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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area Tourist and Local ATTRACTIONS Historical Photos Gallery - All Years - click on image to view > 1960 - Miami Seaquarium
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1960 - Miami Seaquarium
1960 1960 Dave Kleylein

1960 - Miami Seaquarium

Miami, Florida


Thank you to former Miamian Dave Kleylein (William Jennings Bryan Elementary, North Miami Junior High, North Miami High, and Norland High Class of 1962) for contributing this image.


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Daniel Reytan 21-May-2012 00:44
SEA MONKEYS! : D I used to love them as a kid and was all I could think about getting when I'd go to the Seaquarium from their gift shop. A small plastic tank with round magnifying areas to view them better and the packets had pink human-like animals on them. Memories: Hugo and Lolita were jumping up to touch their respective ball with their names on them which were many feet up in the air, the smell of wax from the fish figurines. I was not taken to the Seaquarium anymore the day my father caught me opening a large square hole in our back yard to make a concrete aquarium like the one at the Seaquarium The hole was already 5 feet deep and I had bought the concrete in bags and fence wire to reinforce the walls.
Guest 18-Sep-2011 19:00
Season 2 of Flipper was just released on DVD. I know that the Miami Seaquarium still has a Flipper show in the same lagoon. I found this site because I was trying to determine weather the house in the series was the same as the one they use at the Flipper show today. I got curious after seeing a recent photo and thinking the house doesn't look right. GUEST wrote on June 20, 2010 that "the house still exists in the exact location." After some screen grab comparisons I would have to say that is not true. The details on the house were different enough to start me on this quest but they easily could have been updates. But then I noticed the windows looked to be higher on the modern house as well as different. Still I thought maybe a lot of remodeling may have been done due to a storm. The actual key to proving to me that this house was not the same was the exact comment that GUEST June 2010 used, "exact location." After studying many scenes of the show, screen grabs and photos of the current location, you can see that the house is not in the same spot! It is currently a few steps from the dock while on the show it was set much further back. They had a front yard. Huge trucks would drive up to the house. Now, you couldn't fit a VW between the house and the dock. The huge concrete base of the "new" house and that porch seems to be where the land abruptly drops towards the water. When I read the other GUESTs April 15 2009 recollection of the history of the set I immediately believed it. Not just because his entire post on Flipper was accurate, he also seemed to be local. With the information I uncovered and his statement I think its safe to say that the house is not the same. I just thought someone may find this interesting. I found this site, which is awesome, trying to solve this mystery.

