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Sea and Jungle Imports, Glendale, CA (store)

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Name:Sea and Jungle Imports
Street:4666 San Fernando Road
Phone:(213) 246-0268

Sea and Jungle offered Polynesian decor designed, furnished and installed for restaurants, commercial, residential, exhibits and displays.

You could go down to Sea and Jungle and pick up a Bumatay tiki. Wow!


A friend gave me this letterhead last weekend. Nothing fancy, but it's always nice to pick up a little piece of Poly Pop history. Anyway, I thought I'd do one post and gather up some images from here and there.

Here is the 1972 catalog that Chub picked up at the Florian Gabriel estate sale.

This catalog is from Dan Goodsell's blog. He posted it back in 2006.

Hey Kate very Kewl post & pics .

that giant maori tiki in the last brochure looks like the one duke carter has....same base too i think. I wonder if this was a "one-off" or if sea and jungle made these to order....

Love this place. Here is a postcard.

And and ad that Bora Boris posted.


My latest eBay purchase: An actual photo someone snapped of the exterior of the Sea and Jungle back in the day:

:up: Because everybody needs a life-sized Elephant in their backyard.

:up: Now THAT'S a nice old-school tiki. Any idea who might have carved this one?

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-09-07 22:59 ]

Murph posted on Mon, Sep 7, 2009 10:59 PM

Here are a few shots taken at Sea and Jungle in 1958

[ Edited by: Murph 2009-09-07 23:00 ]

Excellent photos, Murph! Thanks for posting those.

I also noticed that this tiki in the brochure:

Looked like it might be the one that ended up in the Tonga Lei in Malibu, CA:

However, on closer inspection, the tiki in the brochure appears to have three fingers on each hand while the Tonga Lei's has four.

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-09-07 23:10 ]


Great photos of the catalog, and you gotta love the selection they offered. Fake banana bunches? Sexy topless girl velvet paintings? Who could ask for anything more?


It's so wrong that you can still buy these damn pointy tooth masks, but not a Bumatay-style tiki.

I guess no Bumatay, no Bumatay tikis.

I was super lucky to find one of the brochures from the Sea and Jungle that Tiki Kate posted pics of. I thought I would add a few close up shots of some of the images.

Here is the exterior scene with the classic sign and the elephant.

You can spot a few really nice, big Tikis.

What I never realized until I got the brochure was that there was a second warehouse store across the street as seen in this close up.

Will scan some more close ups from the brochure and post later.


By the time I discovered them (around 1986...) they had "shrunk" back to one warehouse. But it had an A-frame entrance. I wish I would have had the mindset back then to explore their history. It took O.A. to do that for me.

I had picked up up one of those brochures back then, but it disappeared since. The first one posted by Kate looks like very late in the game, too. I just noticed the Gilligan Guanko Tiki, Nr. 76. Looks like they were the ones that manufactured it.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-02-08 20:04 ]


1986, that was at the very end of the Sea and Jungle. Here is an LA Times article on the closing and history of the store from June of 1986.

San Fernando Road is about the last place in Glendale you would expect to see a 12-foot pink elephant lurking in the palms. Gray and industrial, the street is a preserve for light industry, not pachyderms.

That's why the Sea and Jungle Imports shop on San Fernando strikes visitors with the force of a Micronesian battle-ax. The place looks like a Disneyland South Seas hut and, for 24 years, rented exotic props to the movie industry. For years, shoppers have rummaged there among thousands of oddities to find just the right grass shack or five-foot wooden Tiki, the representation of a god who, in Polynesian mythology, created the first man.

And don't forget the pink fiberglass elephant at the store's entrance.

Folding Its Tent

But, on June 30, after a generation of procuring creatures for the black lagoon, Sea and Jungle is calling it quits. The family that owns it is liquidating the stock; its manager is moving to a less tropical locale--Southwest Missouri.

"Everyone's over 60, and we want to retire," said Beverly Achtien, who owns the family business along with her mother, Virginia Langdon, sister, Sybil Fredericks, and two brothers, Jack and Bill Snyder.

The family members say that advancing age and increased competition from overseas contributed to their decision to close the Glendale landmark.

Buyers didn't exactly line up, and the owners' children were not interested in taking over the business, Fredericks said. A neighboring manufacturer bought the property.

Sea and Jungle's departure will make San Fernando Road a less colorful place. It will also leave set decorators in the lurch, say some movie industry personnel familiar with the company.

"They've always come up with unusual things you can't find anyplace else," said Lee Congiardo, a set designer for Landmark Enterprises who worked with Walt Disney Enterprises for 16 years. "I don't know what I'm going to do without them."

Technical Advice for Movies

Sea and Jungle also provided the movie industry with technical information, such as how to rig a sail on a tall ship's mizzenmast, he said. Just recently, Congiardo said, he found a small cannon that he needed at the Glendale store.

Sea and Jungle props decorated Rick's Cafe Americaine in "Casablanca," Achtien said. They carried natives over the waves in "Mutiny on the Bounty." And they adorned countless TV movie

On a recent day, the two sisters bustled about the half-empty store sorting through the remaining goodies and reminiscing.

