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Gateway Swimming Pool on Main

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I remember going to the bottom of the Crystal Pool and entering the air dome made by a B17 plastic canopy. The canopy was chained to the bottom of the pool and air was pumped in from the bottom. The canopy trapped the air and floated about 3 feet off the bottom. I know Liability Lawyers would be break dancing to get a shot at that now!

Anyway, my question is "What is the name of the skating rink that was right next door on S. Main? ".

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I totally don't remember the name. It was on the same side of S. Main as Gaido's (remember the giant crab?) almost directly across the street from Kelly's Restaurant.

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Gateway for sure. Great picture Subdue. Although I can't remember all the trees and rolling hills behind it. :D

Oh, well. That was a long time ago.

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Alpha, you nailed it, but Subdude trumped us all with a postcard! I remember that it was also called Gateway Skate and Swim, I remember the Hokey Pokey, and that Crystal Pool was the only other Olympic size pool in the area(Shamrock), but the hills and meadows escape me. Thanks everyone!

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Gateway for sure. Great picture Subdue. Although I can't remember all the trees and rolling hills behind it. :D

Artistic license? ^_^

There was some discussion about the air dome on the bottom in another topic I can't find at the second. Not only would insurance companies not be happy with that, I don't expect they would be thrilled with those poolside trampolines! :lol:

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So this venue actually existed? Can anyone name year built/existed or why or what replaced it?

The postcard seems dream-like right, out of a movie set.

Seems Houston really once had bright and cheerful plans for a growing city. ^_^

Actually this postcard gave me a wild idea, I would build a similar idea and add a huge background like the hills or mountain to give the illusion. It would be fun. Could illuminate at night with lights, planes flying by, etc.

To heck with Houston be yourself. Kids would love it, that's all that matters.

Edited by Vertigo58

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So this venue actually existed? Can anyone name year built/existed or why or what replaced it?

I don't know when it was built but it was there until the early 1970s. At some point the pool was enclosed. They also had picnic areas, ping pong tables, volleyball courts, and rope climbs.

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GatewaySwim.jpg

I used to know a guy who told me that swimming pools in Houston have a chemical added to the water that turns a dark purple color whenever someone urinates. The reason is that they want the people to get out of the pool and go to the restroom. Have any of you ever had that happen to you when you were swimming.

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So this venue actually existed? Can anyone name year built/existed or why or what replaced it?

The postcard is what postcard collectors call a "linen" which started changing to "Chromes" (slick, glossy paper) in the mid 50s and had taken over by the early 60s. I went to the gateway in the summer of 65, and one thing I learned about the "bubble" was if you had tooth decay, the water pressure down below would sure let you know.

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The postcard is what postcard collectors call a "linen" which started changing to "Chromes" (slick, glossy paper) in the mid 50s and had taken over by the early 60s. I went to the gateway in the summer of 65, and one thing I learned about the "bubble" was if you had tooth decay, the water pressure down below would sure let you know.

The card also says Skate?

Ever recall any skating going on and where? Card doesn't show a rink of any sort unless its hidden like Waldo? :ph34r:

Skating must have been hell. Skates were those old ones made of metal or aluminum right? Even the wheels were metal. Needed a key, etc.

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I totally don't remember the name. It was on the same side of S. Main as Gaido's (remember the giant crab?) almost directly across the street from Kelly's Restaurant.

I don't think Kelley's was in that area.

KelleysRes-1955.jpg

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Ever recall any skating going on and where? Card doesn't show a rink of any sort unless its hidden like Waldo?

I don't recall any skating going on. If it was there in 65, it must have been totally separate from the pool area.

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I don't recall any skating going on. If it was there in 65, it must have been totally separate from the pool area.

The skating rink was up front closer to South Main. The pool sat way to the rear.

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The skating rink was up front closer to South Main. The pool sat way to the rear.

So what did you guys say is there now, like in as we speak? :huh:

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I believe a self storage warehouse sits on the property once occupied by Gateway. It's hard to pin-point exactly since the "hills" are no longer there.

