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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Sea and Jungle Imports, Glendale, CA (store)
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Sea and Jungle Imports, Glendale, CA (store)
Tiki-Kate
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2009-06-05 6:03 pm   Permalink

Name:Sea and Jungle Imports
Type:store
Street:4666 San Fernando Road
City:Glendale
State:CA
Zip:91204
country:USA
Phone:(213) 246-0268
Status:defunct

Description:
Sea and Jungle offered Polynesian decor designed, furnished and installed for restaurants, commercial, residential, exhibits and displays.

You could go down to Sea and Jungle and pick up a Bumatay tiki. Wow!



 
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Tiki-Kate
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2009-06-05 6:04 pm   Permalink

A friend gave me this letterhead last weekend. Nothing fancy, but it's always nice to pick up a little piece of Poly Pop history. Anyway, I thought I'd do one post and gather up some images from here and there.




Here is the 1972 catalog that Chub picked up at the Florian Gabriel estate sale.



















This catalog is from Dan Goodsell's blog. He posted it back in 2006.






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tyger jymmy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 14, 2003
Posts: 554
From: califorina
Posted: 2009-06-05 6:47 pm   Permalink

Hey Kate very Kewl post & pics .

 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3492
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-06-05 8:01 pm   Permalink

that giant maori tiki in the last brochure looks like the one duke carter has....same base too i think. I wonder if this was a "one-off" or if sea and jungle made these to order....

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-06-06 07:43 am   Permalink

Love this place. Here is a postcard.



And and ad that Bora Boris posted.



DC


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2789
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-09-07 10:37 pm   Permalink

My latest eBay purchase: An actual photo someone snapped of the exterior of the Sea and Jungle back in the day:






Because everybody needs a life-sized Elephant in their backyard.




Now THAT'S a nice old-school tiki. Any idea who might have carved this one?



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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-09-07 22:59 ]


 
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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 716
From: SoCal
Posted: 2009-09-07 10:59 pm   Permalink

Here are a few shots taken at Sea and Jungle in 1958







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[ This Message was edited by: Murph 2009-09-07 23:00 ]


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2789
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-09-07 11:02 pm   Permalink

Excellent photos, Murph! Thanks for posting those.

I also noticed that this tiki in the brochure:



Looked like it might be the one that ended up in the Tonga Lei in Malibu, CA:


However, on closer inspection, the tiki in the brochure appears to have three fingers on each hand while the Tonga Lei's has four.

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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-09-07 23:10 ]


 
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Tobor64
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 13, 2009
Posts: 402
From: Burbank, CA.
Posted: 2009-09-07 11:10 pm   Permalink

Great photos of the catalog, and you gotta love the selection they offered. Fake banana bunches? Sexy topless girl velvet paintings? Who could ask for anything more?

 
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Koolau
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 23, 2006
Posts: 323
From: Oahu, Hawaii
Posted: 2009-09-07 11:37 pm   Permalink

It's so wrong that you can still buy these damn pointy tooth masks, but not a Bumatay-style tiki.

I guess no Bumatay, no Bumatay tikis.






 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-02-08 7:37 pm   Permalink

I was super lucky to find one of the brochures from the Sea and Jungle that Tiki Kate posted pics of. I thought I would add a few close up shots of some of the images.

Here is the exterior scene with the classic sign and the elephant.




You can spot a few really nice, big Tikis.




What I never realized until I got the brochure was that there was a second warehouse store across the street as seen in this close up.



Will scan some more close ups from the brochure and post later.

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-02-08 7:54 pm   Permalink

By the time I discovered them (around 1986...) they had "shrunk" back to one warehouse. But it had an A-frame entrance. I wish I would have had the mindset back then to explore their history. It took O.A. to do that for me.

I had picked up up one of those brochures back then, but it disappeared since. The first one posted by Kate looks like very late in the game, too. I just noticed the Gilligan Guanko Tiki, Nr. 76. Looks like they were the ones that manufactured it.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-02-08 20:04 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-02-09 07:42 am   Permalink

Sven,

1986, that was at the very end of the Sea and Jungle. Here is an LA Times article on the closing and history of the store from June of 1986.


San Fernando Road is about the last place in Glendale you would expect to see a 12-foot pink elephant lurking in the palms. Gray and industrial, the street is a preserve for light industry, not pachyderms.

That's why the Sea and Jungle Imports shop on San Fernando strikes visitors with the force of a Micronesian battle-ax. The place looks like a Disneyland South Seas hut and, for 24 years, rented exotic props to the movie industry. For years, shoppers have rummaged there among thousands of oddities to find just the right grass shack or five-foot wooden Tiki, the representation of a god who, in Polynesian mythology, created the first man.