Achtien recalled how her brother once bought a load of African voodoo dolls that the family despaired would ever sell in sensible Glendale.

"Frankly, I didn't like them. But they went so fast it made your head spin," she said. What about the store's mascot, the life-size pink elephant?

"I was thinking of taking him to Missouri, but my husband said, 'Forget that, he'd never fit through the underpasses,' " Achtien said with a sigh. "I wanted to put him on a flatbed truck and drive him right out."

Meanwhile, the elephant, designed by the man who animated the creatures in Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride and which Achtien says can be re-animated, was sold this week for $600 to a decorating firm, which plans to use it as a prop for Republican Party gatherings. "I personally don't like the color of it. We're thinking of turning it back to gray," said David Post, of Stagecoach productions in Reno, Nev.

All other items in the store are listed at 70% off, although Achtien says she is "absolutely ready" to make deals with interested buyers.

One item not for sale is an evocative neon sign that lights up to show three monkeys scrambling up and down a palm tree. The family plans to donate the piece to the Museum of Neon Art in downtown Los Angeles.

Love Did It

Achtien's family stumbled into the exotic-prop business through love. When Virginia Langdon was 17 and enrolled at Hollywood High School, she eloped to Hawaii with her 16-year-old boyfriend because her parents opposed the marriage. They lived there five years, developing a lifelong passion for things tropical, their daughters recall.

The couple returned to Glendale and bought Sea and Jungle in 1962. There they ran a thriving business, making occasional forays to the South Pacific and Africa to replenish stock. Their children drifted naturally into the business, but it was Achtien who managed the shop in recent years.

Young people liked the place because it sold wacky items, she said. So did movie stars. Comedian Pee Wee Herman once bought a lamp shaped like a giant clump of yellow bananas. John Wayne favored nautical gear. Dorothy Lamour bought decorative wall hangings for her bar.

Is Achtien going to take a little bit of Polynesia with her to Missouri? She and her sister say they might open a boutique in a year or so in the small Missouri Ozarks town of Branson, where Achtien has relatives.

"I don't think it's the place for a Hawaiian shop, though," she said.

Kind of sad, makes you really appreciate the fact that Bob and Leroy are still at Oceanic Arts. Anybody know if the monkey sign ever made it over to the Museum of Neon Art?


Yes, it was a shock to return to the place one day and find it all locked up and emptied out.

The article really shows well how Polynesian pop was perceived in the 80s: As something strange and unique, with NO mention of the restaurant industry -yet of movie rentals, which is also how Oceanic Arts survived the years of the abolition and sinking into oblivion of Tiki.

I picked up a large postcard this last weekend that shows the front decorated a bit differently from some of the other pics already posted. I'm not sure if this image is already in another thread, but I'll add it here for good measure with my attempts at close-ups:

I picked up two matchbooks from the Sea and Jungle that had two different addresses.

The Glendale location that is featured in this thread.

And maybe an older first location on Los Feliz Bvld. in Los Angeles.

The matchbooks also had a second store advertised called Vivian White's Tropical Bazaar, also with two different locations near the Sea and Jungle stores.


So, no info on the two different locations?

How about a slide from a Charles Phoenix show.

Where is that confounded sign?


I thought it was here.

Thanks for the link Boris. Last I checked the Mona museum had no plans to reopen. Now they are scheduled to open in Glendale in 2014. I guess we are going have to wait a few more years to finally see the sign.


This has been one of the best threads we have ever looked at. Dan and I together just marveled at what a great place this was. We are so thankful that we still have Oceanic Arts. Did you all notice that Toby tikis was their neighbor? Dan noticed it on the phone book page. What great history. Thank you all for your posts, Wendy and Dan

Wendy, good point about O.A.! As far as I can gather from the elders at O.A., the Sea & Jungle owners WERE Toby Tiki.

Murph posted on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 5:39 PM

a few more S&J photos

[ Edited by: Murph 2012-03-16 17:46 ]

Missed out on this great postcard from the Sea and Jungle shop ebay.

What an amazing array of Tikis.

And the names Jungle Jack and Bongo Bob.

Did Bob and Leroy at OA ever have any "stage" names back in the day?


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2012-10-03 18:38 ]


Amazing pictures DC it was an incredible place,


Nice post DC ...I wonder if there are any pics floating around out there of the S&J
neon sign on at night ?


This thread is amazing, so here's a well deserved bump.

Many of the tikis and clubs look like they could have been made by OA, and the lamps look like Orchids of Hawaii lamps. Anyone know if that were the case?

What happened to that sign (unless I missed it in the posts above?)?
And all of those Milan Guanko tikis!! Man!!

I recently posted a picture of the neon sign on the Vintage Neon Heaven Facebook page and somebody commented that it is in a backyard in Los Feliz.

The Maori I purchased today is Exactly like the one in the catalog and was said to come from a tiki themed liquor store in 1960's LA.

Great find bruddah

Murph posted on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 2:07 PM

Here is a photo session of Iris Bristol taken at the Glendale Sea and Jungle Shop used in 3 Mens Magazines back in the day.
Magazine 1

Magazine 2

Murph posted on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 2:19 PM

Magazine 3

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