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The Albatross Hotel Restaurant (Hotel and Restaurant)

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Name: The Albatross Hotel Restaurant
Type: Hotel and Restaurant
Street: 21202 West Pacfic Coast Hwy
City: Malibu
State: CA
Zip: 90265
country: USA

This is an inquiry about a "Tiki" tropical theme establishment in Malibu, California, "The Albatross Hotel," Restaurant. I was employed there as a waiter in the mid to late sixties. Initially when established, it was called, "The Film Colony Lodge," late forties early fifties. It was right next door-across Las Flores Creek wash-to the Sea Lion Restaurant.

I am searching for any info, Albatross interior photos, memorabilia and anyone who recalls the Albatross. Several Hollywood films, "From Here to Eternity," 1953, "Stangers When We Meet," 1960 and numerous TV commercials were shot there and surrounding beach areas. It was a very scenic, picturesque and noted romantic get-way spot for couples. Enclosed is a picture post card I kept.

In the Heart of Scenic Malibu, the favorite of the Celebrated of Filmland. Relaxation in an air of unusual decor and privacy for the special occasion. Enjoy the Beautiful view of surf and ocean from individual alcoves, framing the panorama of sea and sky.

NOTE: For a quick look at the Albatross in a movie take a look at these youtube postings:



Hail Fellow Tikians, Thought I had better response to your postings.

The rumor of the Albatross and it's "colorful" reputation is just that, rumor. It was circulated even when I was there, inquiries from male patrons and clothesline innuendo from others.There are several reasons why I say rumor.

Firstly, a L.A. County Sheriff's sub-station was a stone's throw away within sight of the Albatross, two city blocks just the other side of PCH. They wouldn't notice such colorfulness going on from their front porch? Oh yes, unless they there part of it, right?

Secondly, my tenure at the Albatross was a live-in position, as were all the other positions, 24/7. When ever anyone needed time off we let the boss know when and how long we needed, two, three, four days, a week. Most of the crew were there all the time, we knew all the traffic pattens. In regards to the hotel rooms upstairs, I personally rented rooms to patrons, cleaned rooms, performed maintenance on the rooms. I lived on Albatross premises seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day for over two years straight, cumulatively, less a week or two while on R and R. Let me say if any hanky panky, (cat-house), was occurring on Albatross premises I never seen, was part of or caught wind of it. It never existed!

Thirdly, I know the owner and family personally. Often I've been to the family home. The owner had two adult children, and five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Moreover, the son was an a naval academy graduate and served in the south pacific in WWII. Also, the owner held a master's degree in music and wrote musical scores for some of Hollywood's early animated features. The owner gave concert classical piano lessons to the grandchildren every school day afternoon at the Albatross. The owner also had a degree in psychology and owned other business enterprises in and out of California.

The only "colorful" happenings occurring at The Albatross were the normal hospitality fare of a class A, road-side motor inn.

There are two possibilities for such "colorful" characterizations then and now. First, at the time, it was a cover-story to facilitate the privacy of celebrated clientele. The owner made it a point not to utilize normal hospitality venues for advertising. Promotional publicity for the Albatross was mainly, word of mouth. The owner insisted on this. Second, it is a continuing, self-perpetuating smear campaign for some egregious deed attributed to the owner's past.

On my last visit to Los Angeles 2004, I drove out to Malibu pulled into the neighboring 76 service station and inquired of the attendant concerning the vacant Albatross lot next door. After over twenty years since the Albatross's cessation, the words that stick out in the young attendant's response were the continuing "colorful" innuendo of his Albatross characterizations.

[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore 2008-03-17 22:06 ]
[ Edited by: AVictorRex 2008-10-07 16:23 ]

[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Fixed title - 2012-07-24 18:43 ]

[ Edited by: AVictorRex 2012-10-24 13:30 ]

[ Edited by: AVictorRex 2012-10-24 13:33 ]

[ Edited by: AVictorRex 2012-10-24 13:42 ]

I grew up in Las Flores Canyon, and my family's home overlooked the Albatross. For decades now, all that remains is the bulldozed lot, surrounded by fence. The palm trees are still there, and the pool has been filled in. My parents said there was quite a bit of low-brow activity that took place there, in its later years (prostitution and that kind of thing) but I was just a kid and didn't know about that. I just liked looking down at the palm trees and the pool. Next door to The Albatross was the Malibu Sea Lion Restaurant, which catered to the Blue-Haired, early-bird meal crowd from nearby Santa Monica. NOW, however, it is the wonderful Duke's Restaurant, which is full of Hawaiiana memorabilia and seriously good seafood. (And a wonderful Sunday Hawaiian-style buffet.) Tiki people will like this place, even if it is mainly Hawaiiana, not Tiki. What I miss is the old Tonga-Lei, which was Malibu's Tiki bar, located next to the Malibu Pier. There's just a parking lot there now. So sad. It was great.

Back to The Albatross: I have no idea who owns that land or why no one has built anything on it for so long. My guess is that someone has deemed the land "unbuildable" since it's near a creek outlet or due to the Coastal Commission building restraints. Or maybe it's some enviromental reasoning.

I know of one such "low-brow" tryst that happened in 1954, Of all things my Mother told me this just after my Father's funeral. I was born on 1-17-55, my parents wedding was 6-20-1954, you do the math, and BTW I was 12.5 lbs so I was not early. My Mom a widower and my Dad an Insurance investigator hung out at the Albatross and according to my Mom, I started life there...TMI in my opinion. But she said that it was "easy" for unmarried people to get a room there. Remember it was 1954 and Desi and Lucy slept in separate beds...Why my Mom felt she had to come clean with this info, I don't know...I am legitimately, illegitimate but I kind of knew that.
All of that to say. it was everything everyone said it was.

Now THAT is really getting down to the bottom (NOT meant in terms of quality, please!)of the history of a place! :) We need more of those "behind the scenes" stories.


I just saw a better version of the less than pristine postcard above on ebay.

It's a picture of picture but it'll do.*

For a couple interiors of the Albatross check out the Strangers when we Meet trailer.

Kirk Douglas can't believe there's a Strikow in his house! :o

** From the book M a l i b u - A r c a d i a - P u b l i s h i n g* - No need for it to show up in a Google search. :wink:

From Hiltiki's find - http://onbunkerhill.org

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