Friday, August 14, 2020

Long Gone Anaheim, May 1984

I think you folks are going to enjoy today's photos! They come to us courtesy of Lou Perry and Sue B. (his daughter) - you know them by now, after scores of wonderful photos that Lou took over many decades. 

Back in May of 1984, Lou took a stroll down Katella Avenue (which runs east/westerly along what is now the south edge of DCA), and he took some shots of two local motels, and one restaurant. Pretty neat!

First up is this wonderful sign for the "Magic Lamp Motel", with the smiling genie. He will make all of your motel wishes come true! Well, maybe not all of them. I've read that at night, the genie's trail of smoke glowed with multicolored lights behind that milky acrylic. But watch out, you may have to pay as much as $35 a night to stay there. Sadly, the Magic Lamp Motel was torn down sometime in the late 1990's. Looking at Google Maps, it appears that apartments or condos are going up in its place.


The next two feature the Alpine Motel, with permanent snow on the roof and icicles hanging from the eaves. Need to make a phone call? No problem! They've got air conditioning, color TV, and a heated pool. Throw in an ice machine and you've got a deal! The North Woods Inn in San Gabriel also had a similar "always winter" theme, I don't know if they were owned by the same folks or not. Notice the sign for the Waikiki Motel in the distance - I shared a scan of a postcard from there back in 2009.


Lou took a second photo; with the happy little family, it looks like it's ready to be printed in a brochure.


The last two are something of a mystery, I can find no mention of a "Mister Al's" restaurant on the Googles. German dinners, eh? Sounds good to me. Planning ahead, I'll get a 1 pound T-bone steak to carry in my pocket at Disneyland in case I get the munchies. Yes, I will share!


For some reason I couldn't seem to do much with the color on this one, but it gives a more complete look at Mister Al's. Does anybody have any memories of this place? I can't quite tell if that building next to it is part of Al's or if it's a separate establishment. It sure has a playful mid-century style.


Thanks as always to Lou and Sue!

29 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

Such great photos! I wish I had taken more pics of the motels around Disneyland. I only took a few pics, right before all the cool vintage signs came down for the reworking of the area into, "The Anaheim Resort."

It's nice that the Alpine Motel is still around, today. But it's sign has been removed, along with all the other "tall" signage in the area.

I don't remember seeing that German Restaurant. I do remember the Irish pub-themed restaurant (Delaney's, and later Cuban Pete's) located behind DL, on Ball Rd.

Thank you to Lou, Sue and the Major!

K. Martinez said...

These are wonderful photos. I always loved the 50's and 60's motels, lodges and inns in the immediate Disneyland area. Being an out-of-tower I got to stay at many of the classic lodgings in Anaheim, including the Cosmic Age Lodge, Kona Kai Motel, Mecca Motel, Saga Inn, Howard Johnsons Anaheim, Sheraton Anaheim and Disneyland Hotel.

Thanks Lou and Sue. Your Knott's Roaring 20's photos and now Anaheim Lodgings bring up a log of warm memories as they were very much an integral part of my visits to the SoCal Vacationland through many, many years.

Thanks to you too, Major.

Chuck said...

I'm so glad the Alpine Motel is still around, even though it's called the Alpine Inn these days. I stayed there four or five times from 2006-09, partly for the mid-century vibe and partly for the price. Nothing fancy, but it was clean and well-maintained and I wasn't there for the hotel experience anyway. In fact, on two or three of my stays, I wasn't even going to Disneyland - I was actually in SoCal for a meeting just south of LAX. I stayed there so I could hang out at Downtown Disney and the hotels in the evening.

Thanks again, Lou & Sue!

MIKE COZART said...

