Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Devlin Family Goes to Marineland

We've enjoyed many vintage photos of Disneyland from the Devlin family; and while those are done, I have more photos from other SoCal attractions from them! Like today's selection from Marineland of the Pacific, circa 1964.

Great leapin' dolphins! Actually that appears to be a pilot whale; the short-finned variety, if you must know. One of Marineland's premier stars was "Bubbles", presumably this is her, jumping gracefully for a sardine just the way I would. 

Marineland opened in 1954, and was built on the beautiful Palos Verdes peninsula. If you could have somehow looked in the opposite direction, you'd see the Pacific Ocean - one of my "Top 20" oceans. I have fond memories of going there; what kid doesn't like marine mammals? 

OK, now THAT'S a dolphin. Or is it a porpoise? I can never tell. As you can see, this dolphin (?) is leaping through the Flaming Hoop of Death. After 15 or 20 jumps, the dolphin was cooked to a nice medium rare, and was served with soy sauce and wasabi. Dee-lish! 

I guess it was perfectly OK for guests to wander into the empty stadium to see the critters up close. Either that, or each of these children is a hardened criminal with no respect for the rules. Among the children are Patrick and Mary (Pat's sort of hard to see), while the two boys to the right are Tom and Mike. 

Marineland closed in 1987.

Thanks to the Devlin family for sharing these sunny photos of Marineland!


Nanook said...


"Top 20" oceans-? Well, who knew there were so many-! I can see the Devlin Family 'photographer' clearly shot more images of their visits to Marineland than did our family, in spite of our visits beginning in the 1950's. It's nice to see these views of Bubbles and her pals.

So Major, let me see if I've got this straight... are you accusing the Devlin offspring of associating with or actually being hardened criminals-?? I had a teacher in grammar school who liked to throw around such phrases when her charges were becoming unruly...

Thanks again to the Devlins for sharing, and it's nice to hear all have been successfully rehabilitated-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Well, I was going to start my comment by saying that Bubbles is still alive, but then I thought I better confirm that fact first. Unfortunately, I came across an article stating that she passed away just last month. Sigh! I won't go into my rant on how Sea World bought Marineland and lied about how they were going to renovate it and keep it open, only to close it quickly and permanently. OR how they really only bought Marineland to obtain the mammals for their own park in San Diego. OR how not all of the mammals survived the move down south. I will say that I am enjoying seeing more of the Devlin Family's photos! Thank you again, for sharing with us! And rest in peace, Bubbles! :-(

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

I don't wish to 'burst your bubble' [ouch-!}, but evidently the Bubbles who recently died was actually Bubbles #3. She was captured in 1966 @ 3 years old, and is the one who left Marineland in 1987 to head southward. #1 was captured in 1957. (I can't find any info on Bubbles #2).

And not unsurprisingly, at least the publicity dept. @ Sea World was unaware of the existence of the original two Bubbles.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks, Nanook! So I wonder if the Bubbles in today's photo was Bubbles #1 or Bubbles #2? That makes me even sadder to know that three pilot whales have died while in captivity. I should have known that they would have just kept replacing them and giving them the same name. After Sea World bought Marineland and moved it's killer whales (Orky and Corky) to Sea World, they renamed one (or both) of them Shamu. That whole history including the name changes is confusing and even more depressing when you read how many babies they had (which is the reason Sea World wanted them) and how many have died in infancy....including one that Corky was pregnant with when they moved her from Marineland to Sea World.

K. Martinez said...

Love these vintage shots of Marine World. Also like the soothing colors of the last image. Thank you Devlin Family for this side excursion to Marineland of the Pacific. Its like a Southern California vacation in the sixties. Thank you too, Major.

DrGoat said...

Great pics. Looks like the Devlins went to all the places my
parents used to bring us on summer vacation in the 50s-60s.
Two days in Disneyland, one day in Knotts and a day in Marineland.
A few days on the beach and back to Tucson to 105 degree days.
Great memories.

Unknown said...

Man, you guys know everything! So when they moved the animals South did they just release them into the ocean and have the trainers run along the beach with mackerels heading them along?

And I'm only leaning back in that last shot 'cause my parole officer told me to be inconspicuous if I left the San Diego area...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Patrick for sharing these pics. My one and only visit to Marineland was about this time and remains only the vaguest of memories. These views jog it a little bit, for sure. Especially the mountains in the background seem kind of familiar somehow. I remember little portholes in the tank too, but that's about it.


Monkey Cage Kurt said...

For me the real heartbreak is seeing how lovely and sparsely populated the rolling hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula were back then. It’s a bit of a dump now, but I did always enjoy visiting it nonetheless.

I was born this year (64), so it must’ve been a few years later that I received my very obscure memories of being there and looking through the big glass windows and seeing all the rays and fish and whatnots. Still must’ve been sometime in the 60s though.

