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Randy Treadway

Pictures of the Day

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With the kind of 'gate' seen in these pictures, it's a miracle that the Leonidoff's Wonder World show in the Aquacade stadium was able to stay afloat as long as it did (which wasn't too long!).

WonderWorld01.jpg

WonderWorld02.jpg

WonderWorld03.jpg

WonderWorld04.jpg

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Whew! Talk about a show dying!

Actually Randy's post really points out the shame of this place being an eventual pile of rubble insead of a successful post fair re-use. darn nice venue for outdoor concerts in the summer

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These are the first pictures I have ever seen of the Wonderworld show. Looks quite elaborate! Sad that it didn't get an audience, even with Chita Rivera in it! I have some questions...

1. The 1964 guide describes the turntable being "75 feet in diameter, one of the largest in the world." The turntable in the picture looks more like it is around 15 or 20 feet maximum. Also, below is a picture of the pool and stage after the pool closed, and the same turntable can be seen in the back. Was it really that large?

2. How large was the pool itself? In the Medicus film of the aquacade from 39, swimmers can be seen swimming under the orchestra/diving platforms through a curtain to another area that was not visible to the audience, yet in the Wonderworld photo, the pool ends at this same spot. Did they make the pool smaller for the 64 show?

3. Was the turntable submerged under water when they built the Water Skiing pool for the 65 season?

4. Why did they build a steel framed roof for the 64 show then demolish it for the '65 show?

5. Does anyone have any more pictures of the Wonderworld show? Also, more photos of the amphitheter itself?

Here is the picture of the amphitheter I mentioned above, with the turntable visible. 75 feet??

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See this PTU topic for more Wonder World pictures.

http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5916

As for what happened to the turntable in 1965, it's a good question. My guess is, it was still there, hidden underneath the bottom of the elevated pool.

90004647.jpg

Those are amphicars on the far right in this press photo.

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Winter of '63-64.

A big set is being constructed, centered directly on the turntable, so the set could be spun around.

No construction yet around the dive towers.

No roof construction at all.

And of course no water in the pool.

But there's ice on Meadow Lake.

20_Aquacade.jpg

Spring of 1965: Florida bigwigs inspect the reconstructed pool just prior to it being filled with water for the first time.

That's Dick Pope, the water ski show impresario, on the left in the second photo.

04_Aquacade.jpg

05_Aquacade.jpg

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Oh wow those are great pics! I wonder what the floor/walls of the water skiing pool were constructed of? There is no sign in these pictures of the Wonderworld/Aquacade/swimming pool at all! I examined a couple air shots of the Amphitheater and deducted that the stage side wall of the skiing pool ended right at the edge of the turntable, and they built a platform on the stage to match the height of the skiing pool. Here are 3 comparison pictures that I used to figure it out.

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If you notice in all the '65 photos, the pool wall is built up so high that nobody wanted to sit in the first dozen or so rows, because they couldn't see the show.

Besides, down there you were just about guaranteed to get drenched from the spray.

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Somewhere here on PTU you'll find a topic where we tried to identify in photos all the names of citrus fruits which were painted on the side of the ski boats. Each boat had a different name, like 'Ruby Red'.

In that topic you can see that in between each boat being used for a different aspect of the show, they drove the boat into the back staging area, which apparently was shallower and was right on top of the turntable.

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That would have been refreshing especially during the heat wave!

You were right about the turntable, the air shot you posted above of the water ski show clearly shows the turntable/stage area also covered with water. Pretty amazing, especially when one sees the pictures of the Wonderworld and Billy Rose shows that took place there prior. I assume that the original pool was beneath the floor that the Florida wigs are standing on. I wonder what kept the floor of the ski pool from crashing down into the swimming pool from all that weight on top of it? Great stuff here, I loved the Wonderworld page, thank you for directing me to it. Fantastic!

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4. Why did they build a steel framed roof for the 64 show then demolish it for the '65 show?

At first they built a roof over the entire stadium. Then they decided it was too dark and took off the tarp over the framework, EXCEPT for the stage area. They needed the roof tarp over the stage area to hide the rocket when it blasted off.

A roof wasn't needed at all in 1965. We're talking the Florida citrus show. Sunshine, and all that.

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In the grandstand in 1965, they had signs posted down at the lower concourse that warned that all seats below that point were the "Wet Area". I have some photos that show the boats kicking up a HUGE roostertail of water into that area.

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Just thought I'd post a few more pre-fair Aquacade photos - courtesy of John Pender...

Dec. 12, 1962 -

Aquacade-1962-12-12.jpg[/attachment:eede0]

Jun. 19, 1963 -

Aquacade-1963-06-19.jpg[/attachment:eede0]

Late 1963 -

post-161-1206308354_thumb.jpgAquacade-Late1963.jpg[/attachment:eede0]

Apr. 2, 1964 -

Aquacade-1964-04-02.jpg[/attachment:eede0]

Early 1965 -

post-54-1206305317_thumb.jpgAquacade-Early1965.jpg[/attachment:eede0]

Note the Santa Maria up "on blocks" in the background -

SantaMaria-Early1965.jpg[/attachment:eede0]

Thanks again for the photos John!

Best Regards,

Kevin

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Those are great shots! I do believe, however, that the middle one (early 1964) is actually during the winter in between seasons, early 1965. Notice that the wall for the skiing pool is in place, and the diving towers are gone. Interesting stuff! Jay

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Oops! You're right Jay - nice catch!

I have corrected my posting above...

Interesting that they ripped out all of the seats between seasons too!

Thanks & Best Regards,

Kevin

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I'm not so sure that you didn't have the date right the first time---

* that's not the ski wall, it's the swimming pool wall

* it looks like all the scaffolding is to erect overhead stage lights

* the dive tower would be back behind the scaffolding where you wouldn't see it in this picture anyway

* why would they take the Santa Maria out of the water between seasons? It's not like it would be crushed like the Titanic by Meadow Lake icebergs. The location in this picture is exactly where Hoodlock said they unloaded if off a flatbed truck as he and his friends watched. Looks like it's ready to launch. They're probably out looking for a spanish champagne bottle to crack over the bow.

*from the photos of the late stages of late-spring '65 construction that I posted, the seats are present. Would they really wait 'til a week or two before the Fair opened its gates before starting to install thousands of seats in '65? And if this was April '65, they still had a LONG way to go to finish that skiing pool.

Early '64- like February or March- sounds more likely. Was there a date stamped on the print?

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I notice also that the Santa Maria is missing its mast and all its rigging. That's how it was shipped. There would be no reason to remove it for the winter between '64 and '65.

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actually, I just noticed that that particular picture is not the Amphitheter at all....it's the dolphin show theater over in the Florida Pavilion!! Look back at the picture of the Florida water ski bigwigs standing in the unfilled ski pool, and you can see the exact same structure in the background(florida pavilion) that you see in the construction photo from early 64. Also....there was no wall in the swimming pool that rose up over the eye level of the front rows, the swimming pool was ground level, you could pretty much get up from your seat in the front row and walk right into the water if you wanted. definitely the dolphin stadium.

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Thanks for getting us on the right track. You're right, it's an early 1964 photo of construction of the Porpoise Stadium.

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Gosh - looks like I'm 0-for-2 today!

Okay, so that "Early 1965" shot of the "Aquacade" is really an "Early 1964" shot of the "Florida Dolphin Show Theater"! At least I had the Lake Amusement Area correct - ha ha!

Sorry for the confusion!

Best Regards,

Kevin

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