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Extinct Tiki - Anaheim, CA

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Here are a few pics I took a while back before these places were either demolished or altered.

I've seen a postcard (exterior shot) for this place on eBay a few times. This place was along Harbor Blvd. in Santa Ana.

Here is a typical California dingbat apartment. The building does not have any exotic architecture, just the name. This place is only a few block from Disneyland.

Here was the classic sign for the Pitcarin Motel along Harbor Blvd. (just a few blocks from Disneyland). Several years ago Disney and the City of Anaheim initiated a beautification project and required all of the classic googie motel signs around Disneyland be removed and replaced with a standardized sign that matched the master development plan. It was a great loss.

Here was another victim of the beautification project (along Katella Ave.).

[ Edited by: ZuluMagoo 2007-04-09 20:25 ]

Several years ago Disney and the City of Anaheim initiated a beautification project and required all of the classic googie motel signs around Disneyland be removed and replaced with a standardized sign that matched the master development plan.

Because standardized is so much more beautiful... how sad.... :(


It's a terrible shame what happened in Anaheim. The tiki-themed signs were only the beginning... dozens of beautiful and unique American mid-century modern icons were trashed by a short-sighted town pressured by Disney. It's unfortunate that they didn't look at other areas that successfully used unique architecture to their advantage. Wildwood, NJ is a great example.

Or how about the art deco district in Miami? When the locals and the city realized what they had and revitalized the area, it has become THE spot in South Florida and managed to retain its architectural character.

These were also Anahein legends that bit the dust.
Islander on Katella

Bahia on Beach Blvd.

The Polynesian Motel, Brookhurst Ave.

Kona Kai Motel, S. West St.

Kona Motel sign, Brookhurst Ave.
This hotel is still there last time I checked (photo taken January 2000).

Photos compliments of :

[ Edited by: Unga Bunga on 2004-02-19 02:23 ]

I can't imagine the heartbreak of watching the Anaheim purge occur. How glad I am that most of the zillions of little between-the-coasts towns I visit have few zoning laws, low property values, no homoginizing economic behemoth and are unattractive to developers. It's quite a selfish attitude on my part, considering the economy in such towns sucks for residents hoping for a job from Walgreens or Red Lobster, but its great for architectural tourism.
Btw, the New Mexico Route 66 Association has obtained a grant from the National Park Service the last two or three years to actually restore and repair old neon along Rt66. I drove the length of Rt66 in NM this past summer just to see so much revitalized period beauty...and I wasn't alone. In every city I stopped in, there were others shooting buildings and signs...and spending money.
In a different part of the country, here is a "rotosphere" (sputnik ball) I'm told the City of Memphis not only tolerated but helped restore. I dropped some money in Memphis too, largely because I knew googie was there.

I truly believe that mid-20th century architectural tourism, be it for googie or tiki, could represent a small but significant cash flow for cities if they'd only have the vision to hang onto the things they have. I sure would love to have left some of that money in Anaheim.


Wildwood, NJ was very fortunate or forward-thinking. The boardwalk area was in the doldrums in the early to mid 80's. When tourist business was dying, all the vintage motels could have disappeared. It's a good thing that they chose to market themselves properly.

Look at what happened to Asbury Park, NJ. Corrupt town officials, predatory land owners, and a depressed economy destroyed that town. There's almost nothing left from the glory days of the mid 20th century.

Is there any tiki left in Anaheim (besides The Enchanted Tiki Room)?

I'm heading there in a couple of weeks for a business trip.



Wow! Excellent Pix!

somewhere, I have a photo of the Norge drycleaning chain satellite "rotosphere", but can't get my scanner to work.

They tore the place down, and I really wanted to make a bid on the satellite, before they did.

I always wondered what happened to it.

for the person asking if there is still Tiki in Anaheim....not too much..lot's of googie, though..espcecially north beach Blvd.

I drive by the Kona Luaii apts everyday!

One person has a house near brookhurst and cerritos, and I have to think it belongs to one of you TC'ers..lush, tropical foliage, and a giant stone head, which is kinda Tiki, but probably just some modern art. It's a real cool house!

Great post, Zulu...there are still quite a few tiki motels around Florida, too. On our last trip to the Mai Kai we noticed three or four in name and that many more in style. Gotta get pix our next time down.

Hey!!!! Check it out!!!! BK actually posted under TikiMick without locking it!!! There is a god! (tiki god, that is!)


