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I went golfing with my buddies last weekend and went to a course in Ontario. As soon as I saw the clubhouse with a huge A-frame roof and lava rock wall, I knew I was onto something and began searching for tikis.

I started talking to a bartender there and she told me it used to be the Royal Tahitian (BOT pg 251). She had been working there since the 60's and told me where everyting used to be. The main floor was dining and the basement was the bar. In the front of the building on a large grass aera was the Tahitian Village where the shows were. The golf course, which was called Ontario National, was seperate from the Royal Tahitian and after it closed they made it the club house.

And sad news, the bartender told me they were planning on tearring it down in a few months and building a new club house closer to the street.

the front view from parking lot.

close up view

full view

The gods of hiding airconditioner

These tikis were located in the back, in an enclosed area which I could not sneek or talk my way in to.

Back of the building. A small performance area.

In the parking lot, I was able to see an apartment building which may house tikis. There were no tikis except what was in front.



[ Edited by: johnnievelour 2008-03-23 23:21 ]

[ Edited by: johnnievelour 2008-03-24 19:20 ]

JV,
Did you happen to see the apartment complex next door? There was a thread sometime ago about the Royal Tahitian and the un-named complex that may possibly have some Milan
Guanko tikis out front. I always meant to check it out but have yet to do so. Here was the thread:

https://tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=1767&forum=4

The last 3 pictures are from an apartment building across the street. It was the only complex I saw in the area. There were no other tikis other than what are in the entry way.

Arrrgh! GONE....all gone...mumble mumble....the....Milan G....goooone! Master told me be nice, hehehe....but....hmmm...too late.....

SIGH! Right there were you're looking at that building entrance stood four fine TALL Milan Guankos, each different (even one FEMALE).
Ask the manager what happened to them. I have them on film at least...

And that cool slanted A-frame! Soon just another ghost in the pages of the BOOK OF THE DEAD...TIKIS!

JohnnieVelour~

You have a couple of months. If at all possible, try to "get in good" with the person in charge of ok'ing the demolition/remodeling. You probably can't change their minds about tearing the place down, but see if you can at least get those tiki profiles in that area where you couldn't talk your way into.

Let me tell you my little story:
This Googie-type art was on the fence of a school facing a street literally 1/2 mile from my house. It's even on the SpaceAgeCity.com site. The school is doing a renovation of their property, and when I passed by, this art you see was just scattered all over the ground covered by dirt. I asked the workers (through a closed chain-link fence) if I could get "the wood" that was on the ground. They said no (liability reasons), and they couldn't even hand it to me over the fence. I tried speaking with the supervisor and he said that it's school property.....(yeah right! On the ground covered with dirt!). So I call the school district, I get transfered a dozen times, left many voicemails for just about everyone in the city, and get put on eternal hold by the city's reception desk. I finally get an answer of "just ask the construction people to give it to you". Of course, they can't give it to me in writing, and upon my return to the (now leveled) site the next day, the whole area is flattened and all pieces of the building are gone. I asked where 'the pieces' were and no one knew. Hopefully someone else had better luck than me in saving them....or maybe not.


The Art Work

This was an attempt by me at the last minute. I had no idea construction was going on. YOU have a couple of months.

TRY TO SAVE THOSE TIKIS!

Maybe the Tiki Gods will be on your side.

Sorry for the long read.

SugarCaddyDaddy

I went over to the "Royal Tahitian today. Its really sad. The building looks like it is ready to fall down in some spots. The wind earlier this week destroyed their fence, knocked over some trees, and the majority of the A frame roof shingles were laying in the yard.

It was so sad to see. You can invision how cool this place once was.

Erich Troudt


Wow!!

Wow what, B.B.? All I see is a bunch of question marks. That's where books work better than virtual space, their imagery does not go "Poof!". If I had unlimited financial resources, and thus unlimited time, I would gladly post all I have in my archives of this place (and the apartments across the street). And it sure would help to know that these posted images would not just be fleeting "moments lost in time, like tears in the rain" on a replicant's memory chip.

K
Kahu posted on Mon, Mar 24, 2008 8:36 AM

On 2008-03-24 07:20, bigbrotiki wrote:
That's where books work better than virtual space, their imagery does not go "Poof!". If I had unlimited financial resources, and thus unlimited time, I would gladly post all I have in my archives of this place (and the apartments across the street). And it sure would help to know that these posted images would not just be fleeting "moments lost in time, like tears in the rain" on a replicant's memory chip.

Very poignant. Very true sadly. And I am sure we all wish you (bigbrotiki) could create museum virtually that we could visit and learn and appreciate from for eons to come.

