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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Lea Lea Room, Mission Inn, Riverside, CA (bar)
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Lea Lea Room, Mission Inn, Riverside, CA (bar)
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 9188
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2012-05-13 4:07 pm   Permalink

Great work guys, cool info.

I keep meaning to go see the place, I have driven past it a few times.
Always on the way somewhere else of course.
I don't get out to the I.E. much.
maybe I need to change that, and go spend a weekend.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2012
Posts: 116
Posted: 2012-07-27 2:03 pm   Permalink

I live about 5 miles from it and it is still as beautiful as ever. I do wish they hadn't converted the Lea Lea room back to it's oriental theme though. Oh well...
The Island is Calling......

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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2802
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2012-08-02 1:52 pm   Permalink

Filling in a few more pieces of the timeline from old newspaper archives.

The earliest references all call this room the "Lealea Room" with no spaces between the Lea's. Example is this ad from 1941:

The ad is fascinating to me because it shows that there was a live orchestra on Friday and Saturday nights, but informal dancing with recorded music on Monday thru Thursday. Wonder if they used one of those big multi-record
Capehart players like Don The Beachcomber did.

So DustyCajun's research shows that the Lea Lea Room was built in the late 1930s. Here's the additional data I found:

1940 - Riverside Elks Lodge attends its Hawaiian Luau in the Lealea room.
1941 - More mentions of guests dancing in the Lea Lea room of the Mission Inn
1946 - Radio broadcasts of music from the Lea Lea room on station KPRO at 10pm on Thursdays
1951 - The Oriental room and the Lea Lea room, are two separate adjoining banquet halls. That's probably what you see in DustyCajun's postcard.
1957 - New owner Ben Swig renovates the Mission Inn and reintroduces dancing to the Lea Lea Room
1964 - Lea Lea room is mentioned as having a "pretty waterfall"
1966 - Now referred to as the Oriental Lea-Lea Room. Must have changed decor sometime between 1951 and 1966.
1967 - Weddings are being held in the Mission Inn Chapel with receptions afterwards in the Lea Lea Room throughout the Sixties & Seventies. Wonder if anyone was ever shocked ed by having a Christian wedding ceremony in one room, then a reception in another room presided over by Buddha. My parents and grandparents probably would have been.
1977 - last mention of the Lea Lea Room I could find in the newspaper archives was for a luncheon hosted by the Orange Empire Retired Officers Wives club.


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2012-08-02 13:56 ]

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