In the late 1990’s I would drive around getting photographs of many of these Anaheim motels and restaurants as fast as I could - Some literally days before they were torn town. By the 90’s so many of these places had become fairly worn down and dumpy, but now so many are gone I really miss them. While the street layouts and area landscaping did improve somewhat , so much of Anaheim’s “ FUN-NESS “ ( is that a word??) was lost. One thing that really is a design disaster is how so much of the development at the corner of Harbor and Katella are this glass wall generic buildings built right up to a narrow sidewalk with a hotel on top and a Starbucks and a 7-11 on the street level . It’s horrible- no character or anything to stand out or make an impression you are in Southern California!!!

When the demolition of Disneyland’s surrounding hotels and motels started it happened very fast - I remember one day on Harbor I got photos of the mid century Tiki motel Eden Roc as they were putting up the construction ( demolition) fence around it - and was especially lucky to get shots of it’s great Tiki marquee! Next to it was the famous Chang’s Chinese Restaurant and I got photos of that . But north of the Eden Roc Tiki Motel were two other mid century modern theme buildings ; one was a Western BBQ place that had a circular exterior and a great zig - zag vaulted roof also in a circle. Inside all the booth - also in a circle lining the exterior window walls and the center spoke also in a circle had western covered wagon tops over each booth and 1/2 wagon wheels on the end!! It was like a Mid Century Modern Frontierland inside!! Anyway , I had used up all my roll film and came back just two days later and both the BBQ building , the other motel and a cool 60’s liquor store : DEMOLISHED!!!

stu29573 said...

You can always count on Lou to take pictures that are a little different, and therefore very interesting! The motels that sprang up around Disneyland were wonderful in that they tried to tap into the magic of the place. Unfortunately, on my only trip to Disneyland in 1973, we stayed with my great aunt and uncle, so I never experienced the motels. (It wasn't that unfortunate, they were very nice and gave me lemonaid from their backyard lemon trees. And they had a pool!) But very fun pics today! Thanks, Lou and Sue!

Omnispace said...

Even though themed hotels had been around before, it's fun how Disneyland became quite the magnet for them. I distinctly remember the Magic Lamp Motel. My parents said they stayed there once, however it was one of those "never again" places. I would have loved to see sign at night with the animated "smoke".

Mister Al's looks like it could have been one of those restaurants attached to one of the motels. I see a drive through arch in the background. There's also a "P" in the wrought iron work above the menu board so perhaps at one time the name of the restaurant started with that letter.

DrGoat said...

stu said it for me. Love looking at your photos Lou & Sue. They are candid and in the moment. I tend to read a lot into things, but I think your shots have a certain quality that cannot be named. Affectivity comes close, but I had to make sure that was a real word.
Stayed in the Alpine once in the past when I lived in Eagle Rock. Cheap, and I didn't have any complaints if I remember it correctly.
To be honest, I never have been a big fan of prime rib.
Mike, totally get the feeling concerning demolition of familiar places. They seem to be on a jag here in Tucson with that behavior. Older, not necessarily historic, but very familiar structures get torn down and sterile bland buildings put up in their place. They tore down Magic Carpet Mini Golf a few years back to put in a Chuck
E Cheese. It was a Gem. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=magic+golf+tucson&atb=v66-1&ia=images&iax=images
It did kind of go fallow, but everyone loved it. There was an effort to clean it up and re-open but that fell short. Progress. Phooey I say.
Thanks Lou & Sue. Lovely photos and thank you Major.

Nanook said...

Major-

Ahhh... the draw of the 'daring' "neon" sign - often, the best 'feature' of these properties. But I'm not complaining. As has already been pointed-out, it's not that these buildings were such architectural beauties, it's what takes the place of them - all in the name of "progress". HA-! The new 'version's' are deliberately awful, bland, cheap, etc., all the while being defended as 'cleaning-up blight'. I think not . We miss you all.

It appears dancing was available at Mister Al's, for those of you who wish to 'cut a rug'. That along with Prime Rib, or a 1 pound T-BONE Steak-Dinner, sounds as if I'd died and gone to heaven.

