10 photos from L.A.'s long-gone Pacific Ocean Park, a day out by the sea you'll never enjoy


#1

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#2

See. This is why we can't have nice things anymore.


#3

Actually I enjoyed POP many times in the 50's and 60's. In some ways I enjoyed it more than Disneyland back then. Good to see a post about it.


#4

Can we roll out the time machines now...?


#5

How could it close? There's ALWAYS money in the Banana Train!


#6

Perhaps due to fact that it competed with Disney?


#7

Damn sounds like it had my idea combination of themes, I'm sure I'd have love that place.


#8

It actually forced Disney to step up their game (P.O.P. having a "real" submarine ride forced Disney to turn the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" exhibit into a real submarine ride), and kept Walt on his toes for a few years.


#9

I liked that place a lot, mainly because it was free. I never saw any of the things mentioned here. The biggest attraction in 1958 was the diving bell. It held maybe twenty people and it would slowly submerge and then be released, popping to the surface like a cork. Pretty simple, but it was a fun ride. Besides, we weren't used to much back then.


#10

I hate it that a place this amazing no longer exists. So all I can do is laugh.

Its Cheetah auditorium hosted important early rock shows, including those by Ritchie Valens, The Doors, and Pink Floyd.


#11

Wait, this is not Disney. What is this doing on BoingBoing?


#12

You can see some film footage (black and white) of POP in the Santa Monica promotional tourism video "Where the Mountains Meet the Sea" at the Internet Archive. It includes footage of Emmett Kelly greeting visitors at POP.


#13

I wonder if P.O.P. was responsible for the Disney Tiki Room?


#14

I think it was used in a "Man From U.N.C.L.E." episode.


#15

Fun background on that story: Walt basically built his submarine ride just to spite the folks at CBS because they backed POP instead of Disneyland.


#16

Ya, a very cool Atomic Tiki vibe...


#17

I heard about it in a different way. In the Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary, it was explained that after the park fell into ruin, the Dogtown surfers favored the waves that broke near the POP pier. There was all sorts of wreckage from the park that would impale them if they got careless, or any outsiders that weren't down with the locals who knew where the hazards were. This was the crew that begat all the original skaters; Tony Alva et. al.

There was a marked difference between the pics in the post and the footage I saw. It couldn't have been more than like 10 years, wtf?


#18

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