end of an era

Man, our friends down in The OC just can’t catch a break. First their Los Fullerton Angels of The City of Orange get their asses handed to them by the Los Angeles White Sox of Chicago, and now I learn that The Los Angeles Movieland Wax Muesum of Buena Park is closing on Halloween!

The museum’s owner says few tourists visit the museum because of increased competition from shopping malls and nearby amusement parks like Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm.

The owner says he may also close Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum across the street.

In its heyday in the 1960s, the museum drew up to a million annual visitors, and stars like James Stewart, Sammy Davis Junior and Carol Burnett showed up for unveilings of their wax figures.

But, as Buena Park Mayor Don McCay puts it, “The wax museum is not a modern tourist attraction anymore.”

Ripley’s, too? For fuck’s sake! What’s next? Medieval Times? That restaurant with the wagon wheel?

Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to go all the way up to San Francisco to see the collection after they move it.

I’ll bring back (more) water.

CategoriesLA

9 Replies to “end of an era”

  1. 27 years as an Orange County resident, and I’ve never been (mostly because I tend to avoid theme park parameters like Vegas locals avoid the strip). But if it’s leaving, AND they have Olsen Twin waxies, I’m gonna have to make the $5 trip on Saturday.

  2. Now I have to dig out the picture I have of my visit to the place in, like… 1972 or something ancient like that. Anyone remember the Japanese Garden that was nearby? It shut down in the 80s I think.

  3. Speaking of So Cal theme parks closing, anybody remember Marineland in the Pacific Palisades?

    http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=1&tid=34488928

    “I too loved Marineland in Pacific Palisades, CA when I was little. I liked that it had a more serene feel than Sea World in San Diego. I was always enchanted by the bluff it sat on and the enormous ocean view. And the penguins, the beginning of a long love affair.”

    And…

    Marineland – if you were the first 5 in the park in the morning, you could suit up to swim in the tank with the “sharks.” My girlfriend and I did that one time. Quite an experience.”

  4. Nearly five decades and I’ve never been to Movieland. I did go to the Hollywood Wax Museum a couple of times in the 70’s.

    Oh man, I miss the Japanese Garden and Deer Park. I used to be entralled by the pearl divers when I was a kid. Also, it was probably the first place I tasted green tea.

    Marineland holds a special place in my heart, though I recall it got a bit ratty near the end. A friend and I once spent a half-hour (by ourselves, without a staff person anywhere to be seen) literally playing ball with a bottlenosed dolphin. Whenever we’d try to leave, it would toss the ball at us and splash around. How could we refuse?!? It was a transcendental cross-species moment I doubt I’ll ever forget.

  5. Here is a great website on tribe.net about defunct buildings and such around LA. There’s a current post about Marineland and I think remember seeing one awhile back about the Japanese Gardens.

    defunctla.tribe.net

  6. I’m looking forward to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure like you wouldn’t believe. It will be a mecha for Pastafarrians every Sept. 19th. And if anybody wants to invest in a great business idea for across the street from Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, let me know. I can give you a hint, it something to do with black-clad people and throwing stars.

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