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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Pacific Ocean Park, Venice, CA (other)
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Pacific Ocean Park, Venice, CA (other)
Tiki Matt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 06, 2004
Posts: 927
From: North O.C.
Posted: 2004-09-17 09:55 am   Permalink

Name:Pacific Ocean Park

Opening day on Saturday July 28, 1958 drew 20,000 curious people and dozens of Hollywood celebrities. Sunday's 37,262 paying customers brought traffic jams to the area. During the first six days it out performed Disneyland in attracting customers.

Visitors entered the park through Neptune's Kingdom where they descended in a submarine elevator to the oceanic corridors below. Across from the elevator was an enormous sea tank where it appeared a shark and its prey shared the same tank. Beyond and covering one entire wall was a large diorama filled with creatures that couldn't live in captivity. Motorized artificial turtles, manta rays, sawfish and sharks glided by over coral reefs and hanging seaweed.

Pacific Ocean Park also had two dining and shopping areas. Inside the park was a recreation of a New England harbor called Fisherman's Cove. Outside along Ocean Front Walk was the International Promenade offering superb cuisine in authentic foreign restaurants, as well as exotic souvenirs, gifts and imports in various shops.

Check out this website:
http://naid.sppsr.ucla.edu/venice/mapsdocs/poppier-map.htm for more info and GREAT pictures!! You should really check it out.

The reason I posted here is \"Mystery Island\" that was at the end of the pier. Check out the entrance!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 253
From: So Cal
Posted: 2004-09-17 3:47 pm   Permalink

Great information Matt. I was only old enough to have several vauge memories of POP but your notes and attached web site info triggered many more.

Thanks for sharing


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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-09-17 5:39 pm   Permalink

here's another pic

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 1794
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2004-09-17 6:39 pm   Permalink

Thanks for posting this Tiki Matt. That link brings back a lot of childhood memories of my many trips to POP wid da fam. The Spaceship to Mars ride absolutely TERRIFIED me the 1st time I went on it. I think the Flying Dutchman might have been the inspiration for Pirates of the Carribean...ARRRR!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-09-25 06:40 am   Permalink

A few more pictures of the Mystery Island 'tiki' portion of Pacific Ocean Park are located on the Dumb Angel blog. This site also features some cool 'mod' shots of the 1966 Cheetah night club

Pictures start about 1/3 the way down.



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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 44
Posted: 2007-09-16 5:40 pm   Permalink

Lawrence Welk visits Pacific Ocean Park in 1959!

Watch the Sparklers sing "Yellow Bird" on (what must be) the Banana Boat Ride.


WOW, POP is all over YouTube...


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-11-05 07:49 am   Permalink

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 28, 2002
Posts: 712
From: santa monica
Posted: 2007-11-05 12:28 pm   Permalink

I went there once when I was 5 in 1966, cool place!. We don't even have marineland anymore.....whimper

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Coco Joe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2008
Posts: 724
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2009-09-07 6:44 pm   Permalink

I just found out about this place today..looks pretty cool!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 9192
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2009-09-07 6:50 pm   Permalink

hey Joe,
how much were ride tickets?


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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2009
Posts: 25
From: Silver Lake, CA
Posted: 2009-09-07 7:03 pm   Permalink

this is the same POP pier featured in decay in the movie DogTown Z-Boys...what a great piece of Americana in its heyday and in its destruction...they surfed in the pilings and made it their own, locals only...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-09-07 8:54 pm   Permalink

It's too bad most of the links in the older posts are dead. Here's a current YouTube video that has a nice overview of POP:


The UCLA link has since moved to this new location:


All of the source material was taken from a book "Venice California, Coney Island of the Pacific" written by Jeffrey Stanton. This encyclopedic book contains an entire chapter devoted to POP. The 1987 first edition has been out-of-print for some time. I actually ran into Stanton at an unrelated video screening a few years ago saying I've been looking for a copy. He answered "No one cares about my book" but proceeded to pull an updated 2005 copy out of his backpack. It's since been made available via this seller:


Or this site: http://www.westland.net/venicehistory/articles/bookstore.html

This is an amazing book covering the history of piers that existed in both Venice and Santa Monica from the turn of the century through the 1970's.

There's also a website devoted to POP memories (which is not reliable for always being up).


POP was built on top of the original Ocean Park Pier in 1957. If anyone wants to see what the pier (and carnival) were like prior to POP, it was featured in a 1950 film noir "Quicksand" starring Mickey Rooney. This movie also shows the fishing pier (which is now the existing SM Pier at the end of Colorado Ave). It's a great time machine back to the early days of Samo.


I live a few blocks away from where POP used to stand. It's hard to believe this massive amusement park used to exist since there is no evidence it was ever there. In its place are luxury condos and bare sand. I understand some metal pilings still exist beneath the surface of the water. Who knows, maybe some of the original Tikis of Mystery Island lie at the bottom of the ocean, waiting for Tiki archaeologists to discover them using scuba gear.

My mother claims she and my father took my sister and me to POP back in 1966. I have no memory of this and they never bothered to take any pictures. She also claims we visited Danny Balsz's THE TIKIS (BOT pg 107) in Monterey Park since we lived in nearby Rosemead but I can't remember this either.

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2009-09-09 21:45 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 1560
From: Riverside, California
Posted: 2009-09-08 04:53 am   Permalink

If anyone is interested in talking P.O.P. - PM me

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5084
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-09-09 12:46 pm   Permalink

Here are a few more from POP.

Here is a postcard I came across on ebay showing a concept of a ride through the volcano at the end of the South Sea Island area.

The Banana Train ran through the South Sea Island.

Looks like the South Sea Island started out as the "Mystic Isles".

Here are some great photos of the Banana Train in action.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2009-09-09 9:44 pm   Permalink

POP and the original Ocean Park Pier might be history but the Santa Monica Pier just celebrated its 100 year anniversary.


Dick Dale even performed !!

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