Steel Pier featured many entertainment attractions, such as The Diving Bell, The Water Circus, The Marine Ballroom, Movie Theatres, The General Motors Exhibit, Midway Games, Tony Grant’s Stars of Tomorrow and the famous Diving Horse.
The Steel Pier has a long and colorful history. It was once considered the greatest entertainment venue in the United States. First opened to the public in 1898, Steel Pier originally debuted as a theater, but expanded to include attractions, rides, and corporate exhibits.
Steel Pier featured every great entertainer of their day from Frank Sinatra to Al Jolson to The Beatles. Steel Pier truly was the “Showplace of the Nation.”Steel Pier and The Diving Horse were featured in a Disney movie titled, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. This was the story of Sonia Carver and her life as a rider on the Famous Diving Horses.
The Steel Pier has been rebuilt many times over its history, including once by Mayor Bader, whose name has been made famous by the recent HBO Series, Boardwalk Empire. Steel Pier featured many colorful showmen owners, such as Frank Gravatt, George Hamid and Donald Trump.
Trump’s plans for Atlantic City and Steel Pier were never realized. During Trump’s ownership, the Steel Pier was leased to the Catanoso family, who continued the entertainment tradition operating under tumultuous ownership conditions for almost twenty years. In August 2011, the Catanoso family and a group of investors purchased the Steel Pier, its buildings, and the bridge connecting the boardwalk to the Taj Mahal. The Catanoso group has embarked on a multi-year plan to restore the Pier to its former glory and make it once again, “The Showplace of the Nation.”