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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Pago Pago Bar Next to Disney Studios
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Pago Pago Bar Next to Disney Studios
Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3623
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-11-07 11:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 22:38, Bora Boris wrote:
I'm an Ass.



Not at all! Kicking the tires on our information is a critical part of the process, and much appreciated!

Naomi sinks a three-pointer! Now that the information is getting all solid-like, and there's an actual address, I've added this Pago Pago to Critiki. The address mapped just fine for me at Google, Yahoo! and Maporama, though I'm sure the building is long gone. It looks like it was about here:



Chisel slinger, have you had luck finding a matchbook?

Thanks so much to everyone who's chipped in on this -- it's so cool to see so many people working together.

_________________

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chisel slinger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 23, 2004
Posts: 263
From: columbus,ohio
Posted: 2006-11-08 01:30 am   Permalink

I've been re arranging the tiki room, I'm still looking. theres still stuff hidden. arrrgh.

 
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Matterhorn1959
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 18, 2006
Posts: 177
From: Mile High City
Posted: 2006-11-08 05:33 am   Permalink

To all who posted to this, thanks for the information and hard work. I originally thought the same Bora Bora that the writer had made up the name of the bar....so this is really cool. Now I hope to see some artifacts from the bar so I know what to look for!

 
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PremEx
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 290
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2006-11-08 1:22 pm   Permalink

Nothing really to add to what's already now known, but just got off the phone with a friend of mine that worked as an animator at Disney 1970-1989 before moving over to Disney Consumer Products as an artist there.

He confirms it was indeed a real bar. He only went to it a couple of times himself. I asked about any tiki or theming and he didn't really recall any but said there might have been some. To quote him, "It was just a typical Burbank dive bar."

I think that blue arrow is correct as to its location. On the very corner of the main intersection of Buena Vista and Alameda, used to be a Jack In The Box. That was torn down to make way for the Disney Day Care Center that's there now.

But for sure the Pago Pago was real, and it was a favorite of many a Studio employee that wanted a drink and a drag.

[ This Message was edited by: PremEx 2006-11-08 13:24 ]


 
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chisel slinger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 23, 2004
Posts: 263
From: columbus,ohio
Posted: 2006-11-09 06:48 am   Permalink

I'm the ass in the joint. my pago pago ended up being the pooki pooki in cinncinnatti matchbook. never mind.

 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2991
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2006-11-09 9:04 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 22:02, Haole'akamai wrote:
Way to go, Sven!


No, way to go Naomi!
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2991
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2006-11-09 9:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 23:53, Humuhumu wrote:
Naomi sinks a three-pointer! Now that the information is getting all solid-like, and there's an actual address, I've added this Pago Pago to Critiki. The address mapped just fine for me at Google, Yahoo! and Maporama, though I'm sure the building is long gone. It looks like it was about here:




That's it! That's where the bar I remember biking past back in the mid-'80s was. And wasn't the old Buena Vista Travel Agency the first store front in the building just West of that?

OK, I'm trying to envision the front of the place from biking past it Twenty-mumble years ago. All I can remember is a vaguely Beachcomber-looking front featuring Lahula Matting (?), bamboo trim (?), the name, and possibly bamboo around the sign? Mostly I remember it being a darker brown than the surrounding buildings.
_________________
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2991
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2006-11-09 9:44 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-07 21:33, bigbrotiki wrote:
I put my resident Burbank researcher, my girlfriend Naomi Alper, (owner of the swank 8-Ball store now on Magnolia Blvd) on this, who has done some local Tiki research for me before, here is what she found so far:

>>Pago Pago WAS a real bar; it did exist. In fact, many of the people who assisted me in my search remembered it, yet no one seemed to be able to recall what it looked like, inside or out, and I haven't come up with any photos or ads yet. So name aside, we still don't know yet if it was actually a Tiki bar.

