Friday, June 30, 2006

The Parasol Restaurant

12241 Seal Beach Blvd, Seal Beach CA

So I guess there were two Parasol restaurants in Southern California. One in Torrance, and one in Seal Beach. This photo is from the Seal beach location last year. This site has been in danger of redevelopment for a while, and is in fact now stripped to the bare wood. It is supposed to reopen next year as part of the new development, but I have no idea how close to the original design it will be. I am always afraid when something like this happens, the developers often "change" their mind and we end up losing our treasures. It would be a huge sham if this place reopened looking completely different than it was supposed to. It is just so beautiful and it would be a horrible to lose such an important piece of architectural originality.

2690 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA

This place on the other hand was not so fortunate, The Torrance location, known as Dinah's Parasol was demolished a few years ago. But I guess it was for the greater good, because we all needed yet another Walgreens Pharmacy. I figure style loses out to drugs every time. So when you're driving past Crenshaw Blvd. and PCH, remember to stop by the pharmacy and pick up some drugs, that's what it's there for.

Visit the friends of the Parasol and see photos of the construction here.

Or find a Walgreens near you here.


Friday, June 23, 2006

J's Coffee Shop

The focus today is on J's Coffee House in Delano Ca. Every year a few of us go to Sequoia National park, and I always try to get some pictures of the cool roadside signs along the way. Most of these places are gone, but the signs remain to serve as a reminder of a time when style and optimism meant something.

Here's another view from our return trip. I'd eat there if it was still open. I love greasy spoons (even if my stomach doesn't).


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Movieland- Tom Selleck

One of the newer, least detailed sets in the museum. Not much here except Tom lounging around in a tuxedo. I'm not sure, but perhaps this set was used with another figure because it seems so out of place. Maybe if he was wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt and short OP shorts then he could be Magnum P.I. But I guess the Detroit Tigers baseball cap would mess up his hair.

A closer picture makes Tom look like he does not want to be here. But It's the Movieland Wax Museum! Lighten up.

When I first read this sign , I thought that this was supposed to be a scene from Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. I haven't seen that movie, but I doubt he wears a tuxedo in it. I like how it says Tom Selleck is wearing the actually tuxedo, not the figure is wearing it. Both cool and creepy at the same time. The set sold for $550 at auction. Mr. Selleck did not go up for sale. He moved up north to the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf where he resides with other "Hollywood hunks".

Many of the figures moved to a sister wax museum at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Find out which figures moved by visiting the Wax Museum's website here.

View Tom's profile and extensive motion picture and television credits here.


Monday, June 12, 2006

der Kinder Garden

With its really cool sign, this preschool was next to the Roadium for as long as I can remember. For the last few years the building has sat unoccupied, until this week that is. Every time I drove past this place I wanted to take a picture because I loved its 60's (I'm assuming) architecture.

But this is how it looked this past week. And now it is completely rubble, and will soon be gone. I don't know what will happen to the property, but I hope that it doesn't become ugly town homes. I'd rather it become more parking for the Roadium.

This section of the building was still standing when I took this photograph (obviously), but this too is rubble now. Check out the cool angles on those support columns.

Check out more pictures from this set here.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Marineland of the Pacific

Marineland of the Pacific was a Sea World type oceanarium on the Palos Verdes peninsula for over thirty years. I went there once as a kid before it closed, and I had the best time. The modern architecture was so beautiful. It is so unfortunate that the owners of Sea World bought it, promised to keep it open, then closed it soon after. For twenty years the place has been abandoned, but work seems to be going on now, and plans to redevelop the property as the Terranea resort have been underway recently. This sign has even been changed. The blue and white wavy lines have been replaced with a resort themed mural. The remaining modern architecture is being replaced with the ugly pseudo-Mediterranean style which plagues the south bay.

This is how the sign used to look. I found this picture on the internet somewhere. The big whale really scared me when I was younger, but now I wish it was still there. The dolphins were relocated somewhere and I heard the whale is in storage waiting for a home.

Here is a picture of the restaurant and Dolphin room buildings. I guess they are closer to the cliffs than modern building codes allow, so the developers cannot build any new structure so close. There have been plans to keep the buildings (drastically remodeled) and have them grandfatered in so the beautiful view can be preserved. But I don't really know anything about it.

Visit the Marineland of the Pacific Historical Society here.

Or see plans for the new Terranea resort here.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Movieland- Taming of the Shrew

Today's focus is back on the Movieland Wax Museum. The next display after you enter the museum is from The Taming of the Shrew with Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. I just love the expression on his face. This set deserved more than to be sold off. Douglas here sold for $1,000, while the set sold for $2,000.

Mary Pickford in the actual dress from the movie. There was so much history at this museum. It still makes me sad that it closed. Imagine dedicating the opening of the museum and having your wax figure being one of the first figures people see. Mary here sold for $3,250. A lot more than her partner Doug.

Every set had one of these giving information on the movie or television show portrayed. This one has more information than some of the newer displays.

Many of the figures moved to a sister wax museum at fisherman's wharf in San Francisco. Find out which figures moved by visiting the Wax Museum's website here.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Adventure Thru Inner Space

So what on Earth is this round thing you ask? Well for over twenty years I didn't know either. The only thing I knew was that it had to do with Disneyland. (Being that it was smack in the middle of an old Disneyland photo album of my dad's.) But one day it finally clicked that it was the nucleus of the atom from Monsanto's Adventure Thru Inner space. Seeing that Tomorrowland has always been my favorite land in Disneyland, finding such an old picture from its glory days was a big find for me. Today's focus is on the two pictures I have of this attraction.

This second picture is of my uncle enjoying the view from the Peoplemover (The all time greatest attraction in Disneyland history). Notice the Mighty Microscope in the background, along with the snowflake mural. I had no problem identifying the two classic attractions in this photo.

View these two photos, along with many others from this attraction here.

Or if you're really bored, visit Monsanto's website here.


The Movieland Wax Museum

The focus today is on the Movieland Wax museum. For years I would look at this beautiful marquee every time I drove past Beach Blvd from the 91 freeway (I guess I have a thing for marquees with flashing diamond lights). But since Halloween 2005 this wonderful museum has been no more. I'll post some pictures from my marathon of trips from last October.

This was the first wax figure experienced once inside the museum. Nobody famous, just a ticket taker and a booth, but they sold for $4,000 at auction.

Many of the figures moved to a sister wax museum at fisherman's wharf in San Francisco. Find out which figures moved by visiting the Wax Museum's website here.


Friday, June 02, 2006

The Roadium

A drawing I did of the Roadium open air market in Torrance Ca. This place used to be a drive-in movie theatre, but it has been a long time since this place has shown any movies. At least it hasn't been demolished yet. Plus you can get some cool deals on everything from spanish language music to old Nintendo games.

Visit the Roadium's website Here.