It doesn't surprise me that the house is not original. The Seaquarium told guests that one of the dolphins was the original Flipper through most of the 80s when all of the Flipper dolphins died of neglect in the late 60s and early 70s. After too much time had passed for anyone to believe they could have the original Flipper, they started saying that they had the descendant of the original Flipper which is also not true. So to figure out the house is also not original makes perfect sense.
Guest 22-Aug-2010 12:42
Wayne Comrie
I grew up in Miami in the Fifties and Sixties and used to swim at a small beach just south of the Seaquarium. My mom was constantly warning me to be careful for the undertow or I would get swept out into Bear Cut, where my older sister was always trying to push me! Guess that's why the place had so few other swimmers. My uncle would take me out nights and we would fish from the bridge or, when he had his pilot's license, we would fly over Key Biscayne and see big sharks swimming right off the sand bars by Cape Sable. I loved the circling shark, a tiger shark if my memory serves. If they have replaced it with a killer whale I am sad. Never saw a killer whale in Miami.
Juan R. Pollo 20-Jul-2010 13:04
Sorry, Kinseeker, I've been in Miami since 1970 and I'm pretty sure that the orcas (killer whales) Hugo and Lolita were already there, and the shark was at the entrance of Rickenbacker Causeway until recently. I'm working on finding out what exactly happened to it and when.
Guest 20-Jun-2010 02:10
Regarding the GUEST's comments posted on April 15th 2009:
The original house used on the beloved 1960's show "Flipper" still exists in its exact original location inside Miami Seaquarium. I visited on May 29, 2010. My first visit since the 1970's..The house has been restored and refurbished, but looks much like it did when it was used on the show as the Ricks's home and "Coral Key Park" Ranger station..In fact, the house is still situated on Flipper's lagoon where he lives, and Seaquarium still uses the lagoon and house location as the outdoor "stage" for the current Flipper Dolphin Show. What they did was seal off the lagoon from Biscayne Bay and build bleachers on three sides of the lagoon for guests to sit and watch the current "Flipper" perform, along with at least one dolphin descendant of one of the original Flipper TV show dolphins. It is a great experience for fans of the 60's series (like me) to see the current dolphin show and be on that set. It was kind of magical. Some wondeful memories are still preserved (for now), and Seaquarium remains very 'old-school" and low-tech charming..The Flipper house has been upgraded with a new porch and railings, but you can tell it is an old Florida-style concrete block house, at least 50 years old. The set is on the southwest end of the park and the lagoon looks out onto Biscayne Bay. In the background, you can see the part of Crandon Park the juts out to the west, which is same view that is seen in every episode of the show. Thankfully, that view has not changed, although a few high-rise condo buildings can now be observed farther to the east at the south end of Key Biscayne. Otherwise, you feel transported into your fond childhood memories of the old series. I encourage fans of the Flipper series to visit the Miami Seaquarium and the Flipper Dolphin Show before it also becomes nothing but a memory..
kinseeker26-Apr-2010 04:34
The Seaquarium opened in about 1958. In the 1970s when they got their first Orca, the shark at the entrance to Rickenbacker Causeway was replaced with an Orca.
Carol 10-Nov-2009 18:47
There was a huge shark in a round cage at the entrance to the Rickenbacker Causeway back in the 60s. One year, someone took a leg from a department store dummy and put it inside a pants leg, covered it with red paint to look like blood and shoved it inside the shark's mouth. It made the Miami Herald!! No one ever found out who did it (and I will NEVER tell!!).
Paul 07-Oct-2009 20:35
What year did the Seaquarium Open?
Guest 10-Jul-2009 01:59
I read your story about the old Flipper show...I was born in 1956 and I too remember the show and the spinning Shark. You asked if the Dolphin was still there; yes it is, but it's not working anymore...when I was little girl I use to look at that in fascination because I knew I was going for an outing with the family at the zoo and maybe the Seaquarium. It was so long ago and yet it seems like yesterday. Very fond memories. The Zoo was free back then and then it went to a quarter entrance fee. I grew up in the NW section of town and went to Lakeview elementary, Westeview Jr. High and Miami Central Senior High School.
Thanks for sharing your memories. Anita Dee
Guest 15-Apr-2009 07:19
Does anyone remember at the entrance to the Rickenbacker Causeway, on the south side, there was an "advertisement" (for lack of a better term) for the Seaquarium? It was a life-size mock up of a "man-eating" shark that rotated round and round in a circle, hanging inside a circular display. It was placed there as an enticement for visitors and locals to drive across the causeway and visit the attraction. I also remember in the early to mid 1960's, if you happened to be there visiting at the right time, you could go out back to the set where Ivan Tors Studios filmed "Flipper", and watch them as they shot occasional location footage for the TV show. "Coral Key Park & Marine Preserve" Chief Warden Porter Ricks, his two sons Sandy and Bud, they were all there!! And of course the 5 bottlenose dolphins they used to play Flipper - Suzy was used mostly, and occasionally other females named Patty, Kathy, Scotty and Squirt. They always used female dolphins, 'cause they were less aggressive than males and therefore easier to work with. Here's a bit of trivia: Ricou Browning, a world-class swimmer, diver and occasional actor, who played the monster in the underwater scenes of "Creature From The Black Lagoon" (some of which was filmed at Silver Springs FL), later worked for Ivan Tors Studios and was the Producer of the Flipper show. He was chosen as Producer because of his extensive experience in underwater filming and underwater performance. He was also a co-creator of the show. His name can be seen in the show's credits. After Flipper was canceled, the house they used for filming as the Ricks' house remained for a number of years, and Seaquarium visitors could go back there to see it, along with the dock and lagoon often seen on the show. If I recall correctly, over the years it had to be rebuilt a few times due to storm damage, but eventually a hurricane completely destroyed it, and interest in the canceled Flipper TV show had waned by then, so the house was finally removed for good. Sadly, it's all nothing but memories now. But good memories indeed!! I grew up in the Perrine area, attended Coral Reef Elementary (graduated from Miami-Palmetto in '78), and went to the Sequarium many times as a child. I went once on a field trip at school (Coral Reef). Usually if my family drove that far from Perrine in our '57 Chevy station wagon, we'd go to the Crandon Park Zoo and then the Sequarium. An all day outing. I live in western NC now. Miami got to be too crowded for me.

I wonder if that shark is still there, spinning in circles at the entrance to the Rickenbacker? :-)
Gary Heery 13-Dec-2008 04:09
WOW...thank you so much for a GREAT site full of alot of my memories from growing up in the 50's and 60's in and around the Miami area. We used to swim in the lagoons next to the Seaquarium with the wild Dolphins in the 60's and they played really rough.
Guest 24-May-2008 12:05
My family used to love the Seaquarium in the 60's & 70's. I recall one visit when I was standing by Flipper's raised tank just when he/she decided to jump. The splash left me soaked to the bone and everyone laughing, especially me. I haven't been to the Seaquarium in ages because Miami friends tell me it is run down and pricey at the same time. What a shame!
Guest 19-Mar-2008 06:25
I happened upon this site by accident, and I'm glad I did. I can remember the Miami Seaquarium in the mid-sixties when our schools, Seminole Elementry, would take us on field trips there. The main tank then housed many different species of fish, not the botlenosed dolphins shows of today. I can remember when the monorail was first installed, later closed I think, Flipper, Carolina Snowball, the building of the Big Golden dome over the show tank...........I was born in 1953.......Thanks again for the memories. Dave Helmick Jr.
John Lasseter14-Mar-2008 11:25
Always one of my favorite places to visit!!
ENRIQUE LOPEZ 06-Mar-2008 04:01
WOW,HAS THIS PLACE CHANGED. I WENT THERE ALOT AS A KID ATLEASE ONCE A YR. WHEN I WENT THERE THIS YR FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH MY OWN KIDS SINCE THE EARLY 80'S I NOTICES SOMTHING MISSING. IT WAS THE MONORAIL, I GUESSED HURRICANE ANDREW DID SOME REDECORATING. I MISS THE OLD MIAMI. AND IM ONLY 38
Dan Chandler 24-Feb-2008 18:19
Later an exterior set was built betweet the main tanks and the seawall, where much of "Flipper" was filmed.