But this is what I know so far:

According to a 1952 Burbank City Directory, the Pago Pago Club was located at 2413 W. Alameda Ave. and owned by a Mrs. RT Swartz (a woman!). If you try to get a satellite photo of this address through Google, it will land you in the middle of the street and not on a building, but I have a feeling that it was located where a Disney building now stands (someone called it a travel center in this thread, but I'd always heard it was a day care center). Even if this isn't the exact location, chances are that the original building has been torn down; the only period building that remains on that block is California Kitchens (2305 W. Alameda), a beautiful mid-century gem with gorgeous signage.

One of the librarians who assisted me in the search recalled hearing that a Disney animator liberated the Pago Pago sign when the bar closed. This story was corroborated by this blurb that I found in the LA Times archives from an article dated 1/23/1994:

"A sign in the back yard reading "Pago Pago" offers a clue to the party's origins. "It used to hang outside this bar across from the Disney studios, in Burbank, where the old-time animators met and drank," says Dave Spafford, a Disney vet himself before forming Spaff Animation with [Debbie Spafford] in 1989. Among their credits: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and Woody Woodpecker's Oscar presentation for Best Animated Short Film of 1990."

(Unfortunately, you have to pay to read the rest of the article, and the scripts on the LA Times page kept freezing up my computer, so I didn't want to risk it.)

Another librarian gave me the name of a gentleman who has worked at Disney since 1966, so hopefully he'll be able to provide more info when I call him tomorrow--and maybe provide us with some photos or ephemera? We can only hope!

---Reporting from Burbank, Naomi "Legs" Alper<<

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2006-11-07 22:27 ]


I got the full article via my SDPL account (Love them libraries!):
Quote:
PALM LATITUDES Los Angeles Times Magazine; Times Magazine Desk, Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext). Los Angeles, Calif.: Jan 23, 1994. pg. 9
BY: Judy Raphael
(Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 1994all Rights reserved)

Dave and Debbie Spafford's neighbors have gotten used to the noise and the laughter and even the occasional limo. They know that every Friday night, a corner of their quiet neighborhood becomes the center of the world-well, the animation world.

For the past five years, the Spaffords' Friday night house party (or "animation roadhouse" in Debbie's words), has drawn animators from all over the city, with W.O.M. spreading as far as Europe and Australia. Recent guests have included "Nightmare Before Christmas" director Henry Selick, Ralph ("Fritz the Cat," "Cool World") Bakshi and John Kricfalusi, creator of "Ren & Stimpy."

A sign in the back yard reading "Pago Pago" offers a clue to the party's origins. "It used to hang outside this bar across from the Disney studios, in Burbank, where the old-time animators met and drank," says Dave Spafford, a Disney vet himself before forming Spaff Animation with Debbie in 1989. Among their credits: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and Woody Woodpecker's Oscar presentation for Best Animated Short Film of 1990.

The idea for the parties came out of the Spaffords' experience in England, when they were working on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." (Dave drew the piano duel between Donald Duck and Daffy Duck.) There, animators socialized at a local pub after work, connecting with the film-and each other.

Back home though, animation get-togethers didn't seem to work. "We tried sitting over margaritas at this Mexican restaurant, but it wasn't the same," Dave says. So the Spaffords decided to do it at home-with its Alice-meets-Haight-Ashbury decor, a cartoon fantasy of weird fiberglass horses, spinning mirror disco balls, four pinball machines, a pool table and a '30s-era jukebox.

"This is no football bar," says Dave. "After a few beers, we put out grease pencils and draw on the table, so our whole bar ends up being one big cartoon! We're all freaks. Who else wants to do cartoons?" Byline: Judy Raphael
[Illustration]
PHOTO: COLOR, "Ren & Stimpy" production manager Maureen McCann, left, with the Spaffords. / Dale Berman


Sorry, but the picture doesn't seem to be available.
_________________
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Haole'akamai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2272
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2006-11-09 11:44 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-11-09 21:04, freddiefreelance wrote:
Quote:

On 2006-11-07 22:02, Haole'akamai wrote:
Way to go, Sven!


