Saturday, April 06, 2013

Cypress Gardens in the 1950's

Florida's Cypress Gardens (near Winterhaven) is gone forever, turned into a Legoland. Legos are great, but I wish we still had Cypress Gardens! Let's go back in time and check it out.

A pith-helmeted master of ceremonies yucks it up with the water skiers as a crowd looks on (circa 1956). You won't see anything like this in Michigan! Even though this is the mid-50's, the women have sort of a 1940's glamour girl appearance to them.

Here's one for the ladies! Circa 1957-ish. Some people wear capes (me), others wear giant kites. I don't judge. Presumably this fellow was actually going to be towed behind a speedboat until he became airborne; in the days before parasails and hang gliders, this must have been a pretty spectacular sight.

Nothing says "family entertainment" like half-naked men and women! The strawberry blonde on the left has my attention. Dad agrees, we must come to Cypress Gardens every summer.


Melissa said...

I didn;t realize LEGOLand was on the old Cypress Gardens site. You learn something new every day!

Nanook said...

Hubba, hubba-!

PsySocDisney said...

Nice refreshing post today, lots of beauties :) That young man listened to Edna Mode when she said "No capes!" You have to wonder if it was a man or a woman behind that camera haha.

Ben Myers said...

If you are a fan of Cypress Gardens, chcek out the Blu-ray release of the movie "This Is Cinerama". Probably the best record of the way things were in the heyday of the Gardens!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, Legoland is part of the secret government that actually runs the world.

Nanook, you speak fluent hubbanese!

PsySocDisney, the photographer seemed to prefer the ladies, so I assumed it was a man, but you never know!

Ben Myers, I have heard references to "This Is Cinerama" several times in comments, I guess I really do need to see it. Maybe it is on YouTube... I'll check it out. Of course it is always better to see those kinds of things on the big screen, but YouTube is better than nothing.

Melissa said...

Cypress Gardens was also the setting of the "Aquatic Wizards" short featured on MST3K.

Nancy said...

I think it would have been so cool to see this place. Every time I see or hear of it makes me think of The Ed Sullivan Show, who had acts like this on when he did his Florida shows. :-D

Thanks for these cool pix!

Todd J. Pierce said...

Even Cypress Gardens was elegant back in the 1950s. Sigh. When I lived in Florida--in the 1990s--Cypress Gardens was the amusement park for retired people. Seriously, that was their angle. Lots of 1940s and 1950s displays. I think grandparents were supposed to take their grandkids there.

JG said...

Yes, we must go, EVERY summer.