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The Gray Collection - Trip to Galveston (1968)

Gay Cormier

Silent | 1968

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  •  Dolphin and seal show at Sea-Arama Marineworld 
  •  Alligator wrestling 
  •  On the beach 
  •  USS Flagship Hotel. The hotel was built in 1965 on the former Pleasure Pier structure. (The original Pleasure Pier closed in 1961 as a result of Hurricane Carla.) While it withstood several storms, the hotel closed in 2008 due to severe damage caused by Hurricane Ike. The site is now home to the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which opened in 2012.  
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This 1968 home movie captures a Gray family vacation to Galveston. After driving along Seawall Boulevard, they visit Sea-Arama Marineworld amusement park. There, they see dolphin and seal shows as well as an alligator wresting demonstration. Back along the beach, the Grays walk along the sand and tour beachfront businesses, including the former USS Flagship Hotel.
Opening in 1965, Sea-Arama Marineworld in Galveston was one of the first ocean theme parks in the nation. It spanned across 25 acres, including a four-acre ski lake and a 200,000-gallon aquarium. The park offered a variety of attractions, from shows with dolphins and Mamuk, the killer whale, to alligator wrestling and snake charming to a water-ski performance. 
By the late 1980s, Sea-Arama needed major renovations. After Sea World opened in 1988, the park found it difficult to compete and unwilling to invest in the dying park’s revitalization. Sea-Arama closed on January 14, 1990. The ruins of the park remained until 2006, when it was finally torn down.