No, way to go Naomi!




SO TRUE! I read the post too quickly; I should give credit where credit is due....

Naomi, you rawk!


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-11-11 07:09 am   Permalink

I sent the postcard image over to Michael Broggie (son of Disney legend Roger Broggie) who said he does not have any memory of the Pago Pago. However, he told me he would show it to his stepmother, who worked at the studio in the '40s, and to some other contacts he has. Hopefully, something will come of it.

 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2006-11-15 09:13 am   Permalink

I was hoping I would have at least a matchbook from this place, since every bar, no matter how small, had a matchbook even if it didn't have a postcard - but no luck. I've two matchbooks from the Pago Pago in Long Beach, CA, and one from the Pago Cocktail Lounge on York Blvd in Los Angeles. That's about it for the California Pago Pagos. It was a common name and was used all over the U.S.

As far as women owning these tiki bars, it's more common than you would think. Quite a few of my matchbooks and postcards have a woman's name preceding the name of the tiki bar, such as "Vivian Lairds SOUTH SEAS" on the 101 hwy between Anaheim & Santa Ana.

Sabu


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2006-11-15 14:23 ]


 
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Mr. Pupu Pants
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 06, 2008
Posts: 334
From: Edmonds, WA
Posted: 2008-05-16 12:43 pm   Permalink

Hi Guys, GatorRob asked me (on another thread) to post some info about the sign.

The owner of the sign is a good friend (Dave Spafford) and it is still standing proudly in his backyard. I'm not sure if he has any pictures of the actual bar in it's heyday but I'll be happy to ask him.

He worked as an animator at Disney in the 70's (but left to ultimately start his own company--Spaff animation) and used to go to the Pago Pago after work. Years later, when they were tearing the building down, he stopped by the construction site to ask what would happen to the sign (they were literally in the process of getting it ready to pull it out with a crane). The foreman told him it was headed to the dump so Dave offered them some money to hold onto it long enough to arrange to transport it to his house.

Some people at Disney got wind of it and actually filed a suit to somehow claim the sign (because of it's Disney history--even though they had no ownership rights). Dave is friends with Roy Disney and Roy stepped in to tell the Disney people to back off.

The sign is absolutely beautiful and Dave has it wired up so the neon still glows!


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-05-16 2:59 pm   Permalink

That would be awesome to get some pictures of that sign on here! Would be a good addition to this interesting post about the Pago Pago that really doesn't have a lot of information about it.
Thanks, TabooDan


 
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Kewlava
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 47
From: Phoenix
Posted: 2008-05-23 3:53 pm   Permalink

I used to work for Disney Imagineering, and lived in the area.
The building in the foreground is Disney Film Studios. They don't do anything for Disneyland Park there. That's done at the Flower & Sonora cite, or at the Tujunga facility.
There's a small restaurant, Chinese, I believe. Just to the East (out of frame to the right) of the Kitchen Showroom building on the extreme right upper corner of this pic.

So there may have been a tiki bar there, but there was no street sign for one. As for the undergroung passageway... I believe that's Disney Fairy Dust.

Kelly
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Kewlava
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 47
From: Phoenix
Posted: 2008-05-23 3:56 pm   Permalink

I used to work for Disney Imagineering, and lived in the area.
The building in the foreground is Disney Film Studios. They don't do anything for Disneyland Park there. That's done at the Flower & Sonora cite, or at the Tujunga facility.
The blue arrow is actually pointing to a small tree-lined fenced playground, at a very exclusive child daycare center.
There is however a small restaurant, Chinese, I believe. Just to the East (out of frame to the right) of the Kitchen Showroom building on the extreme right upper corner of this pic.

So there may have been a tiki bar there, but there was no street sign for one. As for the underground passageway... I believe that's Disney Fairy Dust.

Kelly
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