Thanks to Lou, for his always keen eye, and to Sue for sending them along to The Major.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Makes me have conflicted feelings about Disneyland's relationship with the city. On the one hand, it's rather scary that one giant business has so much control over such a small city, even being able to get the local government to dictate regulations for other businesses. On the other hand, Disneyland essentially built Anaheim and put it on the map. The city is only as successful and prosperous as long as Disneyland is. So it's probably in the city's best interests to cater to Disney. Still, rather iffy to see this level of corporate cronyism running amok.

Major Pepperidge said...

Darn Blogger says I have to cut my comments in two AGAIN:

TokyoMagic!, I wish you took more pics of the motels too! It’s funny how so many people hated the “clutter” of signage and motels, and now that they’re gone, it turns out that there was a lot of charming, playful architecture right in front of everybody. Now it’s all chain restaurants and generic motels that have no character or charm. But they sure don’t offend! Does the Alpine Motel still look like it has a snowy roof with icicles on the eaves?

K. Martinez, you are lucky that you stayed at so many of those classic places - again, it almost seems comical to say so, but I loved the appealing themes - pirates, space-age Googie, tropical, and so on. Based on postcards and photos, I would have loved to have seen the Cosmic Age Lodge (and its two brethren) in person.

Chuck, I’m like you, as long as the room is clean and relatively well-maintained, I’ll be happy. My friend Mr. X will only stay at the finest hotels, and I always think, “I only want a good place to rest or sleep, and then I’m out of there most of the time!”. I wonder why so many of the places got rundown? Was business bad? Or were they just mismanaged? Even now (well not NOW now), people are always looking for a clean, comfortable, affordable place near the parks.

Mike Cozart, you should share your photos of the Anaheim motels! There are plenty of people (Kevin and Jody, for instance) who are Anaheim history enthusiasts, and I’ll bet you captured a ton of stuff that is fascinating - and gone forever. Glass box architecture is so incredibly boring - but it’s cheap to build, and supposedly energy efficient. So many vintage photos of a city’s main streets are bustling and full of life, but a view of them now shows them almost devoid of activity except for a few cars driving by. Everyone’s inside, and all the small businesses are gone. Your recollections about the demolished establishments is typical - buildings are there one day, and in just a day or two they’re piles of rubble. L.A. is experiencing that at an accelerated pace lately, or so it seems.

stu29573, I guess I can understand Walt’s dismay, having seen the land surrounding his park change from orchards and farmland to urban sprawl. He probably wished he had some sort of buffer between his magical land and the realities of the outside world - in fact we know that he did, because he eventually bought thousands of Florida acreage!

Major Pepperidge said...

Omnispace, yes, the pure concentration of themed motels was unusual. Maybe Las Vegas had a similar selection? I seem to remember that Walt thought that Katella Drive looked like a “second-rate Las Vegas”. I’m sure some of it was trashy, but seeing photos of vintage Vegas, that doesn’t sound so bad! I thought the “P” might stand for “Prime Rib”, though that’s a stretch I suppose!

DrGoat, looking back I think it’s amazing that Lou saw some beauty in these places back then - why else would he have taken pictures of them? That’s the eye of a photographer at work. I am no vegetarian, but like you was never a big fan of prime rib. Same with filet mignon - it was always served so rare, which was not to my liking, even though I recognized that it was better than the steaks that my mom and dad bought at the Navy commissary. Still, I learned to like it with lots of potatoes and some horseradish sauce! I love mini-golf - we have a pretty nice complex not far from me, though of course it’s been closed during the you-know-what. Thanks for the photos of the Magic Carpet Mini Golf, I think I actually have two or three vintage slides of that place!

Nanook, now we (fortunately) have people who want to save the signs of establishments that get destroyed. There was a place on Sunset Boulevard, a nightclub/bar with a Chinese theme - it’s killing me that I can’t come up with the name - but it closed, and a few days later, the owners went on Facebook and announced that somebody had come along during the day with vests and hardhats and a ladder and stolen their sign! Someone had actually taken a photo of it being stolen, but the faces were too indistinct. Funny to think of dancing at Mister Al’s. My grandma and grandpa probably would have danced to a song or two!

