Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Marineland of the Pacific

Today, Steve Stuart (who has a license plate that reads "NANOOK") has some scans of good old Marineland of the Pacific - a park fondly remembered by many SoCal residents, though it has been gone for (gulp) 30 years. Here's Steve with all the info:

Marineland of the Pacific – a going concern from August 28, 1954 thru February 11, 1987.  Described by Wikipedia as “a public Oceanarium and tourist attraction located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula coast in LA County”, near Portuguese Bend.  [Personally, I’m more partial to a natatorium, but I’m betting the aquatic life would have a different opinion].  Its close proximity to Tinsel Town has translated into multiple television appearances over the years, along with being seen in some feature films.

Although packing in the folks thru the 1960’s, attendance later flagged which led to a series of ownership sales – at one time involving the Hollywood Turf Club.  (They would have been well-advised to have consulted with the Los Angeles Turf Club, who could’ve told them a thing-or-two about involvement in amusement/theme parks, from their partial ownership of POP…)  Here’s a link to an article from the South Bay Daily Breeze telling the sad tale of Marineland’s closing.

Here’s a welcoming shot from 1959, with the Oceanarium building prominently-featured.  Heading-up the roadway by the flagpole, is a 1956 Red/White Ford.

A closer shot of the Oceanarium, featuring the “World’s most spectacular Circus of Marine Life”.  And not about to be upstaged by the Ford, here’s a 1955 or ’56 Buick.

From 1958, here’s a lovely shot of the 3,000+ seat arena, a part of the Oceanarium, where folks are observing the Sea Circus.  (High-atop above the spellbound throngs, we can see the backside of the Top Deck).  Evidently, performing here are Mopsy, Flopsy and Geraldine, or so I’ve been told… 

In 1961, up here on the Oceanarium’s Top Deck, excited guests are watching “White-sided dolphins take bows…”  This time the entertainment is being provided by Huey, Dewey, Louie and Bubba – or so I’ve been told…

Back in the arena, Frankie, the Bottle-nosed porpoise is jumping for a taste of mackerel, while Sophie looks-on, jealously – or so I’ve been told…

We still have SeaWorld in San Diego, and it's nice, but I miss Marineland out on that beautiful Palos Verdes peninsula. THANKS to Steve Stuart!


TokyoMagic! said...

Nice vintage postcards, Steve! The purchase of Marineland by the owners of Sea World and the days leading up to the park's closure, have always sickened me! Corky was pregnant at the time they moved her and she miscarried just a few months later. And Orky died the following year. I know Sea World has changed hands now, but I still have never been to that park and I don't have any plans to in the future. So there!

Thanks for sharing these, Major and Steve. Hey, Major Steve! Oh wait, that was Colonel Steve, played by Mr. Majors. Nevermind!

K. Martinez said...

These are really nice postcards of Marineland of the Pacific, Steve. I seem to remember that television and film producer Irwin Allen was involved via Twentieth Century Fox in some sort of activity at Marineland in the mid 1970's but that it didn't work out for some reason or other.

Thank for the link to the article. Definitely underhanded and unfortunate in how HBJ handled the situation with Marineland in the transporting of the sea mammals and closure of the park. Also, I didn't realize Taft was involved in Marineland at one time either.

I've always loved the architectural style of the Oceanarium and the location on the Palos Verdes is gorgeous. The Marineland postcards are beautiful to see in person too as I have a few of them myself. I always liked the color palette used at Marineland.

Thanks again for sharing more from your postcard collection, Steve. It's always a treat.

DrGoat said...

Nice stuff Nanook. We always got a day at Marineland on our twice a year trips to Disneyland in the late 50s-60s. We always went to Marineland after we went to Disneyland...sort of a slow withdrawal from the magic and back into the real world. Many fond memories of that place.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Thanks Steve! I, too, fondly remember Marineland.

Anonymous said...

As Ken said, the original Modern style of Marineland was notable and sticks in my memory today. Does anyone know the architect? The main building is very reminiscent of the Parker Center (Dragnet HQ) by Welton Beckett.


We only made one visit, but I vividly remember the show and the "portholes" looking into the giant tank.

It's a shame it's gone, but I always felt bad for the whales. Somehow, the Monterey Aquarium doesn't raise the same feelings for the fish in those tanks. Not sure why.

Thanks to Nanook and Major for the look back.


Anonymous said...

Well, ask Google anything you want to know.

William Pereira was the designer. He might be better known to readers (or subscribers) as the architect of the Transamerica Pyramid Tower in San Francisco.

And the existing campus is now a sad ruin.


Nanook said...

@ JG-

Actually the existing "campus" is now the Terranea Resort: http://www.terranea.com/ Not exactly an Oceanarium, but a far cry from what could have been erected on that site.

HBJ is just one symptom of Capitalism, run amok. And [at least] in some ways, we are all responsible. Or, to put it another way: "We have met the enemy and he is us.".

Again, thank you all for your comments.