Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Marineland Restaurant, Palos Verdes, 1955

marineland restaurant
Marineland Restaurant, Palos Verdes, 1955


Occasionally I weep when looking through the old slides that I collect. That happens when I find something really amazing. Well, this week I wept when I ran across this spellbinding shot taken inside the MARINELAND RESTAURANT, PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA, 1955. This is where you ate when you went to see porpoises jump through hoops on fire. It has to be one of the most spectacular dining rooms ever! First of all it’s round – mid-century post and beam in-the- round to be exact. That alone sets it apart from most every other restaurant on the planet. Second of all the location – on a choice bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. That’s beyond prime real estate. Through those wraparound windows you can see all the way to Catalina Island. And last but certainly not least – there are sea shells and starfish on the ceiling! Who is the interior design genius that came up with that idea? Now the mystery of what to do with all those extra sea shells in the world has finally been solved. Put some shells on your dining room ceiling! Get out the glue gun and start gluing. It’s easy. And you might as well put some on the walls. And while you’re at it you might as well go out and get some carpet with a sensible seaweed pattern to complete the look. Your smart dinner party guests will be stunned.

Marineland was the world’s largest Oceanarium; it was built in 1954 and closed unceremoniously in 1987. The monumental ultra-modern structure that contained all the fish was bulldozed shortly thereafter. Miraculously the restaurant building, which was actually divided into three connecting circular glass rooms, two for the dining room and one for the Porpoise Room Cocktail Lounge, still stands in ruin. I wonder if the sea shells are still there.

Here’s to the Marineland Restaurant and YOU!

Charles Phoenix

Visit Charles’ site, God Bless Americana, or join his Yahoo Group.

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