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  1. #1

    • I Hug My Tapirs
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    Marineland of the Pacific questions

    Hey, all! Just had a blast yesterday. A couple of friends and I were given permission to roam around the old Marineland grounds up at Palos Verdes. As big killer whale/dolphin buffs (with an eye for marine park history), it was pretty amazing to walk around there - if a bit eerie.

    I was just wondering - did anyone here visit the park before it's closure? I'm curious about learning more about what was there, and what it looked like, and the Marineland of the Pacific Historical Society site is woefully inadequate. I've seen a lot of the Orky and Corky photos (and there's certainly enough information about the whales themselves out there) but I'm wondering more about the history of the park itself. Some of the buildings/remains of buildings we were able to identify pretty easily, we knew about a few of them, and some we were able to guess. But there was a lot of stuff that we wondered about. Does anyone have photos of it before it closed?

    In particular, some of the stuff that came to mind for me (linked to some of my photos, if that helps jog anyone's memory!):
    -There's the remains of what looks to be an old tropical aquarium with locker rooms next to it. It looks like it was a place where guests could swim through. Is this the case? If so, how did it work?
    -Next to that aquarium, there appears to be the remnants of a kitchen, with some kind of a "line" (buffet line, maybe?) setup outside. Was this a food stand of some sort?
    -What played in the small indoor theater? Going in there was pretty sobering: the graffiti on the walls literally paints a very vivid image of peoples' feelings about Harcourt Brace Jovanovich closing the park.
    -There's a big building that says "Golf" on the roof. What was in here?

    All my photos are up here - just be forewarned that the graffiti does contain swearing if you're sensitive to that sort of thing.

    Thanks in advance!!
    "I don't need intelligent drugs because I don't know what they are. But I will put anything into my mouth that is given to me, whether it's supposed to go there or not. Because... I'm different."


  2. #2

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    Check out my friends website, it has all sorts of stuff on Marineland:

    http://www.themeparkmemories.com/

    It was basically a little Sea World. Such a great little marine park, I really miss it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    Ah, thanks! That map is a big help on locating stuff!

    The "golf" building I was thinking of seems to be the "Pepsi Plaza"... kind of odd that it says "golf" on the roof, though!

    I love the aerial photo, but it seems to only show half the park... is there a bigger version of it anywhere?
    "I don't need intelligent drugs because I don't know what they are. But I will put anything into my mouth that is given to me, whether it's supposed to go there or not. Because... I'm different."


  4. #4

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    That aerial view is of a photo he scanned from a book I have called Above Los Angeles. Sorry but that was it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    i remember snorkeling there for the first time.

    more recently, though, i worked there a lot for weddings. new york food company leased the property for many years & it just closed at the end of may. the owners sold it & i believe it is being developed into a hotel/resort.

    we used to see goats up on top of the tanks during the weddings. kinda funny!
    <o>

  6. #6

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    Maybe I can help you out a bit.

    The tank that you have those cool pictures of was indeed a "swim with the fish and SHARK" tank. I only got to go once, but loved it. Was probably 10 years old.

    (Side note - There was a playground area next to this tank, and I fell of the swing and got a big gash. I remember how much that damn salt water hurt the wound and how I was afraid the sharks would smell the blood :-)

    What I remember: Big shower areas with lockers. You entered into a big square area, not too deep, where they taught you how to snorkel. There were HUGE rays in this area. Next, you went into the main area (which seems to be what most of your pics are of) which had a lot of fish and sharks down at the bottom. There were little ledges all along where you could sit to rest. I remember taking a dare to go down to the bottom and grab a rock among the sharks. I can remember the coolest area in my opinion was the last be section, which had groups of HUGE HUGE fish. I went there and just floated among them (most people hung with the sharks).

    I remember seeing some sort of oceanic video presentation in a small room near this aquarium. Not sure if this is what you saw.

    Thanks for the pics and hope this helps. Too bad it's gone...

    socal

  7. #7

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    I can remember going there as a kid in the 70's. It's sad to see it in the condition it is now.
    "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. " -George Washington

  8. #8

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    LOVED going there!
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  9. #9

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    Quote Originally Posted by socal05
    Maybe I can help you out a bit.

    The tank that you have those cool pictures of was indeed a "swim with the fish and SHARK" tank. I only got to go once, but loved it. Was probably 10 years old.

    (Side note - There was a playground area next to this tank, and I fell of the swing and got a big gash. I remember how much that damn salt water hurt the wound and how I was afraid the sharks would smell the blood :-)

    What I remember: Big shower areas with lockers. You entered into a big square area, not too deep, where they taught you how to snorkel. There were HUGE rays in this area. Next, you went into the main area (which seems to be what most of your pics are of) which had a lot of fish and sharks down at the bottom. There were little ledges all along where you could sit to rest. I remember taking a dare to go down to the bottom and grab a rock among the sharks. I can remember the coolest area in my opinion was the last be section, which had groups of HUGE HUGE fish. I went there and just floated among them (most people hung with the sharks).

    I remember seeing some sort of oceanic video presentation in a small room near this aquarium. Not sure if this is what you saw.

    Thanks for the pics and hope this helps. Too bad it's gone...

    socal
    Ah! That's very helpful!! Thank you!

    I saw the locker rooms you're talking about, yes. Kind of eerie walking through there - broken mirrors, bits of ceiling that caved in. I think we must have entered through the back end - the big square area is where we exited, I believe (on the Point Vicente Lighthouse side of the aquarium).

    As for the video presentation - was in the small theater there? That's right next to the locker room building. Maybe 10-ish rows of seats?
    "I don't need intelligent drugs because I don't know what they are. But I will put anything into my mouth that is given to me, whether it's supposed to go there or not. Because... I'm different."


  10. #10

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    I only have vague memories, but I remember one of the last winters it was opened, they had an area near the entrance that had manmade snow and little sledlike things to slide down this small hill of it. I remember them advertising it ("Play in the snow at Marineland!"), but even though the actual setup was more of a "THAT'S all there is?? A tiny hill?," it was still memorable for a So Cal kid who'd never really seen snow before.

    The Sky Tower was actually still standing until around 10 years ago. It would sort of mock you as you drove past: "Hey, see this nice sky tower? This was Marineland! Bet you'd like to go there again, wouldn't you? Well, you CAN'T! Hahahahah." Still, it was sad to drive by and see the tower finally gone.

  11. #11

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    The only thing I can remember is going on a huge slide.

  12. #12

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    I loved going there!!! I was really sad when they stole the killers whales during the night. I remember how upset people were. The large tall killer whale tank had offices inside with windows that could see all the way to the bottom. A friend of my mom worked there and I got to go inside once, it was great. As the office opened the whales were waiting for the lady's, as you went to the different areas the whales where watch them. It was my first amusement park.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by xfkirsten
    As for the video presentation - was in the small theater there? That's right next to the locker room building. Maybe 10-ish rows of seats?
    I can't be sure, but I think so. For some reason, I remember the walls/floor having sort of rust colored carpet (but that would be a hell of a lucky memory if I'm right). I remember wanting it to end not soon after it started (typical kid).

    Did you see a playground area by the big swim-through? Facing the ocean, it would have been to the right of it.

  14. #14

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    I remember going there and snorkeling in 'The Baja Reef' that they had there. Was quite fun. We used to hit there and Bush Gardens on the same day.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Marineland of the Pacific questions

    Wow...from seeing all those pics....both on the Park history ans The smugmug account...I really would like to have gone to the park....sadly...the closest i have been to is seaworld

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