K
Kahu posted on Mon, Mar 24, 2008 8:37 AM

On 2008-03-24 07:20, bigbrotiki wrote:
That's where books work better than virtual space, their imagery does not go "Poof!". If I had unlimited financial resources, and thus unlimited time, I would gladly post all I have in my archives of this place (and the apartments across the street). And it sure would help to know that these posted images would not just be fleeting "moments lost in time, like tears in the rain" on a replicant's memory chip.

Very poignant. Very true sadly. And I am sure we all wish you (bigbrotiki) could create museum virtually that we could visit and learn and appreciate from for eons to come.

The Tiki's are there but you need to know how to find them.

Isn't that written on your Bumper Sticker Sven? :lol:

When the links get fixed none of this is going to make sense. :-?

[ Edited by: Bora Boris 2008-03-24 08:58 ]

G

On 2008-03-24 07:20, bigbrotiki wrote:
If I had unlimited financial resources, and thus unlimited time, I would gladly post all I have in my archives of this place (and the apartments across the street).

I've got 10 bucks right here with your name on it. How many images will that buy us? :wink:

I picked up a Royal Tahitian matchbook on Friday at an antique store. When I got home and did a search on it, I was really disappointed to see that this thread was another victim of the Great Shutterfly Massacre of 2006. I guess I should be used it by now though.

O.K guys, thanks for the interest. I put this on my list of "Subjects to scan and post on T.C." (it is in place 6 right now). Let's make this the R.T. memorial post. Start with the LP, the matchbook, and the postcard, I will ad my photos soon.

It always intrigued me that the two places, which were practically across the street from each other, made use of the same modernist Moai cut out concept (above the Royal Tahitian, below that the unnamed apartments), yet these looked different enough to not be by the same person, just like the two buildings looked like they were done by different architects, and the Tikis were supplied by different carvers, Charley Rosencrans the R.T., and Milan Guanko the Apts.

P.S.: The R.T.'s modernist Moai beams (on the golf course side of the building) can already be glimpsed in TIKI MODERN on page 107, in the Tiki post collage, bottom row in the middle, with those red Asian font restroom signs.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-03-24 11:16 ]

Here's my sad little relic. It's got a bit of water damage.



Is there still such a thing as a Fabulous Luncheon?

I haven't heard the word "Luncheon" since 1979.

D

A nice find!! I love the map!

On 2008-03-24 07:20, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow what, B.B.? All I see is a bunch of question marks.

links fixed!

On 2008-03-24 19:24, johnnievelour wrote:

On 2008-03-24 07:20, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow what, B.B.? All I see is a bunch of question marks.

links fixed!

Very cool. Thank you.

This would be a nice TC project. If even a few people would go back and fix the links on some of their older posts, hmmm...

Truly sad to see such a fine establishment wither. Here is a postcard from more glorious days at the Royal Tahitian. They not only had luncheons but "Fashion Luncheons" as well - good times indeed!

Aaaah, it's so nice to be able to ask and receive! This postcard, although of cheap quality (pardon, Dustycajun), is the only record of the interiors of the place. The strange Sun Tiki mural must have been impressive in person...

Because of the interest, I decided to move up my post on this subject:
So children, let's open up The Book of Tiki to page 251 to refresh our memories. Now, here are some more angles on the main club house, which because of its modernist slant is one of my all time favorites.

The maps and addresses found on vintage matchbooks have always been a valuable aid for the urban archeologist, just as it was in this case. The matchbook was the first clue to the existence of this place, and intrigued by the boast of 250 Acres of Tropical Plants and Lagoons, I took "Das Boot" down the 60 to Ontario in November of 1993. Here is a wide shot of the place, similar to Johnny's ten years later:

Compare it to this early 60s photo from a paper brochure, and we see that the bamboo bridge has been replaced by a concrete one with an iron pipe railing, and the moat and pond had been filled in. This is a common sign in Tiki apartment devolution, due to safety regulations and the desire for lower maintenance costs. And the cool looking giant plant buckets were not there anymore:

Finding photos of Tiki Temples just after construction is always a trade off, because though you can see all the original fixtures in place, the plantings are mostly all new and scraggly, and not lushly grown in yet to frame the architecture and provide that desired tropical touch. Architectural renderings are usually the most phantasy-full depictions, but rare, here is the fanciful rendition of the A-frame on the matchbook again, jet age architecture par excellence:

Though the scale of the people in the drawing does overstate the building's size, it was quite a large A-frame, which we realize when we find the person entering the place in the B&W photo above on the left.
Next is a side angle that gives us a good idea of the sectioned wall concept that allowed the roof to float on the left side:

And here another shot of the airconditioning cover Tikis..

