Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vintage Aquatarium St. Petersburg Beach

The Aquatarium : one of Florida's Lost Tourist Attractions

The Aquatarium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Meaghan Edwards said...

I had no idea St. Pete's had an aquarium. My family and I went on vacations there from the 80's to early 90s. Once again, your blog has once again really informed me.

Wade G. Burck said...

A day without learning something new is a basic day. A day learning something new is a special day.


Bob Cline said...

Not only was there an aqaurium but there was a zoo beside it as well. If I can find those photos , I'll send them on to Wade.

Wade G. Burck said...

I didn't know there was a zoo there at one time. See Meaghan, a good day. Type in Vintage St. Petersburg Aquatarium in the search bar at the top left of the blog to see an aerial shot of the facility.


Greg May said...

KING OF AQUARIA says: The AQUATARIUM was a classic oceanarium! During the 60's they promoted themselves as the 'World's Greatest Marine Show' and the 'World's Largest Marine Attraction'. This was quite a boast considering the entire complex was only 17 acres and one third of that was parking lot. But what AQUATARIUM consisted of was a colossal circular building - it looked like something out of 'The Jetsons'
from the air. This building encompassed the largest oceanarium tank ever built - 100 ft. diameter and 25 ft. deep containing 1,244,000 gallons. On the top deck was roofed stadium that curved halfway around the tank with stairwells - one had an elevator - on each end. 120 viewing windows surrounded the Main Tank on two underwater levels. But when you approached the viewing windows, a wave of disappointment came over you because the water clarity was almost non-existant due to an inadequate filtration system. Next door, the Golden Dome show featured performing sea lions and dolphins in your typical 'porpoise show.' From 1964 -1966 a pilot whale named 'Jonah' performed in the Main Tank along with bottlenose and spotted dolphins. In 1977 the name was changed to 'Shark World' to cash in on the popularity of the Steven Spielberg movie but not even sharks could take a bite out of the flow of tourism into Orlando and Sea World.