And don't forget the pink fiberglass elephant at the store's entrance.

Folding Its Tent

But, on June 30, after a generation of procuring creatures for the black lagoon, Sea and Jungle is calling it quits. The family that owns it is liquidating the stock; its manager is moving to a less tropical locale--Southwest Missouri.

"Everyone's over 60, and we want to retire," said Beverly Achtien, who owns the family business along with her mother, Virginia Langdon, sister, Sybil Fredericks, and two brothers, Jack and Bill Snyder.

The family members say that advancing age and increased competition from overseas contributed to their decision to close the Glendale landmark.

Buyers didn't exactly line up, and the owners' children were not interested in taking over the business, Fredericks said. A neighboring manufacturer bought the property.

Sea and Jungle's departure will make San Fernando Road a less colorful place. It will also leave set decorators in the lurch, say some movie industry personnel familiar with the company.

"They've always come up with unusual things you can't find anyplace else," said Lee Congiardo, a set designer for Landmark Enterprises who worked with Walt Disney Enterprises for 16 years. "I don't know what I'm going to do without them."

Technical Advice for Movies

Sea and Jungle also provided the movie industry with technical information, such as how to rig a sail on a tall ship's mizzenmast, he said. Just recently, Congiardo said, he found a small cannon that he needed at the Glendale store.

Sea and Jungle props decorated Rick's Cafe Americaine in "Casablanca," Achtien said. They carried natives over the waves in "Mutiny on the Bounty." And they adorned countless TV movie

On a recent day, the two sisters bustled about the half-empty store sorting through the remaining goodies and reminiscing.

Achtien recalled how her brother once bought a load of African voodoo dolls that the family despaired would ever sell in sensible Glendale.

"Frankly, I didn't like them. But they went so fast it made your head spin," she said. What about the store's mascot, the life-size pink elephant?


"I was thinking of taking him to Missouri, but my husband said, 'Forget that, he'd never fit through the underpasses,' " Achtien said with a sigh. "I wanted to put him on a flatbed truck and drive him right out."

Meanwhile, the elephant, designed by the man who animated the creatures in Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride and which Achtien says can be re-animated, was sold this week for $600 to a decorating firm, which plans to use it as a prop for Republican Party gatherings. "I personally don't like the color of it. We're thinking of turning it back to gray," said David Post, of Stagecoach productions in Reno, Nev.

All other items in the store are listed at 70% off, although Achtien says she is "absolutely ready" to make deals with interested buyers.

One item not for sale is an evocative neon sign that lights up to show three monkeys scrambling up and down a palm tree. The family plans to donate the piece to the Museum of Neon Art in downtown Los Angeles.

Love Did It

Achtien's family stumbled into the exotic-prop business through love. When Virginia Langdon was 17 and enrolled at Hollywood High School, she eloped to Hawaii with her 16-year-old boyfriend because her parents opposed the marriage. They lived there five years, developing a lifelong passion for things tropical, their daughters recall.

The couple returned to Glendale and bought Sea and Jungle in 1962. There they ran a thriving business, making occasional forays to the South Pacific and Africa to replenish stock. Their children drifted naturally into the business, but it was Achtien who managed the shop in recent years.

Young people liked the place because it sold wacky items, she said. So did movie stars. Comedian Pee Wee Herman once bought a lamp shaped like a giant clump of yellow bananas. John Wayne favored nautical gear. Dorothy Lamour bought decorative wall hangings for her bar.

Is Achtien going to take a little bit of Polynesia with her to Missouri? She and her sister say they might open a boutique in a year or so in the small Missouri Ozarks town of Branson, where Achtien has relatives.

"I don't think it's the place for a Hawaiian shop, though," she said.


Kind of sad, makes you really appreciate the fact that Bob and Leroy are still at Oceanic Arts. Anybody know if the monkey sign ever made it over to the Museum of Neon Art?

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-02-09 10:51 pm   Permalink

Yes, it was a shock to return to the place one day and find it all locked up and emptied out.

The article really shows well how Polynesian pop was perceived in the 80s: As something strange and unique, with NO mention of the restaurant industry -yet of movie rentals, which is also how Oceanic Arts survived the years of the abolition and sinking into oblivion of Tiki.


 
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Trader Tom
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 802
From: Hillsboro, OR
Posted: 2011-06-07 12:42 am   Permalink

I picked up a large postcard this last weekend that shows the front decorated a bit differently from some of the other pics already posted. I'm not sure if this image is already in another thread, but I'll add it here for good measure with my attempts at close-ups:









 
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