...which were also used as support beams on the building's golf course side:

Sadly, no Polynesian touches had survived the renovations of the interior, so I took no photos. From what I gather, there was once a sunken bar (similar to the mid-century "sunken livingroom" concept, but now filled in), and balconies in the main room, thus the claim of "Three-level dining" inside the matchbook cover:

To show here that the grounds were indeed populated by Tikis once, here is a photo of the sign from the O.A. archives (also in the BOT), note the A-frame in the right background:

And culled from T.C.'s pages, a record cover. I don't own it and thus cannot show the back. I heard that the MC at the Royal Tahitian was a guy named "Hawaiian Abe" who had made his living in native parts in South Sea films before:

And now on to the apartment building adjacent to the R.T. which in 1993 still sported four fine Milan Guanko Tikis (not there anymore in Johnnie's 2003 photos):

Architecturally not as interesting as a building, the Tikis were unusual because they were totem style, two-Tiki posts. Here we can also see one of the Moai railing posts shown by Johnnie on the previous page. And the female Guanko Tiki had gotten a shot to the head...actually birds nesting in the dry rotted palm trunk:

I think I ran out of film, because I went back later to shoot the Tikis one by one, and they had repaired the hole... but one Tiki was missing, probably rotted on the base.

Here are the other two, all fine Milan Guanko types, that man had a smooth style:

Since these apartments showed no sign of ever having had a name sign, I refer to them as Royal Tahitian Apartments. Hope you enjoyed this little expedition. :)

If anyone has a copy of that Royal Tahitian record and they want to sell it please let me know.

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff

Thanks Bigbro, that was a great history lesson. I will have to stop by the place the next time I am in the neighborhood. I especially liked the old B & W photo right after construction.

My pleasure. Be forewarned, though, from what I understand from the previous page, the club house should be a goner now. Maybe the apartment building is still there, with those Moai beams. So don't expect much...but I am always curious about an update of a site, even if there just the bones left. Kate, are you happier now?

On 2008-03-28 19:46, bigbrotiki wrote:
Kate, are you happier now?

Yes. Thank you. :)

Think I'll get out my copies of ZuluMagoo's Tiki Tour of Southern California and Tiki Road Trip and spend the weekend taking pictures.

Go hit the streets Kate. Put on your urban archeology hat and take photos.

It's probably time to update this booklet. I gave away copies at Tiki Oasis 2005, back in Palm Springs. I think I gave away about 40 of them.

Since then, there have probably been 5-10 new apartment complexes that have been documented and should be added to this map. There is still lots of Poly Pop, or at least remants in Socal.

Mike is right. As I noted in the BOT, Tiki style has survived much better in apartment complexes than in the restaurant industry, which responds to changing tastes much faster. The fact that there are still "Tiki Villages" being discovered, and that, although few, some do have Tikis standing, and A-frames jutting, is an opportunity to witness authentic mid-century Tiki culture today. Mike has done stellar research work in the Southern Californian Tiki apartment field...and he's not even a local, but lives in Denver!

Among my future TC posts I have on the burner, two are on apartment complexes alone. As you can see from the pics above, even though my books burst with images, there is never enough space to show all I want to. It would be worth wile to make a whole book on Tiki apartments alone...not commercial enough, but the material would be there.

Hell I feel inspired to revisit some of the sites, because now I wish I would have photographed even more, and though today there will be even less detail left compared to when I started 15 years ago, every year that goes by might mean the total disappearance of another village.

I decided to take a detour through Ontario on my way home from Long Beach today.

I was very surprised to find...

I met a very kind gentleman who let me in to take pictures.

When I was taking pictures out front, the same man drove up in a golf cart and asked if I'd seen the stage where they held performances. I hitched a ride, and we drove out here. This is the stage and the some of the seating.

Found this buy outside, hiding behind a shrub.

The building has taken a beating from the harsh Ontario winds.

The man I spoke with said that the city owns the structure and plans to tear it down.

Then I wandered across the street to what is now the Whispering Lakes Apartments.

I never realized how upset I would get over the sight of a rock wall covered in stucco...

YEEEAAH! One almost expects more that places have disappeared nowadays than not, so to see such a reversal of fortune is very heartening. How great, thanks for the update, Kate! :)

It's amazing that the same chairs are sitting outside of the restrooms 15 years later! Great photos, thanks Sven and Kate.