The Magic Ears Dudebro, as you said, Disneyland put Anaheim on the map and made it a prime tourist destination - but it’s never good for one business to have too much control. I’m sure the folks running the town were not crazy about the clutter of motels, and hoped to “class up” the city’s image. I see that in my mom’s city - business that have been there for 40 years are being torn down so that giant mixed-use buildings can go up in their place to supply “affordable” (but actually very expensive) housing and businesses that nobody wants to patronize.

Anonymous said...

In the last photo, the A frame roof to the right of Mr. Al's is the entrance to the parking lot of a motel named the Golden Forest Inn. Mister Al's was the motel's dining room. The dining room went through several changes over the years, and Mister Al's was one iteration. As far back as the 80's the motel itself had a pretty unsavory reputation. It was one of several local motels that tended to attract an interesting clientele, especially in the winter when Disneyland tourism was low, meaning the daily, weekly, or in many cases hourly, rates they could charge to stay were equally low.

JG said...

Wow, Lou and Sue, and Major, thank you!

The Magic Lamp was our home-from-home at Disneyland for many years. I remember staying here a lot in the 60's, and then my high school group would stay here on those trips, so maybe a dozen or more stays. Sad to hear that Omnispace' parents had a bad experience. It was always a good spot when we stayed, but maybe fell on hard times later. The shingled building behind must have been built in the 70's, after my times thre, partly from the style, and partly because I don't remember it.

The animated glowing smoke effect was very cool indeed, very subtle in pale green, white and pink. I don't recall that anything else other than the sign was themed with the Arabian Nights style. The rooms were typical 60's with plastic laminate counters, tiny beige mosaic tile showers with the "hammered" glass pattern door, "cottage cheese" ceiling with sparkles in it, the TV up high on the wall on a bracket, and a noisy air conditioner under the window. It was paradise. On the high school trips, we could wander down the street to Wonder Bowl (site is now the parking lot south of the Paradise Pier) and go bowling the night before the Park visit.

I never went back after high school, all my later trips were at bigger corporate hotels.

The Magic Lamp was consolidated with the motel next door sometime in the 90's and became the Anabella. Daveland has a couple of posts about staying there. The Anabella was torn down a couple of years ago and is being replaced by a luxury, expen$ive Westin Resort. This is the construction visible on Google Earth. My contacts in construction say it will be open soon, not sure about the current crisis, but if life goes on, it should be successful since it is close to the convention center too.

Never stayed at the Alpine, but I do recall several meals at the (now defunct) Chalet, which was the associated coffee shop. It had the same well-done Swiss styling with plaster icicles. I read somewhere that it was owned or affiliated with Disney somehow, but maybe that was some other place.

We stayed off and on at other places named in the comments, Eden Roc, Kona Kai, Jack and Jill, etc. but only when the Magic Lamp was full. At some point, Dad shifted to the Jolly Roger, a brilliant pirate-themed motel which opened in the early 70's. Right on the SW corner of Harbor and Katella, it was torn down about 5-6 years back and replaced with a soul-less corporate monster.

Funny story about the Golden Forest, thanks Anon. Do you know where it was located, I don't recall it at all?

I love these photos and comments, thank you so much.

JG

Melissa said...

Pass me a big ol’ plate of sp√§tzle with a side of kitsch and nostalgia! I’m with Mike on the blandness of modern urban design. It’s like everything’s built with resale in mind.

Anonymous said...

