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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Don The Beachcomber, Marina Del Rey, CA (restaurant)
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Don The Beachcomber, Marina Del Rey, CA (restaurant)
ZuluMagoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 472
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2010-03-22 12:33 pm   Permalink

I was watching some episodes from Dexter (Showtime series about a Miami serial killer, awesome show!) over the weekend. I thought that show was all shot on location down in South Florida. But in Season 4 when Dexter crashes his car, he has to stop by the pharmacy. I thought the scene looked familiar, then here it was. They were using the old Don's in Marina Del Rey as the pharmacy when Dex gets out and explores around the exterior of the place for a few mintues (mostly digging in the dumpster).

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4840
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-01-19 6:09 pm   Permalink

Bora Boris,

Thanks for posting those screengrabs, great shots of the place in all of its glory.

I stopped by the building on Monday on my way to lunch at the Warehouse Restaurant which is right down the street. Happy to report that the building is still there in the same historic condition.



I saw this sign out front - a notice of an environmental impact report for development at the site which concerned me!



I went on line today to check it out. The Marina Del Rey Hotel, located next door, is applying for a major remodel, including the Don The Beachcomber building. The good news is the the building is not going to be torn down. Here is the site plan and elevations from the MND website.





The bad news is that the plans indicate that the DTB building is going to get a new tile roof and a coat of white paint, and is going to be used for offices and a spa.



If you haven't seen the old gal you should make a point of stopping by before it gets the make over. It is only a few minutes from the 405 and the lunch at the Warehouse was quite good. You can get the Rum Barrel and keep the mug for $10.

DC


 
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Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 486
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2011-01-19 10:16 pm   Permalink

Wow - thanks for the update DC... it's good news that this classic building will survive, but sad to know it will most likely be stripped of any remaining visible signs of its former self. I gotta add this to my socal tour I'm planning...

 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2614
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2011-01-30 12:21 pm   Permalink

Here's the aerial view of the UFO from 1972 ~



_________________


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11524
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-01-30 12:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-02-08 18:06, Bora Boris wrote:
The Style Network is showing Loverboy a few times this week if you'd like to get a small dose of the Marina Del Rey Don's.

Screen grabs courtesy of Mr. Bali Hai



Just saw this post on the previous page. Call me kuku, but that Tiki in the foreground looks like it's from the same prop smith than the three on the Waltons set (incl. the Peewee Tiki). No it is not the SAME than anyone of the three, but the style and fiberglass make me think that it was made by the same maker.

Oh, and this rendering belongs in this thread too:



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11524
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-04-20 3:56 pm   Permalink

Gone baby gone. On of the longest extant Tiki temple ruins, now a construction site. Last time I saw it, we had fun. Thanks John-0:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=39471&forum=17&start=90

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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2014-06-24 7:58 pm   Permalink

Not completely gone, just remodeled. The "bones" are still there. I took this photo today...



 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3830
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2014-06-27 07:31 am   Permalink

Great thread.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4840
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-08-22 2:43 pm   Permalink

John-O,

Thanks for the photo update. Glad I got to see it a few times before the remodel. I sure hope someone saved those front doors. Here is a really old aerial shot of the UFO building.





DC


 
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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 188
Posted: 2016-03-20 9:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-22 14:43, Dustycajun wrote:
Glad I got to see it a few times before the remodel. I sure hope someone saved those front doors.



We did! And we can't believe it's taken us so long to get back on this thread, but hey, these last years have been nonstop urban archeology out in the field -- no time to post or catch up, we'll save that for retirement!

Saving the doors was a must. To think of all the tiki greats who walked through those doors ... Paul Page, Donn Beach, and who even knows who else ... and besides that, we just flat-out loved this place. Even though we never knew it as an operational restaurant or when the doors actually opened to somewhere. It was our favorite site of "abandoned tiki" anywhere and we always made time for it.





JOHN-O's
Westside Nautical Bar Tour caught it all at a perfect moment. DtB was still long closed, but the remnants were there, and there wasn't any talk yet of "revitalization," which is sure to incinerate every last piece of historic interest or character in the area...

Marina del Rey in its 60s/70s heyday was right up our alley ... Paul Page in one of several area lounges including Pieces of Eight, Burt Hixson hanging up the World Famous Restaurants International plaque in the lobby of The Warehouse, location shots being made for shows like Mannix and Fantasy Island, and the "marina swinger" style as described in BOT was in full swing. Very cool.

So those plans posted earlier in this thread made us uneasy -- we knew that chances were very slim that something good was going to come to this. We got out there about a day after bigbro posted about its end, and sure enough the scene was horrific:



All the concrete 'spider legs' were gone, all the walkways gone, even the dock pilings gone...





But, spotted right there in the wreckage:



The door!

We talked to some of the workers who thought we were crazy but eventually they did get the foreman. And the foreman, upon hearing that we were from his home state of Ohio, said that he'd do us a favor -- and in a moment we were on our way with the last chunk of the door:



We ran into the groundskeeper Domingo (whom we'd interviewed before because he knew DtB back in the heyday and is full of great stories), who eyed us suspiciously as we tried to figure out how to get this huge chunk of wood in the back of the car. "Are you sure you're allowed to be doing that?" he asked. We told him yes, we just talked to the foreman. He too walked away thinking we were crazy -- but he admitted that I was wearing the right shirt for the job!

We brought it out to Bob and LeRoy at OA and talked to the guys about when they first built it. LeRoy remembered the pickled cedar that he used for the door. They arranged to ship it back to us via freight along with a daggerboard LeRoy had carved...



As it turned out there was dry rot in the wood and it took a whole lot of Git Rot to fix it ... and then coats and coats of marine varnish. Luckily no teenage hoodlums discovered our garage that summer because the smell was pretty constant:



All done and in the Treasure Island Room:





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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 188
Posted: 2016-03-20 9:23 pm   Permalink

Also for completeness, some shots of the interior when it was still a restaurant, circa 1989 (from Loverboy). They renamed it "Tiki Joe's" for the film ... a lot of big lamps and lights in the interiors, which give it the look. Also a tiki from the back of the building that we haven't seen before, and there's an area in the lobby with a big interesting tiki guy, a volcano that lights, and a hula girl mannequin:





























 
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