Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marineland, California - 1967

"Marineland of the Pacific", in beautiful Palos Verdes, was a wonderful place to visit. It opened in 1954 (pre-dating Disneyland), and closed in 1987.

I'm not sure when this 414-foot tower was added, but it was a landmark for many years (and continued standing until 1995). As you can imagine, it provided spectacular views from the top. The gondola appears to have been a double-decker.

The next two shots are from the gondola as it ascended the tower. There are lots of differnt smaller water tanks at ground-level. In the lower left you can see the zig-zagging ramp that led spectators up to seats to the largest aquariums; I believe that you could view these through plexiglass windows from the lower levels.

You can see some apparatus that was used for performances by seals, while at least one smaller side tank has a dolphin (or porpoise?) in it. I think I even see the ring that was set on fire and swung out over the water for a death-defying stunt dolphin to jump through.


TokyoMagic! said...

Those poor animals, being held in small tanks like that....or any tanks for that matter!

I remember riding in that double decker observation car.....and the windows weren't even etched with people's initials!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great shots from the Tower, especially since there’s no was I would ever ride in it!

That large Oval shaped tank was the one I got to swim in (in 1978) for a time they actually let guests put on wetsuits (too tight fyi) and get in that tank! Total peer pressure made me do it, I lasted about 3 minutes and swam right back out!

The Tower remained until 1995?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I thought the same thing when I looked at those pictures. I don't mind seeing smaller fish in a place like the Monterey Aquarium, but dolphins, pilot whales and seals stuck in those little tanks just seems cruel.

VDT, I assume you were swimming with dolphins or something? I'm sure some people would love it, but I wouldn't want to do it!

Connie Moreno said...

This is a great day - many happy memories for me! I loved going to Marineland with my dad and was fortunate enough to take my own son several times. Thanks for posting these pics!

Katella Gate said...

In Marineland's defense, this was a very early marine park, if not the first. The social and mental needs of these animals weren't really appreciated until later. When they were, parks changed their design.

As for animal captivity in general; I have a captive animal (a Pomeranian dog), who lives in a cage (my house), who I force feed food not of his choosing (select dog food), who I force to undergo medical treatment (he sees the vet), all the while denying him his natural interaction with other species (hawks, wolves, and fleas) while dulling his natural instinct with unnatural social interactions (human love.)

I wish somebody would make me their pet.

Connie Moreno said...

Katella, LOL! Good one!

Major Pepperidge said...

Katella, I know you are correct about Marineland; I remember a zoo that my family went to when I was a kid living in Virginia. Cement floors, iron bars. That's it! So sad.

However, many of today's zoos are pretty amazing. And as for pets, my sister and her husband just got a dog and a cat from the local animal shelter; those animals won the lottery! Food, love, and attention for the rest of their lives.

JG said...

I went to marineland once, early 60's. Agree that the old zoos were awful. Fresno Zoo was much Major described at that time too. Sad as it is for individual animals, remember that these Parks created learning an knowledge that is helping save these animals.

And I would gladly change places w/ my cat.


sshark said...

The tower was installed in 1965.