, called Place Space, devoted to unusual environments, covering a variety of subjects – from John Waters quirky Baltimore home to the creative living spaces of art students at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Ammo Books has just released Oldham’s latest, Bedrock City, a collection of photographs of the funky stone age recreation area with an essay (wrapped around the book on the poster/dust jacket) by architect/designer Michael Graves.

This book isn’t for everyone. It’s an art book that’s a piece of art in of itself, but the subject matter is a lot of fun (the book even comes with a set of souvenir postcards). Recommended to all sophisticated Flintstone connoisseurs out there.
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Oh, and if minimalist books about the citizens of Bedrock turn you on… I’ve got another one in the works I’ll be telling you more about in a few months.


  • http://vincemascolianimation.blogspot.com Vince

    I’ve totally been there! I was like 6 or something when I went, but I remember! Awesome!

  • Nic Kramer

    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! That looks like a good book and I can’t wait for your new book about the modern stone age family, Jerry.

  • http://voyagesextraordinaires.blogspot.com Cory Gross

    There used to be a pair of Bedrock Cities in British Columbia, one in Kelowna and one in Chiliwack, that I went to frequently in my youth. They were actually quite decent little theme parks with only a handful of real attractions (train, canoes, pedal-carts, mini-golf) but wonderfully realizing the big attraction of replicating the world of the Flintstones.

    Mind you, they looked a lot better than the one being discussed here…

  • Joe Rockhead

    Jerry, your books are always fabulous and I will most likely pick this one up too… but is it possible to have someone create a new cover using the classic Flintstone models? The 70′s “stock promo” shots on there now are far from appealling. There HAS to be someone out there that can do it justice! Anyway, can’t wait to see it.

  • Stephen deStefano

    oh Man! I loved Bedrock City! Storyboard artist/director Pete Avonzino and I went there, like 15 years ago, and it’s killer.
    And by killer, I mean, in a bad way. But definitely in an entertaining way. And I bought some swell Flintstones glass tumblers while I was there, which I still find pretty spiffy….

  • http://miehana.blogspot.com/ Kevin Kidney

    Oooh, this is the kinda stuff I love. Can’t wait!

  • Chris M

    I DON’T KNOW IF I WOULD HAVE CLASSIFIED OLDHAM AS AN ARTIST/PHOTGRAPHER. HE’S ACTUALLY A DESIGNER WHO STARTED IN FASHION AND FIRST CAME INTO THE PUBLIC EYE ON MTV’S HOUSE OF STYLE. HE ALSO PUT TOGETHER THE EXCELLENT CHARLEY HARPER:AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE BOOK WHICH NOONE SHOULD(AND I MEAN NOONE WHO’S SERIOUS ABOUT DESIGN OR ART FOR THAT MATTER) PASS UP. FOR THAT HE GETS HIGH KUDOS FROM ME.

  • http://tsutpen.blogspot.com Stephen Cooke

    I went to the Kelowna version of Bedrock when I was quite young (early ’70s) and have fond memories of being photographed in Fred’s car and going inside some of the homes to see dioramas with large statues of the characters. I think I might even still have a felt banner and a poster around here somewhere…

    They even had a mini drive-in theatre, sort of like the one in the show’s credits, where they would project episodes of the shows just after dusk (I believe there was an adjoining campground). Last I heard, the place had been bulldozed (Wikipedia says the Kelowna Bedrock was leveled and turned into a strip mall and multiplex, while the one in Chiliwack had to change its name to “Dinotown” due to licensing restraints courtesy of Time-Warner).

  • John A

    That is a beautiful photo. Although the two Freds in the picture makes me think that one of them must be a space alien double.

  • OliverB

    I have an old Teenbeat mag from Germany circa ’66 with a Byrds cover that features a real cool and way mod fashion color photo shoot of Bedrock City in the back with these swingin’ dolly birds dressed in cave woman garb. The article runs 3-4 pages and I was shocked at how amazing the place looks and wish I could’ve visited in it’s heyday! I’ll check out the book for sure…

  • http://geritopiablogspot.com Professor Widebottom

    There’s a Flintstone Bedrock City at the Grand Canyon. Only 5 bucks. I wonder if those stone tv’s are digital upgradeable?

    Who cares about a stinkin’ canyon’s natural wonders when you can divert all your focus into a Hanna Barbera world made flesh!

  • http://portapuppets.does.it uncle wayne

    Oooooooo!!! Makes me wanna go there NOW (& just for the souvie store!) Too bad we can’t order some goodies “online!” Thank You (and Mr. Slate, too!)

  • http://classicshowbiz.blogspot.com Kliph

    I was under the impression that there were only five, maybe six, of these parks in all of North America. Kelowna BC, Chilliwack BC, South Dakota, Arizona, Calgary Alberta, and maybe one in Minnesota?

    I picked up a few oversized buttons commemorating the Chilliwack Bedrock City at the Vancouver flea market. I went to the one in Kelowna six or seven times as a child. The theatre that showed Flintstone cartoons on the big screen was indoors, and as I recall, showed episodes non-stop whenever the park was open.

  • http://poptique.blogspot.com/ Poptique

    I drove past the Arizona Bedrock City twice on a road trip across America four years ago, but because we were late leaving the Grand Canyon – and the whole thing was a detour from Route 66 anyway – my brother refused to stop.

    Since he was driving at the time I decided not to commender the wheel – looks like I should have…

  • Jess

    @ Professor
    Ha! I remember visiting that place on a Grand Canyon vacation as a kid. They had a metal slide on the back of a brontosaurus that you could glide down like Fred in the opening credits. Too bad the Arizona sun heated that thing liken an oven!

    My dad also always promised to take me camping at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park – but sadly, that trip never materialized.

  • http://www.generalcritic.com Geoff

    As a kid I visited both the Custer park and the one in Kelowna, BC. I remember my family thought at the time that the one in BC was much nicer — more lush and green, but then the whole Okanagan Valley is like that. The one in Custer seemed dry and dusty, with scraggly character costumes.

    I don’t remember there being one in Calgary, but I do know the Calaway Park theme park licensed the H-B characters for a while.

  • Buzz Buzzard

    We went to the one in SD in the early 70s. It sucked! Mount Rushmore is nearby and is much cooler.