I was in Los Angeles about two weeks ago and while I was driving around, I went up Manhattan Beach Blvd and remembered the Castle. I didn't see it and then thought it was on Compton (aka Marine) Blvd. I didn't see it there either.
But I did see the remnants of the Castle in an overgrown lot and a sign stating that it was for sale for hotel or entertainment.
I remember the fun that I used to have there and the water slide!
Malibu Castle Park Miniature Golf & Arcade was located at 2410 Marine Avenue in Redondo Beach. The new owners had announced plans to demolish the building in 2005... and build a new structure, and refurbish the two 18-hole golf courses. The latter never happened.
I have seen the remnants from the 405 Fwy. The castle building was gone and so were the putting greens. All that was left was a few of the miniature golf structures... which were prominently tagged with graffiti.
After graduating from a junior college in June of 1983, I applied for a summer job with Castle Park. I worked alongside Catherine Demshki '81 in the castle. Andy Navarro '81 worked at the batting cages. And, John Abasto '81 was a member of park maintenance.
I remember seeing a few '81 alumni over that summer enjoying the facility. Jeanne Reeve and her husband Mark; Lori Plimpton and her infant daughter Misty; Ron Argento; Keith MacLyman; Bob Johnson.
I worked evenings and weekends primarily. Friday and Saturday nights were noisy and chaotic. The supervisor was known to crank up the rock music on the sound system which had us shouting to be heard by the customers. The place was always packed. Patrons lined up at the machines to test their skill at the latest games.
'Dragon's Lair' was the first laserdisc video game featuring interactive animation. It featured a hero, 'Dirk the Daring', attempting to rescue 'Princess Daphne' from the evil Dragon holed up in a wizard's castle. The screen showed animated scenes, and the player executed an action by selecting a direction or pressing the sword button with correct timing. The comedy of the game stemmed from not only the bizarre looking creatures and death scenes, but the fact that while Dirk was a skilled knight, he was somewhat clumsy in his efforts and was a reluctant hero, prone to shrieking and reacting in horror to the various dangers he encounters.
My favorite video games were Ms Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Tron. I did learn to 'kick ass' on Dragon's Lair... and defeated The Dragon and win The Princess. But, my favorite games to play (even to this day) are pinball machines. I am good at using the flippers and aiming the steel ball at the various targets. The ball can be lightning fast... and quick reflexes are a must. Unlike video games, there are no patterns to memorize. It's all hand to eye skill coordination.
While working as an employee, I was a cashier at the golf counter and snack bar. I loved making pizzas, pretzels, and churros. I hated making ice cream waffle cones. I ended up overcooking many of them. On an occassion, I helped out with some of the kiddie birthday parties. I only worked on the waterslide staff once during the entire summer.
When my Dad became ill in August of '83, I dropped my plans of attending a 4-year college. To help my Mom and Dad out financially, I continued working and became a supervisor at Castle Park... until November of that year. I then quit there and went to work for Sears at The Del Amo Fashion Island Mall.
*** Two photos are posted in 'The Odds and Ends' Photo Gallery ***