Brochure Beauties #7: Sea World San Diego, 1964

Today’s beauty comes to us from the mid 1960s, during what I think of as the golden age of amusement parks. It dates (I believe) from 1964, when the first Sea World opened in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, California. Located on 22 acres, the original vision for the park was a giant underwater restaurant. I think the amusement park was definitely the way to go.

Sea World’s owners spared no expense with this brochure, as it has the evocative prose and lush illustrations typical of the best brochures and advertising material of the mid-century period. Behold the beauty of the front cover:

Sea World San Diego brochure, 1964

Let’s take a closer look at that logo, for it is wonderful.

Sea World San Diego brochure logo, 1964

Just two colors here, but a great contrast of typefaces. And turning the standard ’60s grid globe into a fish? Genius.

Before we move on, a bit of history. Sea World opened on March 21, 1964 at a cost of $4.5 million. Admission prices that year were $2.25 for adults, $1.25 for kids aged 12-17, and 60 cents for kids under 12. The premier attraction at the time was not the famous — or infamous depending on your point of view — orcas, but a 160,000-gallon tank with dolphins and lovely ladies known as Sea Maids. The Maids earned $325 a month and had access to free lodging, free wigs, and hair dryers.

OK, let’s look at the rest. The next page describes the park in a little more detail and boasts of the Theater of the Sea attraction, billed as the world’s first underwater productions written for and starring… dolphins!

Finally, the last page describes several more attractions from the park, such as the Sea Grotto, Murata Pearl Japanese Village, and Hawaiian Punch Village. I don’t know if any of these are still open, so if you’ve been to Sea World recently let me know.

Sea World San Diego brochure, 1964

But wait, there’s one more thing. As a special bonus I’m throwing in a retrotisement too. This is a newspaper ad from opening week, featuring that wonderful logo.

1964 sea world California advertisement