JG - The Golden Forest Inn was located on the south side of Katella, just east of West Street (now Disneyland Drive.) The current site, I believe, is the Westin development. If you google "Golden Forest Inn" you'll find more stories about it and scans of an old brochure. I agree with your general regret that many of the unique architectures, like the Jolly Roger, were torn down to be replaced by a soul-less corporate monster. (I can't count the number of wedding receptions and other events I went to at the Jolly Roger.) It's too bad that someone with lots of money couldn't have bought some of these places, saved their look and turned them into really cool boutique lodgings, but - just like in Las Vegas - modern hotel operations center on having huge numbers of rooms in inventory and old places that don't offer the numbers needed are just torn down and built on top of. In the case of the Golden Forest Inn (or, as locals used to call it, the "Golden Toilet") and the way it was operated, whatever is replacing it is, on the whole,an overall improvement.

Nanook said...

Major-

I believe you'e thinking of the Luck Bar, in Los Feliz. CHECK OUT THE THEFT IN ACTION.

Some images of the bar, itself, along with the sign

Nanook said...

So much for concentration. Make that the Good Luck Bar

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Alpine Motel...and the Chalet restaurant. Mom, Dad and I on several occasions would get our hand stamped at the Disneyland gate, jump aboard a parking lot tram to the farthest stop point nearest the Katella Gate and then walk over to the Chalet for an early dinner. We would then return to the Park in the same manner. It was a nice break from the Park and made the day an even more bigger adventure. We lived in Costa Mesa, so we would make it a full day from opening to close...usually 9am to midnight. KS

Chuck said...

JG, I remember reading an old L/A.Times or O.C. Register article a few years ago on my electronic network doohickey thing where they were talking about how Disney had quietly bought up most of the motels and the campground on the same side of the street as the Park and were leasing them out to small operators while waiting for an expansion opportunity. I'm pretty sure the Chalet restaurant was also listed in the article. It explains why icons like the Musketeer and Heidi Motels near the Katella entrance are gone. I'm curious if they own the Alpine Inn or if they held out like the Candy Cane Inn.

zach said...

A friend and I in the early 60s rode the SP Daylight down to LA and was picked up by family friends and dropped off at a motel on Katella. I am so sad I do not remember the name but I may have a matchbook if I ever dig that box out. BUT, when we tried to check in they said they didn't have a room for us! Our ride already left so we were two teenagers in Anaheim with no place to stay! The owner called a friend who was just getting ready to open their motel (pretty sure it was near Harbor on Katella). They installed the shower head while we watched so first ever to stay there. It had a kitchenette, too. I don't remember that name either! It ended up a great trip other than that scare. People went out of their way to help a couple of teenagers and trusted us in their establishment 'unsupervised'. Things have changed.

BTW, they had a large garage on the property with a couple of antique cars perfectly detailed. It was his hobby, he told us.

Thanks, Sue for sharing and thanks to Lou for his attention to the small stuff.

TGIF,

Zach

Major Pepperidge said...

Anon, I was wondering what that distinctive building was - I thought it could be a car wash! Probably not with cocktails, though. It’s hard to imagine days in the 80s when Disneyland’s attendance was low, but we have the pictures to prove it. Hourly rates are always the sign of the best hotels!

JG, I found photos online that gave an idea of what the genie’s smoke looked like when lit up; I love it when sign makers get creative. Maybe during times of economic downturn those motels really were hurting and that’s when they would get seedy. Less people would want to stay there, and they would continue to get more rundown. Etcetera. The Jolly Roger was the location of the first Disney fan club meeting back in 1980 or 1981, so that’s kind of an amazing thing, considering how huge D23 conventions have become.

Melissa, at first I thought you said “a side of kirsch”. Can alcohol be a side dish??

Anon, I would think that it would be a lot more fun for a billionaire to save and restore things like those wonderful old motels than it would be to lounge around on a gigantic yacht, but what do I know. Maybe they just didn’t want the headaches or the liability. Everything has its time, and I guess places like that had used theirs up.

Nanook, YES, that’s the place. I went there one time with some friends, a few years before it closed. I wonder where that darn sign is, and who cooked up the plan to steal it!

KS, I envy the people who lived close enough to the park to regularly enjoy the restaurants and motels nearby! We were so close that we just drove home at night, which was nice of course, but it would have been great to have that motel experience! When I was a kid nothing made me happier than a motel with a kidney-shaped pool (with slide), and maybe an ice machine.