On 2004-02-19 21:33, RevBambooBen wrote:
Hey!!!! Check it out!!!! BK actually posted under TikiMick without locking it!!! There is a god! (tiki god, that is!)


provoking the tiki gods can lead to lava running thru your village :)

there is a strip of ghost midcentury signs in richmond, virginia too. i got lost there and it was like atomic twilight zone...


Great pictures you guys - I'm getting more interested in Anaheim googie every day - of course too late to document it (as always)!

Dave at Extinct Attractions club is promising a video look at the old Katella/Harbor/Beach Blvd. motels & googie later this year:

Anahiem the Eyesore / Homeless In Disneyland
Disneyland was a wonderful park admist orange groves in the small farm town of
Anaheim, but within a few short years, cheap hotels went up, surronding the kingdom.
In the 1970's-80's drugs, homeless and other urban blight, surronded the park.
Extinct Attractions founder Dave Oneal found himself one of the homeless poor, living
in cheap hotels with his family, this is the story of what happens when you leave DISNEYLAND'S gates.

Also see here:


bump - old picture urls relinked.

F# Disney and Walgreens! Stuff like this makes me proud to ban Walmart and McDonalds from my pocket book. Franchised America sux! Let's all be the same, that way nuthin's special!! WHEEEE!

Thanks for the great pix!


Reminds me of the movie "Idiocracy"


You talk like a f#G! Huh..! :)

Holly Be Jeeezus, I forgot about the Pitcarrin,and the Samoa motel.
that was soo cool.
I used to ride by it all the time on my bike.

Man why does all the cool stuff have to go away.



Hello everyone,

I'm so pleased to report that our very first book is done
and ready to purchase now.

Called Anaheim Vacationland, this 244 page full color
quality book covers the history of the Disneyland area
from 1955 to today.

I have been working on this project since 2001, collection
rare images, stories and interviews about all the crazy
motels, neon signs, liquor stores, and such that
encircle Disneyland now and in the 60's.

The book is a high quality book that measures 8.5inches
x 11 inches.

Inside the book are hundreds of rare images of Tiki Motels,
Western Motels, Space Age Motels and more! With a forward
by Disney Legend Bob Gurr, and an introduction by Disney
Hotel author Don Ballard! Plus Disney Legend Marty Sklar,
and Buzz Price (the man who picked the location for
Disneyland, and even Roy Disney himself.

The book describes my life growing up in the 80's in the
motels around Disneyland, and I always wondered what it
was like before.... The book then goes back to the birth
of Anaheim, through the opening day of Disneyland and then
becomes a pictorial scrap book of old motels, ads, and more!

Plus a look at the other theme parks around Disneyland like
Japanese Deer Park, Magic Mountain, Wide World of Wax,
Movieland, Movie World, Lion Country Safari and more!

The book is 244 pages of all color images, interviews,
stories and more from the history of Disneyland and

The first edition is a very limited printing, and much
like the Nickle tour book, this will go fast.

The book's web site now has sample pages, more info
about the book and you can even buy the book right now!

All proceeds from the book will go to help the Anaheim
Motel families.

Take a look now at the book by going to:

To purchase the book now, please go to:

The book has been a project that has been a labor of
love for many years, and it is wonderful that I can
now share my passion for Disneyland and Anaheim
history with you.

Thank you for the support, I really appreciate it,
and thank you for helping? the people of Anaheim.
All shipping will be through UPS with tracking.

David Oneal

What a great looking book. I will purchasing one today.

My great uncle Al and his wife Ruth owned a motel across the street from Disneyland. It had an Arabic or Middle eastern name or theme, I can't remember? They also owned the Stage Stop motel, kitty corner to Knott's Berry Farm.

Thanks for your efforts on this. Since I grew up in the sixties and fondly remember all of the places in your pictures, it will no doubt stir some long forgotten memories. My childhood stomping grounds were Buena Park, Fullerton and Anaheim. I can even remember the orange groves once you passed Disneyland!


This looks FANTASTIC. A treasure-trove of early Disnyana and Googie style...

very nice. I just ordered 2. One for my wife, one for my father in-law (who was on the Anaheim PD for over 30 years). They're both Anaheim-philes and will love it!

PS - How do you order the documentary, I didn't see it offered on the website....?


Wow, the stage stop! How cool! We have a whole section on the Desert theme motels,
I'm sure they are in there!

The documentary is not done yet, in answer to the question, We are still shooting
this week, and it should have a preview and be for sale very soon!


Kudos guys - If the book is truly as good as the preview, then it is quite a treasure. Can't wait to get my copy! Nice job!

