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December 15, 2008

New photo of Marineland Sky Tower - Aerial Photos Show Parts Remaining & Disappearing

The California Coastal Records Project recently posted an aerial photo from 1993. Guess what is still standing amount the ruins?

In each of the previous aerial photos of Marineland of the Pacific that Modern Day Ruins has found, the Sky Tower was missing.   That is because these previous photos were taken after the Sky Tower was removed in 1995.  The series of aerial images can be viewed on Modern Day Ruins original Marineland of the Pacific page.   It is both intriging and upsetting to see a birds-eye view of Marineland as it changed through the years. One can easily see different parts of Marineland disappearing as the time goes on.   It is almost like they were scrapping the parts slowly over the years.  So much so that there should be a park-designated for Marineland alone.  At least the signature cliff and ocean view is still there, keeping the old spirit of Marineland alive.

Click the photo and zoom in on the tower.

Modern Day Ruins is still looking for a ground photos of the abandoned Sky Tower!  Email us if you come across any.

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

August 28, 2008

Lion Country Safari: Irvine, California

Lion Country Safari existed in Irvine, California until 1984. Lion Country was founded and headed up by South African CEO Harry Shuster of United Leisure in 1968 and the first park opened in Florida in 1969. The second park in California opened in June 1970. In 1982, two years prior to closing the park, United Leisure opened a summer day camp, Camp Frasier to hopefully help offset the effects of low attendance. Meanwhile there was still no budget for maintaining the park and its deteriorating attractions meant the park's future was doomed. In 1984 with dwindled attendance and decrepit conditions the park closed. In 1982, During the final years of the park, a long bitter battle began between Shuster and the Irvine Company where the Irvine Company decided to renegotiate the 28 year lease on the land (which began in 1968) and try to take back control as nearby property values increased and the park was proving to be a financial liability.

Harry Shuster then became involved in a bitter and excruciating legal battle until 1997 when they finally reached a settlement. During the ongoing legal battle Shuster threatened to 'tear it all down' -- including Irvine Meadows (built on a sublease agreement with U.L., now
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater), Wild Rivers, and the day camp. His reasoning was, "I built all this on a firm 28 year lease agreement, why should the Irvine Company be allowed to take it from me just because they want it back?". A portion of the park's entertainment area was converted into the current water park Wild Rivers in 1986-87. The remaining portion of the park was left as Camp Frasier which continued until the early 1990s when it became Camp James. During the years of Camp Frasier the drive through reserve was used for horseback riding, archery, ATC, ATV riding and hiking. Lion Country was originally in the city limits of Laguna Hills.

August 25, 2008

Marineland of the Pacific Sky Tower Article: Wrecking Ball Punctuates End of Marineland Era

Marineland of the Pacific Sky Tower Article
Wrecking Ball Punctuates End of Marineland Era
Feb 17, 1988

For more than 30 years, the Marineland sign marked the main entrance to the aquatic park along the Rancho Palos Verdes coast.

Now, there is a new sign-that of the Cleveland Wrecking Co.-and a glance toward the sea tells why.

With a wrecking ball and pile drivers, a demolition crew on Tuesday began knocking down the main stadium-like aquarium where the killer whales Corky and Orky once cavorted before thousands of cheering fans.

Marineland of the Pacific Sky Tower

Since the Marineland of the Pacific Sky Tower stood abandoned for 10 years before it was finally taken down, it deserves a post of its own.

According to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center,

"The tower was taken down as it was a navigational hazard to aircraft. Vandals had taken all of the copper wiring and it no longer had a light on top of it. The City announced that it was to be taken down, hired extra people to man the phones for the complaints, and did not receive one phone call."

Abandoned Public Pool in Forest Falls, CA

We received a great photo of an abandoned public pool located in Forest Falls, CA from Valerie who lives in San Pedro, CA.

We will post more info as we get it.

Thanks Valerie!

2012 Update: An anonymous commented added the following information:

"Unfortunately, the cost of liability caused the closing of the pool."  " has been closed 40+ years."
See the comments before for the full message.

January 18, 2008

Talk About an Abandoned Place You Know

Use the comments in this posting to submit abandoned places that you know about or remember from the past.

January 17, 2008

Rock-A-Hoola Water Park - On the way to Vegas

I've passed the waterpark many times on the way to Vegas. It always seemed closed... the closed waterpark stuck out and stuck in my mind. With some digging for information, I found out that the water park has not opened to the public since 2004 after an unfortunate accident and expensive lawsuit to follow. This article explains the reason why.

Lake Dolores is the original, given name of the man-made lake(s) and the surrounding site where stands a still physically-existent yet currently inoperative waterpark on Hacienda Road in the desert town of Newberry Springs, San Bernardino County, California, USA. When last open to the general public, the park itself went by the relatively recent and updated name(s) Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark for a short period of time and subsequently Discovery Water Park for an even shorter period. Despite the recent, successive name changes due to two separate transfers of ownership, the site is still far more commonly known by the general public as "Lake Dolores".

Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark has been abandoned since 2004.