You mean the "rollings hills" were actually there via mother nature? I thought someone said it was just a superimposed painting to give the visitor an illusion of a Shangrila-like setting?

Too imagine a developer insane enough to flatten them just boggles the mind. :wacko:

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You mean the "rollings hills" were actually there via mother nature? I thought someone said it was just a superimposed painting to give the visitor an illusion of a Shangrila-like setting?

Too imagine a developer insane enough to flatten them just boggles the mind. :wacko:

Just kidding about the hills. The only "rolling hills" Houston ever had are freeway overpasses.

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Gateway Skate was a huge roller rink in the late 50s. The floors were polished oak which is why they wouldn't let you bring your metal skates. Giant mirrored ball which was lit during the "All Skate".

I think it was wishful thinking about the proximity to Kelly's, but it made me think about where all the addresses in Houston are based - Number 1 Main Street, the M&M Building. The first building in the US that was accessible from trains, boats, cars, horseback, and air. The 8510 S. Main address on the Gateway postcard is further from M&M than the 3512 address on the Kelly's card (where do you guys find this stuff?!). Sometimes knowing this helps with placing addresses in Houston. I remember meeting the wife of the Kelly's owner at one of the Medical Center hospitals in the late 50s - he was dying. I'm not sure how long after that the three locations had disappeared. Outrageous good steaks!

"I used to know a guy who told me that swimming pools in Houston have a chemical added to the water that turns a dark purple color whenever someone urinates. " My chemical would make their suits dissolve.

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Gateway Skate was a huge roller rink in the late 50s. The floors were polished oak which is why they wouldn't let you bring your metal skates. Giant mirrored ball which was lit during the "All Skate".

I think it was wishful thinking about the proximity to Kelly's, but it made me think about where all the addresses in Houston are based - Number 1 Main Street, the M&M Building. The first building in the US that was accessible from trains, boats, cars, horseback, and air. The 8510 S. Main address on the Gateway postcard is further from M&M than the 3512 address on the Kelly's card (where do you guys find this stuff?!) Sometimes knowing this helps with placing addresses in Houston. I remember meeting the wife of the Kelly's owner at one of the Medical Center hospitals in the late 50s - he was dying. I'm not sure how long after that the three locations had disappeared. Outrageous good steaks!

"I used to know a guy who told me that swimming pools in Houston have a chemical added to the water that turns a dark purple color whenever someone urinates. " My chemical would make their suits dissolve.

Most kids couldn't afford the skates that were used on the wood floors of the roller rinks, so they were rented as were ice skates at the ice skating rinks. The roller skates had four wide hard rubber or urethane wheels on them.

I find ads in my wife's and my old high school and college yearbooks. Lots of advertising in the back of those. That's where I found the Kelley's ad I posted earlier.

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Gateway Skate was a huge roller rink in the late 50s. The floors were polished oak which is why they wouldn't let you bring your metal skates. Giant mirrored ball which was lit during the "All Skate".

I think it was wishful thinking about the proximity to Kelly's, but it made me think about where all the addresses in Houston are based - Number 1 Main Street, the M&M Building. The first building in the US that was accessible from trains, boats, cars, horseback, and air. The 8510 S. Main address on the Gateway postcard is further from M&M than the 3512 address on the Kelly's card (where do you guys find this stuff?!). Sometimes knowing this helps with placing addresses in Houston. I remember meeting the wife of the Kelly's owner at one of the Medical Center hospitals in the late 50s - he was dying. I'm not sure how long after that the three locations had disappeared. Outrageous good steaks!

"I used to know a guy who told me that swimming pools in Houston have a chemical added to the water that turns a dark purple color whenever someone urinates. " My chemical would make their suits dissolve.

The M&M building was patterned after the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, which also had rail, road, and water access. As for horses and planes, I can't say.