Nice bit of Sothern CA history, thanks Devlin Family!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Palos Verdes in the 60s-70s and visited Marineland a lot as a kid. There were 2 big "tanks" - one for the whale/dolphin show and another with a large variety of marine species in it. Around both of the tanks were different levels you could view into, although the whale/dolphin tank wasn't that interesting below, but the general tank was. One of the shows was the feeding in the general tank - a worker would enter with a diving outfit - I believe just an air helmet - and they would bring in food for the different sorts of marine life.

At some point in the 70s, Irwin Allen set up something special at Marineland, but I never went to that. The Palos Verdes art association also used to hold a summer fund raiser around the peninsula and one year the "Art for Fun(d)s Sake" was held at Marineland - that was approx. 1970. There was a restaurant that lasted past the end of Marineland - it was used for wedding receptions and a lot of films shot scenes on the grounds after the closure for the coastal view - my brother was a grip and worked on "Con-Air" that filmed some of the helicopter shots there. My mother was pretty livid about what Sea World did.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Side note: Did you guys know that the fort (Fort Charles) at Port Royal from Curse of the Black Pearl film was built and filmed on that site years later?

TokyoMagic! said...

Kurt (may I call you Kurt?), They also filmed one of the Charlie's Angels movies on that site. I didn't realize that the tanks and other buildings remained on the property for a couple decades after the park closed. I only realized it when an article was written about how they were finally being torn down. I can understand why "Anonymous'" mother would have been upset....not only at the closure, but probably at the constant reminder left behind of what Sea World had done and what used to be.

By the way, did anyone visit the park in the late seventies or early eighties when the Hanna-Barbera characters were being used? Somewhere I have a picture of my family posing with a walk-around Yogi Bear and Hong Kong Phooey. There was even a walk-around Jabber Jaws!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

TokyoMagic!, Yes, Kurt is fine, it is my name. I will say though it’s hard to type “TokyoMagic!” what with there being no gap and the exclamation mark and all. Spell-check is a real pain about it at times. I’ll get over it though. It’s not like I’m typing your name all the time or anything. BTW: How did you come up with that one anyway?

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great photos, thanks for sharing. I remember our last family trip to Marineland the crowds were pretty sparce (just a year or so before it closed).

For years after the parking lot was open. When I first learned to scuba dive we would park in the old Marineland lot, walk down the hill and go in right off the rocky beach below the park. Popular spot for several years until the area got redeveloped.

Chuck said...

Kurt - I just call him "TM!" It's easy for me to remember since I always shout trademarks anyway.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, people always forget about a bunch of the oceans, but trust me, there are over 20! I’m not saying that the Devlin kids are hardened criminals… maybe they just fell in with a bad crowd.

TokyoMagic!, I knew that there had been several Bubbles whales, just as there have been many Shamus. And I remember reading that the last one died recently. I ate an anchovy in her honor (and I don’t like anchovies). The whole Sea World/Marineland thing was such a horrible situation.

Nanook, you could always tell Bubbles #2 by the twinkle in her eye, and her catch phrase, “Smell ya later!” (cue laugh track).

TokyoMagic!, as a kid I had fun visiting both Sea World and Marineland, but I have to admit that it makes me sad to see these intelligent mammals kept in small tanks, performing tricks over and over. It sounds like public opinion is swaying Sea World to become more of an amusement park, without the orcas and other animals.

K. Martinez, I also like the coral and aqua combination - very 50’s and great.

DrGoat, wow, sounds like you had some great trips! Only once in my life have I ever gone to Disneyland two days in a row, though I wanted to do it more.

Patrick Devlin, if you are ever on Jeopardy! and have a “Famous Marine Mammals” category, you are going to win big money!

JG, the thing I remember most about Marineland (besides the leaping whales and dolphins) is buying an abalone shell filled with other seashells. I loved those things!

MonkeyCageKurt, that is often my reaction to looking at vintage photos of just about anywhere. Even if it’s a city, by 2016 it will often have lost its charm. I have a few slides looking in those glass windows you mention, but they are very dark - you can barely make out the critters in the water.

Anonymous, I remember the divers feeding the animals, that was one of my favorite things. And it made me think that it was the coolest job! I have a vintage souvenir guidebook from Marineland that pictures one of those divers, and I believe you are correct, it was just a helmet to provide air. No wet suit required. I think they used the old Marineland site for some MTV Spring Break shenanigans at one point.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I did NOT know that!

TokyoMagic!, like you, I was surprised to discover that they derelict facilities remained standing for many years after Marineland closed. Such a waste. Thanks, Harcourt, Brace, and Javonovich! I think it’s odd that so many parks felt the need to adopt unrelated cartoon characters (Warner Bros. stars, Hanna Barbera, Garfield, etc). As a kid I thought that it JUST WASN’T RIGHT!

Monkey Cage Kurt, I am disappointed that you did not tell TokyoMagic! that “Kurt” is your name, and to please not wear it out. But life is full of disappointments, isn’t it?! ;-)

Chuck, you are the king of abbreviation!

TokyoMagic! said...

