November 15th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1958, a massive auction of earth-moving equipment from a completed Navy project was held at the site of the then-closed Airport Club.

Most locals remember or have heard about Seal Beach’s notorious gambling venue, the Airport Club.  Gambling was banned in Seal Beach in the early 1950s, and the Airport Club was closed, only to reincarnated itself as a music and dancing spot for teens called the Marina Palace in the 1960s until it was shut down in the 1970s.

Both business ventures and Bill Robertson, the owner of both the Airport Club and the Marina Palace, remain controversial for Seal Beach residents with long memories. Some remember Seal Beach’s gambling era and/or the musical hot spot with fond nostalgia, but others remain bitter at what they saw as corruption and behind-the-scenes ruthlessness that violated the values of Seal Beach’s residential community. 

What most people don’t recall is that between Airport Club era and the Marina Palace era, the site was used for other purposes, most notably a boat storage and sales facility.

And a Big! Cat! Auction! in 1958.

– Michael Dobkins

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1 Response to November 15th in Seal Beach History

  1. Lonnie Brownell says:

    Ah the Marina Palace (or, as we sometimes called it, the Purina Malice). Good times.


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