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GatewaySwim.jpg

I remember that there was a lake next to it. There was also a large thing in the pool that you would climb to the top and rock it back and forth. I made it one time down to the bubble and there were 3 guys playing cards in it. cool place. Dont remember the skating.

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I remember that there was a lake next to it. There was also a large thing in the pool that you would climb to the top and rock it back and forth. I made it one time down to the bubble and there were 3 guys playing cards in it. cool place. Dont remember the skating.

A Lake? Are you sure it wasn't Braes Bayou?

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I remember that there was a lake next to it. There was also a large thing in the pool that you would climb to the top and rock it back and forth. I made it one time down to the bubble and there were 3 guys playing cards in it. cool place. Dont remember the skating.

Well It has been 40+ years, but I remember a small lake with a little island in the middle and it did not smell like the shi* channel. I could be wrong about the lake... I went through the 60s since then:)

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Well It has been 40+ years, but I remember a small lake with a little island in the middle and it did not smell like the shi* channel. I could be wrong about the lake... I went through the 60s since then:)

LOL. Yeah I know what you mean. I'm still recovering from the 60's.

I never exhaled though.

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I grew up at that place...theather ball, the bobber, the bubble, the bislide, and can not find a single picture of it anywhere...anyone?

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much thanks, by my day...mid to late 60's the skating rink was an indoor pool, and Gateway , as I recall had a rat infested field between the pool and the bowling alley, no hills....I like the post card, but can't believe that no one in this town has a single picture of Gateway

Edited by Native Son

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Gateway Pool - I had drawn upon my memory bank about this today with a co-workers young son and thought I would look it up online to see if anyone else had though about this placed ever....how funny to find this site and you guys bringing it up recently! Wow I was a lil' kid when it was forced to close by the city, and local human rights groups. We use to beg our parents to drop us off there. 1st you had to pass thru those galvanized turnstiles bars that crossed like fingers to ensure everyone passing through had paid, and to keep others out, it had a girls and a boys locker room. The "Bubble" was only a far away vision for me, as my lungs weren't able to hold air long enough to try and swim to the bottom like the older kids! In the picture, I don't see the tall metal "water" slide, which was my favorite part of going there, or the buoy thingie which was in the middle of the deep end; the boys loved swinging from side to side, dipping their heads into the water. So this must have been a concept photo, and not a reality drawing, like the other member had said. Actually my parents still live in the neighborhood behind where it stood, which are the fields in the background. The old guy who owned it said he would fill the pool up with cement rather than allow anyone (he did not approve of) to enter. Which he did, and it stood closed and fenced off for a number of years. There was an article in the Chronicle about the whole thing, I can remember that. He was very prejudice, such a shame....it was a very cool pool! They played Summer time music on that old jukebox, such a blast to people watch there, boys watching the girls, and vice-versa!! That photo was very cool, pretty much as I remember it!! And yes, much too early for Kodak pocket cameras - lol!! Thanks so much for the memories!! B)

Edited by Cajun Cutie

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Gateway Skate was a huge roller rink in the late 50s. The floors were polished oak which is why they wouldn't let you bring your metal skates. Giant mirrored ball which was lit during the "All Skate".

I think it was wishful thinking about the proximity to Kelly's, but it made me think about where all the addresses in Houston are based - Number 1 Main Street, the M&M Building. The first building in the US that was accessible from trains, boats, cars, horseback, and air. The 8510 S. Main address on the Gateway postcard is further from M&M than the 3512 address on the Kelly's card (where do you guys find this stuff?!). Sometimes knowing this helps with placing addresses in Houston. I remember meeting the wife of the Kelly's owner at one of the Medical Center hospitals in the late 50s - he was dying. I'm not sure how long after that the three locations had disappeared. Outrageous good steaks!

"I used to know a guy who told me that swimming pools in Houston have a chemical added to the water that turns a dark purple color whenever someone urinates. " My chemical would make their suits dissolve.