So many of those images sadden me, now that they are just images and memories.


its sad, but very nice to have the images

wow nice,
gotta get that,
a true trip down memory lane,
about half or so of those places were still here when I moved back to So. Cal. in 81



I wish I could go back to 1981....


I was looking for a place to put these. This thread seems appropriate. I hit the Anaheim Public Library today after spending the morning at Disneyland.

Every time I see a pic of the Pitcairn again, reminds me of what an icon it was.
I always thought an Imagineer was working on the side designing some of those hotels around the highways outside the park.

[ Edited by: Unga Bunga 2008-10-02 23:01 ]

On 2008-10-02 22:59, Unga Bunga wrote:
Every time I see a pic of the Pitcairn again, reminds me of what an icon it was.
I always thought an Imagineer was working on the side designing some of those hotels around the highways outside the park.

...maybe.....but these days, i too amd doing my part to keep it alive.....here's the chair i made.

On 2008-10-02 21:49, Tiki-Kate wrote:

Wow, does that mean the Samoa Motel (see neon sign entrance in the BOT's Motel chapter opening page) was an A-frame, originally? Never seen a photo of that...


Ya, I love that chair Tips.
You gotta get a wahine to model with that.

...SOLD OUT!!! i tried to order but the message came up "not enough in stock, try a lower quantity"....well....i only wanted one....any less than that is nothing!!

..is there a glitch or did it really sell out that fast??

Wow, great book! I live and work in Anaheim. Lots of changes.

In addtion to all the motels being updated or demolished, there's now a Garden Walk, complete with yuppie shops, the Bubba Gump :roll: and Cheesecake Factory restaurants. Plus, two Starbucks within walking distance of each other.

The newly widened Katella Ave might get a mono rail to link the Pond (aka Honda Center), Angel Stadium, the proposed NFL Stadium and of coarse, the Disneyland parks.

Plus, condos, condos, and even more condos! Lots of condos with lower storefronts to create a "downtown" that the city of Anaheim to attract the NFL to have a team in Anaheim.

Welcome to the Platnium Triangle! :(


Too bad you guys missed out on buying the Sonics! LOL Oh wait - you wanted football - well, I'm sure the Seahawks will be available soon!

On 2008-10-04 18:47, beadtiki wrote:
Too bad you guys missed out on buying the Sonics! LOL Oh wait - you wanted football - well, I'm sure the Seahawks will be available soon!

LOL. There's been rumors of that other LA basketball team moving into the Pond(aka Honda Center) for years. Football team will be here.

Here's pic from my office window of the luxury condo for sale....ooops, now "rentals" since the market crashed. The NFL stadium would be behind them. No more open spaces in Orange County. :(

Here's from the other side of the office. Looking west down Katella Ave towards the Convention Center and Disneyland, which is just out of frame. Notice all the open space, where the condo/downtown is being built.

Several developers went through with wrecking balls and knocked down what The Mouse didn't already finish off. Not the same, eh? :(

Any chance this book will be available, again?

so what's up with this one trick pony???,,,did anyone get this book yet?? ,,,,is it still sold out?? ,,,,will there be others?? ,,,, who the hell is in charge of the marketing campaign and why are they doing a less than average job of keeping the tiki public informed....i want answers goddamnit!!

He was kinda busted by Disney for copyright infringement. Another way to say it copying another artists work and selling it for profit.
He may be at it again under another name. He does have several aliases according to the court documents.


kiara posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 1:21 PM

Just found this. Didn't know it existed as a postcard. This building is now just a beige shell. Kind of like the rest of Anaheim has become. :(

On 2012-11-03 13:21, kiara wrote:
This building is now just a beige shell. Kind of like the rest of Anaheim has become. :(

Perhaps, but Kevin Kidney and these good folks are fighting to change that:



HERE's how it looks good :) :

kiara posted on Sun, Nov 4, 2012 12:51 PM

If anyone can do it, it would be Kevin....and Jody I assume.

That's a beautiful shot. I remember when they stripped this place. I think it was you who told me about it.
Here's a photo I've been holding out on for a long time. I'm looking for the hard copy photo so I can scan it better, but here's an old "photo of the photo" I took awhile back.
Looking down harbor blvd. at night. Early 70's

If you couldn't find it, just follow the billboards.

To find the mini Disney Vegas.

Some of these motels did become really disturbing crack houses by the early 80's. It was definitely the end of a magical era by then.

Pages: 1 45 replies