T

I picked up this cool postcard from the Royal Tahitian after seeing it posted a little while back on Tiki Finds by Tiki Shaker. It's a sneaky card to find in that it only lists Greetings from Ontario on the back with no reference to the Royal Tahitian.

Here is a close up of the A frame.

Bigbro posted this picture of the entrance previously

On 2008-03-28 12:17, bigbrotiki wrote:
To show here that the grounds were indeed populated by Tikis once, here is a photo of the sign from the O.A. archives (also in the BOT), note the A-frame in the right background:

On the postcard there is only one Tiki left at the entrance and the sign is gone.
Wonder where they went?


DC

Hey DC, if you look at your color close up it appears they turned the sign + Tiki's 90' in the other direction (where we can't see). It also looks like they raised it all a few feet, in the color photo the Tiki's are higher than Sven's B+W shot and they are actually back further? If you look down the side you can see the color and angle of the sign box, at least that's what it looks like to me.

Bosko

Bosko,

You are absolutely correct! Upon further examination of that color photo, you can make out the two Tikis that were rotated and placed atop the sign. Good eye.

DC

And I believe the torches that stick into the photo on the right are part of the ingenious "turned head Tiki" by Charley Rosenkrantz that I cannot remember if I showed it on his page in the Artists chapter of the BOT. If it's in there, someone please show it, it came form the O.A. archive.

On 2008-12-15 21:00, bigbrotiki wrote:
And I believe the torches that stick into the photo on the right are part of the ingenious "turned head Tiki" by Charley Rosenkrantz that I cannot remember if I showed it on his page in the Artists chapter of the BOT. If it's in there, someone please show it, it came form the O.A. archive.

Bigbro,

Your memory is still working while overseas. The picture of the turned head Tiki and the torches was in the BOT. Here is the pic. I didn't realize that Charley Rosenkrantz also did the Tikis at The Reef Restaurant. I've got a matchbook from that place lying around somewhere.

DC

Here is the matchbook from The Reef in Long Beach with the Tiki carved by Charley Rosenkrantz. Old Chucky certainly had a unique style.

DC

Found a couple of interesting references to the concert series that used to be held at the Royal Tahitian. The first is a postcard from a Ray Charles concert that was held at there. Looks like the concerts were set up on a stage outside on the golf course.

The second is a cool 1967 ticket stub from a James Brown concert at the Royal Tahitian. The Godfather of Soul rockin it Tiki style!

DC

A somewhat different matchbook than Tiki Kate's with advertising for the Walter's Coffee Shop on the back.

DC

Saw this odd matchbook from the Pele Beverage Co. out of Samoa on ebay and kept wondering where I had seen that Tiki before. It's the Charlie Rosenkrantz Tiki from the Royal Tahitian!

DC

B

I went down there today very sad indeed. Looking around you can just imagine how kool it must have been! the updated pics in the beginning's of this post is spot on, however the area by the restrooms has been condemned . it looks like a sealed time capsule the chair in the pic is still there and the plants are well grown.the tikis beams are there and there is a bitchen rock wall that will be torn down.

B

I went down there today very sad indeed. Looking around you can just imagine how kool it must have been! the updated pics in the beginning's of this post is spot on, however the area by the restrooms has been condemned . it looks like a sealed time capsule the chair in the pic is still there and the plants are well grown.the tikis beams are there and there is a bitchen rock wall that will be torn down.

B

Here is the lp again with additional photos from the back.
"That's only half the fun, There's the exotica of Quiet Village replete with bird calls made famous by drummer tony Clark while he was with Martin Denny. Tony leads the Roayal Tees into something else again on Simalou, a rarely heard, but fascinating musical creation that reaches perfection in the hands of this talented group."

You can hear the Quiet village track on Digitiki's broadcast with Jeff Central.

Bongo,

thanks for posting those pics from the album, very cool. I need to find a copy of that one.

I grabbed a few images from the Royal Tahitian on ebay showing more of the concert series that became popular there.

A matchbook.

And a postcard featuring a car show at the concert venue.

DC

P

here is another postcard

Jackie,

Cool postcard, thanks for posting. I just got the card it in the mail this weekend. This is a really rare look at the inside of the Royal Tahitian, I have never seen this one before.

Here is a better scan of the card.

The layout of the restaurant area had three tiers, with the upstairs area

And what looks like a half-story bar area below the deck that you can see through the beaded curtains in this shot.

The back of the card says that the restaurant was designed by Silva Store Fixture Co, never heard of this outfit before.

DC

Oh how I wish this was still there.......

Mahalo for posting the pics.

[ Edited by: chrisandsarahb 2010-08-29 14:09 ]

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