Chuck, somehow the idea of Disney buying out the motels and KOA campground doesn’t surprise. The company has certainly purchased lots of other parcels as the park has grown and grown. For a while I considered collecting postcards and brochures from the Disneyland-adjacent motels, but prices seemed to go up, and I decided I collected enough junk!

zach, ha, I can imagine how scary that must have been! I remember going to New York City (flying from L.A.) with three friends when we were in our early 20s. I had made the hotel reservations, and when we got there, they had NO record of them (and, not being experienced in this sort of thing, I hadn’t printed out any sort of proof). Everybody glared at me. Luckily I remembered the name of the woman I’d spoken to on the phone, and when I invoked her name, suddenly they had a room for us. Talk about relief!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I knew that the snow was still there on the roof of the Alpine Motel/Inn, but I wasn't sure about the icicles. I checked Google street view, and it looks like they are still there! (At least as of March, 2019) And that National Car Rental facility is still next door, although now it looks like it's combined with Alamo. It's probably the same parent company.

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8034373,-117.9178209,3a,75y,46.4h,94.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNuRG20vBWr1Utys3LmZShw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Chuck, I thought I had heard that the Candy Cane Inn's owners finally did sell to Disney, like just within the past few years.

Mike, I remember that round western themed restaurant with the covered wagons...if we are both thinking about the same one. The one I'm thinking of was located on Harbor, on the NW corner of Wilken Way, almost as far down as Belisle's Restaurant was. I used to work in an office just down the street from it. That building had been a Van de Kamps restaurant with the zigzag roof and a giant windmill on top. When I started working down there, it had been converted to a Mexican restaurant. The blades of the windmill had been removed and they painted the center pylon and zigzag roof to look like a sombrero. At some point in the nineties, the Mexican restaurant went out and someone gave it the western theme and opened a BBQ restaurant in it's place.

There were many of those old Van de Camp buildings around So. Cal for years. Most of them had been converted into some other kind of non- chain restaurants and most of them are now long gone. But there was one that a Denny's had moved into, in Monrovia. That building is still standing and the last time I saw it, it still had it's windmill blades and they were still rotating:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1399999,-118.0312745,3a,48.6y,19.62h,99.57t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUorNGKMsa6VRSeLCc0CnSw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192







Omnispace said...

JG - I don't exactly know why Magic Lamp fell out of favor with my parents. It sort of became an in-joke with my family every time we drove past it. For all I know the mattresses might have been too firm...or soft. Or perhaps all that activity at the Golden Forest was keeping them up at night? Anyway, they eventually settled-in at the Aztec, a "luxury" motel on Beach Boulevard across from Movieland. Unfortunately, it's also gone.

Anonymous said...

TokyoMagic! - the windmill blades on the now-Denny's / old Van De Kamps you've referred to are still there and, when I saw them recently, were still turning and lighted at night in red, white and blue. One small correction, it's in Arcadia, the next town over from Monrovia. It's close to Santa Anita Racetrack.

Melissa said...

”It sort of became an in-joke with my family every time we drove past it.”

Reminds me of the family trip to Niagara Falls when we stayed in a kind of sketchy motel called The Alamo; it had a big sign with a horseshoe and a four-leaf clover. The room smelled funny and the magic fingers were so rough they knocked my sister off the bed. For years we would look at each other, say, “Remember the Alamo?” and dissolve into giggles.

JG said...

Oh man, the comments are just wonderful.

Zach, what a story. I love it.

Melissa, remember the Alamo, and the Magic Fingers. Oh golly. there's a memory.

Omnispace, thanks for the reply. I've had experiences like that, where something just wasn't right, never go back, and forget why.

Chuck, I wasn't dreaming after all. I thought maybe they had been Disney-owned from the start and that accounted for the excellent design and theming, but guess not.