Rock-a-Hoola is the most popular page on the site.   Help keep it alive by sharing your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

January 11, 2008

The Long Beach Pike

My aunt suggested I look into the Long Beach Pike. As of the end of 2007, the Looff carousel building, was rotting in a parking lot. It appears they are going to move and preserve at least part of it.

The Pike was an amusement park and arcade near the beach south of Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, California. Started in 1902, The Pike ran until 1979, when a long-term contract with the city ran out. It was most noted for its large wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone, that extended out over the water.

Southern California Closed Drive-Ins

There is a great website about closed drive-in theaters in Southern California. I remember the Panorama City, Winnetka 6, and Van Nuys/Sepulveda theaters. It would be great if this site added current pictures of the sites - then and now comparisons.

See it here: (link no longer valid as of 9-2012)

A ticket booth from the Sepulveda drive-in still standing today.

Sepulveda Drive-In
6127 Sepulveda Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91411

Screens: 1
Car Capacity: 1500

Opened: 1955
Closed: 1989

Here are some amazing Google Earth images that show the transformation of the Sepulveda Drive-in site (now a parking lot):

1989 (the screen is still there - on the left)






How about some other San Fernando Valley Drive-in Theaters?

Winnetka 6 (now Pacific Theaters)





Panorama City (now a Middle School)





Unknown Miniature Golf Course - Canoga Park, CA

For years this old miniature golf course was left abandoned near the corner of Erin Street and Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Canoga Park, CA. I remember going there as a child. I have not been able to find any information on this course, nor any photos online (besides this aerial view from Microsoft Live Maps).

This course is being removed to make way for the expanded Westfield Topanga Mall.
Read more about it here.

Supposedly there was also an amusement park, a giant slide, driving range, arcade with mini bowling, and trampolines as well.

Please be sure to post comments if you know more about this course.

January 9, 2008

Disney's Discovery Island

Discovery Island, also known as "Bay Lake's Tropical Island Paradise," is an 11½-acre island in Bay Lake at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It opened as "Treasure Island" on April 8, 1974, and was a place to observe wildlife. It was closed to the public on April 8, 1999, but continued to operate until July 9, 1999, at which point all of its animals had been relocated to new homes at Disney's Animal Kingdom (which retained the Discovery Island name in the hub area formerly called Safari Village) and other zoos.

Disney's Discovery Island has been abandoned since 1999.  Before it closed many families made memories here and they will continue to talk about their time spent on Disney's Discovery Island. Whether they stayed right in Disney-themed hotels or in Disney hotels Orlando, they adventured to the Island, that is, until they were no longer able. At the time, the Bay was a popular site for Disney travelers.

Did you have the chance to visit Discovery Island before it closed?  Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

Check out Jurassic World and the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans/Jazzland on Modern Day Ruins:
Six Flags New Orleans/Jazzland - A History:
Jurassic World filming at Six Flags New Orleans/Jazzland:

Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador Hotel was a landmark hotel in Los Angeles, California from 1921 until it was demolished in late 2005 and early 2006.

The Old Griffith Park Zoo

The Griffith Park Zoo - Opened in 1913 with 15 animals. Many of the enclosures were built in the 1930’s by Works Progress Administration crews and were made in the iron bars/pacing animal style that was standard for zoos of that era. The zoo was abandoned in 1966 when the current zoo opened.  

Today the cave enclosures have now been outfitted with picnic benches and grills. A trail leading up from the caves gives you a zookeeper’s view of the area and leads to ever more abandoned ruins.  Some of the iron gates of the cages are open, making the cages accessible to walk through.  It's a strange feeling entering a place where animals were previously caged.

The Griffith Park Zoo is not exactly abandoned, but the ruins can be easily found in the hillside.

Disney's River Country Abandoned

River Country was a water park located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It opened on June 20, 1976 and last operated in November 2001. On January 20, 2005, The Walt Disney Company announced that River Country would remain closed permanently. It is said to have been the world's first fully themed water park.  These days no one is plunging into the swimming hole or relaxing under a umbrella after hours of tubing and splashing. River country is no longer an enjoyable water park of fun as it has been taken over by nature. Brush and trees have infiltrated the slides, the lake and wading areas, like an umbrella of gloom.

Disney's River Country has been abandoned since 2005.

Disney's River Country was unlike any water park we have today.  Did you have the chance to visit before it closed?  Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

Marineland of the Pacific | Abandoned Places

Marineland of the Pacific was a public oceanarium and tourist attraction located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula coast in Los Angeles County, California, USA. Architect William Pereira designed the main structure. It was also known as Hanna-Barbera's Marineland during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Marineland operated from 1954 until 1987, when it was purchased by the owners of SeaWorld, San Diego. The new owners moved the popular killer whales and other animals to their San Diego facility and abruptly closed Marineland.

Marineland of the Pacific was loved by many.  It is surely missed. Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.

Lake Mead Water Level Lowers, Finds Grow

  Lake Mead Water Level Lowering, Finds Growing Lake Mead is a reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in the Southwestern ...