David Gillian first came to Ocean City in 1914. He has probably spent more time on Ocean City's Boardwalk than any other living individual. His first job was playing the trap drums in the orchestra at C. Elwood Carpenter's Dance Club, sometimes called the Casino. It was located over the Moorlyn Theater on the old Boardwalk.
In 1917, Mr. Gillian transferred to the Hippodrome, Ocean City's largest pier. Here he played with Robin Robinson's Orchestra. The Hippodrome was a variety pier with movies, vaudeville, dancing and amusements for children. At the close of the summer seasons, the Gillian Family always returned to Philadelphia where Mr. Gillian played with hotel orchestras.
The October 1927 fire in Ocean City destroyed the Hippodrome and changed Mr. Gillian's career. The pier was never rebuilt and when the burned boardwalk was replaced in 1928 there were few amusements. David Gillian decided in 1930 that it was an opportune time to open a Fun Deck at Plymouth Place and the Boardwalk. It's to main attractions were a Ferris Wheel and a Merry-Go-Round. Little did he realize at the time that he would live long enough to be able to donate a horse from that Merry-Go-Round to the Ocean City Historical Museum in honor of his 100th birthday in 1990.
The Gillian family is now celebrating over 70 years on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Thanks to the hard work of David Gillian in 1930, Bob and Roy Gillian at the Fun Deck from 1957-1977, and now Roy Gillian with his three children; Jim, Steve, and Jay continue to provide safe family fun. They, along with their wonderful full-time staff, continually strive to create an atmosphere with a personal touch for every guest that visits the piers.
In the future, the fourth generation of Gillian's including Jim's children: Ryan and Lauren, Steve's children: Ashley, Christine and Tyler, and Jay's children: Joshua, Emily and Noah, will be watching their fathers' and grandfather's success in the amusement industry while getting themselves prepared to continue a family business that has put smiles on so many peoples faces. With the Gillian Family continuing to grow, the future will hold many new and exciting adventures and we hope that you and your family will be there with us.
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021 at 7:00pm Eastern Time
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021 at 8:00pm Eastern Time
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern Time
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