Anonymous and Major, thanks for the info about the Jolly Roger, I loved that place, especially the restaurant with the model ship and nautical decor. I walked past it on one convention trip, and three years later, when the convention came round to Anaheim again, it was gone, much like Mike Cozart's story. I do a lot of hospitality architecture, the whole industry is consolidating and up-scaling, soon there won't be any local inexpensive motels left.

Major, glad you found those photos, they are worth a look for sure. I wish I had a matchbook or an old postcard, after so many stays, you'd think something would have remained. I guess I figured it would be there forever.

@Tokyo and Mike Cozart, I read that description of the BBQ place and was certain that was a VanDeKamps once upon a time! We would sometimes have breakfast at the Buena Park location on the way home. Those buildings belong in a museum, they are so perfect an expression of their time. VanDeKamps reached up north into the Central Valley where we lived, their little blue windmill signs would be on the stores that carried their baked goods, but all the restaurants were in the Southland. Such great memories.

Mike Cozart, please please please share those photos!

Thanks everyone again.

JG

"Lou and Sue" said...

I had a loooong day at work today and quickly read through everyone's comments. Over the weekend, I'll re-read and check out the added links from everyone. Thank you for all the nice comments and stories!

I know my dad has old nighttime shots of motels - but, at the moment, I can't recall if the motels were in Anaheim or Florida (Miami?). If we're lucky, maybe I'll find photos from both. Whatever I find, I'll share with all of you (thanks to our Major!).

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, thanks for checking, I’m glad the Alpine Inn still looks snowy and icy! At least a little whimsy/playfulness survives. I’ll have to look to see if the Candy Cane Inn was bought by Disney. They are like a giant python, devouring all. I’ve always loved the Van de Camp buildings with the windmills, it seems like such an L.A. (or SoCal) thing. In “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” you see a neon windmill reflected in Brad Pitt’s windshield, that was a nice touch.

Omnispace, I’ve stayed in some bad hotels/motels, and it is enough to make one never go back again. I stayed in a Motel 6, the sheets had cigarette burns, the floor of the shower was brown with soap scum and dirt. I wrapped my pillow with a towel just in case. Never again!

Anonymous, Thanks for the info about the Denny’s windmill!

Melissa, I feel like I’ve missed out in life, no motel has ever had the beds with “magic fingers”. What a strange thing to have as an amenity.

JG, by the time I was really aware of the Jolly Roger, I think it had already fallen into a sad state of disrepair. Like I said, you’d think that there would be plenty of business for a motel that was clean and comfortable, I don’t quite get how those places let themselves become such disasters. And yes, I’d love it if Mike Cozart found/shared his photos!

Lou and Sue, oh man, nighttime shots of motels sounds pretty sweet! But I know you are very busy, take your time. We’ll get to it all. When I run out of my own slides this blog will become a full time “Lou and Sue” show!

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding the Magic Lamp and Magic Carpet had the same owner. While the Golden Forest Inn next door became run down, I remember the two "magic" motels constantly being rebuilt or expanded over the decades. It wouldn't surprise me if they bought out the Golden Forest Inn eventually and that is how the Annabella came about by combining all three properties.

In the late 70's and 80's, if you walked through the entrance to the Golden Forest, there was a cafe on the left that had a very reasonably priced breakfast of 2 eggs, 2 toast, 2 bacon etc. There was a very thin blonde server who was there year after year. I grew from a child to teenager, but she was always there. It was also a quick way to get breakfast.

There was always a line to get into Sambos on the nearby corner, but we would just walk past the crowd and sit at the counter instead of waiting for a booth.

My stays were 1972 Magic Lamp, 1974 Space Age, 1975 Magic Lamp, 1976 Magic Carpet, 1978/79/80 Magic Lamp or Magic Carpet (don't remember which). Then Inn of Tomorrow, and then it got complicated as we were in a more busy season.... My last stay at the Magic Lamp/Carpet was 1999 and our room was a bit run down.