Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Polynesian pop, Fair, Port Theater & Seal Beach

Today I'm posting two more older images from the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa. The first photo (top) is a postcard from about 1964. Clearly there was a Polynesian/Tiki theme that year. It appears that O.C.'s own "Original Beachcomber," Eli Hedley (wearing a hat and standing under a tiki banner) both helped with the decor and also had a booth from which to hawk his wares. Based on the design, I'd guess he carved the moai on the right side of the image himself. Today's second photo shows the Fair's entrance sign in 1963.
Speaking of the South Seas craze of the 1960s, there's a fun blurb in today's Register discussing how one neighborhood in Huntington Beach got its Polynesian-themed street names. (No, it's not in Fountain Valley.) The end of the article mashes-up two separate points. First point: Island-themed names were yet another way for the developers to highlight the tract's proximity to the ocean. Second point: Developers applied popular themes (e.g. Polynesia) to 1960s tracts for marketing purposes -- And they do the same thing today (e.g. Tuscany).
The Port Theater in Corona del Mar is no longer doomed. But is it being restored or remuddled? The facade has been torn off and will be replaced with a more modern-looking glass wall. Inside, the seats are being removed and other interior features are being stripped out. Last Friday's Register included an article with more details about the project.
The Seal Beach Historical Society will hold Red Car Day on Aug 23, 10am-4pm, at their Red Car Museum on Electric Ave near Main St. The 38th anniversary of the museum will be celebrated with music, cake, prizes, and more.

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