Tiki Central / Locating Tiki
The Copra Room, Long Beach, CA (restaurant)
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Name:The Copra Room
Description: Short-lived Poly-pop restaurant and piano bar in downtown Long Beach. Does not appear on Critiki or in Tiki Road Trip.
The Copra Room appears to have opened on or around December 12, 1953, which is the date this ad ran in the Long Beach Independent:
I couldn't find any pictures of either the interior or exterior, aside from the black and white exterior shot used for the above advertisement, re-sized here so you can see what little detail there is:
The Poly-pop connection seems to have been mostly limited to the name and décor. For example, this review from the Independent for June 6, 1954, makes no reference to any Polynesian influence on the menu:
I found very little ephemera, but here's an ash tray with a pretty palm tree logo:
And here's a matchbook with different palm tree art:
They also offered the ubiquitous Poly-pop "fashion show", as indicated in the above review and in this ad from the October 25, 1955 Independent:
They advertised in the Independent throughout the rest of the 1950s, and the ads seem to focus on the musical acts:
By May of 1959, it had been acquired by Hollywood producer Jack Schwarz:
(Mr. Schwarz, by the way, had a relatively colorful life prior to buying the Copra Room: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Schwarz.)
By June/July of 1960 (maybe to capitalize on the success of Rodgers & Hammerstein's stage success with "The Sound of Music" in 1959?), the house musical act had become a trio called Herman, Hans & Edwin specializing in Swiss "community singing":
And in what has to be one of the more bizarre themed restaurant transitions in history, Herman, Hans & Edwin seem to have been so successful that management actually switched themes to become "Swiss Village" by the time this ad was run in the October 14, 1960 Independent:
The address is currently the location of Panvimarn Thai, a good local Thai restaurant.
[ Edited by: HotelCharlieEcho 2018-03-19 17:51 ]
Don't have much to add aside from this little blurb, which touches on one of your clippings:
The Copra Room, 710 E. Broadway--noted for the huge, handsome murals In its cocktail lounge and dining room
I have GOT to see those murals.
From the June 6, 1954 review: "The Copra Room, one of the newest and swankiest additions to Long Beach's Broadway restaurant row, has a unique South Sea islands décor. Behind the long, gleaming curved bar is a 36 by 5-foot mural on which skimpily clad, bosomy island maidens cast alluring glances at burly seafaring men just in off the copra boats. There are other similarly attractive murals in the dining room and some gentlemen diners have been known to spend more time gazing at the dusky dolls in the paintings than at the dolls seated at their tables."
I think I can feel the allure of those long-gone glances 60+ years later, I tell you. On the other side of the 1960s/1970s, it's almost quaint to think about how titillating this stuff must have seemed at the time. I'm reminded of the legendary bathroom at the Leilani Hut - so noteworthy there was an article written about it (http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=32715&forum=2&vpost=543452). Spoiler alert: the big excitement was over some very mildly risqué (by today's standards) Alan Wood paintings of Old West scenes.
According to Google, it is now Blue Heaven Thai Restaurant
This location has seen quite a few establishments before that such as Noahs Ark (A Christian no alcohol disco) and a Hamburger Mary's.
Los Angeles Public Library: Crowd at Noah's Ark, Long Beach, CA
[ Edited by: King Bushwich the 33rd 2018-04-03 14:05 ]
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