Kurt, you can just call me T.M. or Tokyo if you want. I'll know that you are addressing me. I realize that it is not an easy name to type quickly. I came up with it after I had fallen in love with Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. When I wanted to start my own blog (after being inspired by Major P.!) and I needed to come up with a user name, I was inspired by some of the names that the Tokyo Disney parks have used for their parades, shows and attractions. They have had several that include an exclamation point at the end....or even in the middle of the title. Just like the store, "BIG!LOTS".

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I agree with you. As a kid, it was fun to visit Marineland. But as I got older and thought more about the actual animals, I was disgusted by the whole idea. I do realize that the mammals can't be released into the wild at this point, but I will be glad when (and if) Sea World actually follows through on their promise to phase out the performances. We'll have to see.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

Yes: BIG!LOTS. How totally goofy; but you gotta give 'em credit for originality, no matter how grammatically oddball.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

So is it Big!Lots or BigLots!? Seems like I’ve seen it both ways. When all’s said and done though I still miss Pic’n Save.

TokyoMagic! said...

Kurt, when they first appeared on the scene, it was BIG!LOTS. I've noticed over the years, it seems like they have slowly changed their signage and logo to BIGLOTS! and even BIG LOTS! I also miss Pic 'N' Save!

And yes Nanook, that is totally goofy. Or is that Totally Minnie? Tokyo Disneyland has had a show for years now called, MINNIE OH! MINNIE with the exclamation point in the middle of the title. (And Disneyland had a parade back in the eighties called Totally Minnie....with no exclamation point!)

Anonymous said...

@Major, I always wanted one of those shells full of shells. I'm envious.

We used to visit Morro Bay often when I was a kid, sometimes I got to pick out a shell at the Shell Shop there. I still have many of them in a glass case.

That shop is still there, in the original building and sign. Very retro now.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, your blog name is better than “Gorillas Don’t Blog” by far! Oh how I regret using that dumb name (when I thought I would only post a few times).

TokyoMagic! again, I haven’t been to Sea World since something like 1987, and have never had the desire to return. I do hope that they manage to transform their business model, and thrive.

Nanook, what about BevMo! ??

Monkey Cage Kurt, ah, Pic ’n Save, I still remember buying inexpensive flatware when I first went away to school. Not sure why those stores went away.

TokyoMagic!, meanwhile I have to say that I have been to Big!Lots several times, and am not impressed.

JG, I know exactly which shell shop you are referring to! I visited it just last month, and had to curb my desire to spend way too much money on things that I have no room for. But it is a fun place to go.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

T.M. (feel so hip saying that), I knew it had something to do with Tokyo Disneyland. I’ve only been to Anaheim, but I’ve seen a lot of videos of the others. So Tokyo is your favorite? Is it really that much better than the rest?

Major, I keep waiting for an explanation for the whole “GDB” thing. Somehow I think I missed it at some point and you are reluctant to tell it again. But personally I like the name.

On a Pic‘n Save note: My old girlfriend and I used to go to Pic‘n Save all the time. We called it “the date place to be” or just Pic’n Save dates. We always had fun there.

K. Martinez said...

Wow! Its been active on here today! I second what Monkey Cage Kurt said. "Gorilla's Don't Blog" is a great name! Once I saw the name I never forgot it.

TokyoMagic! said...

Kurt, yes...those are my favorite two Disney parks. And in my opinion, they really are better than our parks. They aren't owned by Disney, so I think that is why they are superior. I have a sentimental attachment to Disneyland in Anaheim, just because it is the park that I grew up with it, but it has been painful to watch them destroy it over the years. My annual pass was up for renewal two months ago and after 11 years of renewing, I decided to let it expire!

Major, I also think "Gorillas Don't Blog" is a great name. It's original, and it's true! They really don't blog. But I don't think it's because they don't want to.

Mark H. Besotted said...

Myself, I'd like this blog 2.7% more if the title were "Gorillas!Don't!Blog!"

Also, I haven't yet had to reply to Monkey Cage Kurt personally, but I plan to call him MC Kurt.

"Yo, I'm MC Kurt, and I'm here to say,
We gotta thank the Major every day!"

Chuck said...

"Gorillas Don't Blog" is such a catchy name that, once I discovered the site, my then-6-year-old son actually came up with a song he would sing every time he saw me on the site. It was really just singing the name over and over again, but it was so darned catchy that it still runs through my head about a quarter of the times I visit. And now this is one of those times.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Now I want to hear that song so bad, Chuck!

TM! I didn’t know those parks were not Disney owned. How the heck did that work out? I can’t even imagine a scenario were Disney would relinquish that much control.

Mark: Yes “MC Kurt” I get that now and then. Makes me sound so gangsta. And I almost always think of the Sugarhill Gang when I hear it.

Anonymous said...

@Major, that's so cool.

I've recently been able to resume trips to Morro Bay/San Luis Obispo after almost 30 years away. It was so neat to see how many old landmarks were still in place.

@Chuck, you must make a recording of this so Major can have it play when you open the website.

@MC Kurt, that is an awesome screen name.

Cheers all.