Does anyone know where this Gateway would have been located, by landmarks from past or present? I know the street well, but not by addresses. "8510 S. Main"... in/outside of the loop 610? Can't believe I never heard of this place.

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Does anyone know where this Gateway would have been located, by landmarks from past or present? I know the street well, but not by addresses. "8510 S. Main"... in/outside of the loop 610? Can't believe I never heard of this place.

It was on the west side of S. Main, approx where OST intersects.

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It was on the west side of S. Main, approx where OST intersects.

Thanks, 57Tbird, so basically it was where the SuperTarget is now.

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a great thread !

going back to the first posting in this thread about what we called the "bubble":

"I remember going to the bottom of the Crystal Pool and entering the air dome made by a B17 plastic canopy. The canopy was chained to the bottom of the pool and air was pumped in from the bottom. The canopy trapped the air and floated about 3 feet off the bottom."

could someone explain more about how it all worked, and about what a B17 canopy is, and how one

could breathe under there -- for the non techical types ? I can't understand how if someone could

get into it, then how could the air remain there ?

I've wondered about how it all worked for so many years - never had the guts to even try to swim

down to it myself and over the years its become one of those unexplained mysteries of childhood;

maybe it would be better to let it be but after seeing this thread, got curious about it again.

I do remember the skating rink - lots of fun, hokey pokey, bunny hop, and the birtthday party

room that could be rented out.

good comments about the postcard and the "hills" ; I don't recall even the pool area looking

anything like the postcard but then the card doesn't show all the kids running around and hanging out.

the tall floating pole I recall was called the "Bobber" and I think you could climb up to the top

of it and swing back and forth on it.

In the mid eighties I drove over there and walked towards the back of what had been the parking lot and discovered the pool was still there; I remember a big metal structure floating in the water and am guessing

it was the Bobber. I tried to see if the bubble was still there but as per my comments in this post,

really didn't know what I was looking for and perhaps it was still there under the deep end.

thanks again for the memories.

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a great thread !

going back to the first posting in this thread about what we called the "bubble":

"I remember going to the bottom of the Crystal Pool and entering the air dome made by a B17 plastic canopy. The canopy was chained to the bottom of the pool and air was pumped in from the bottom. The canopy trapped the air and floated about 3 feet off the bottom."

could someone explain more about how it all worked, and about what a B17 canopy is, and how one

could breathe under there -- for the non techical types ? I can't understand how if someone could

get into it, then how could the air remain there ?

I've wondered about how it all worked for so many years - never had the guts to even try to swim

down to it myself and over the years its become one of those unexplained mysteries of childhood;

maybe it would be better to let it be but after seeing this thread, got curious about it again.

I do remember the skating rink - lots of fun, hokey pokey, bunny hop, and the birtthday party

room that could be rented out.

good comments about the postcard and the "hills" ; I don't recall even the pool area looking

anything like the postcard but then the card doesn't show all the kids running around and hanging out.

the tall floating pole I recall was called the "Bobber" and I think you could climb up to the top

of it and swing back and forth on it.

In the mid eighties I drove over there and walked towards the back of what had been the parking lot and discovered the pool was still there; I remember a big metal structure floating in the water and am guessing

it was the Bobber. I tried to see if the bubble was still there but as per my comments in this post,

really didn't know what I was looking for and perhaps it was still there under the deep end.

thanks again for the memories.

the bubble was a Plexiglas canopy which was chained to the bottom of the deep end at 4 anchor points. A pump blew air through a hole in the bottom of the pool. the air stream was regulated so the air captured under the canopy was forced out by new air, therefore it did not become stagnant.

My older brother swears he has some old 8mm reels that relatives from NYC took at Gateway in the late 50's. I have yet to see the films. Like you, I have very fond memories of Gateway, tetherball, zinc oxcide on my nose, burgers and soft serve from the concession stand, and the Archies on the juke box...man, oh man..."Sugar, Sugar" I can almost smell the place now

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Most kids couldn't afford the skates that were used on the wood floors of the roller rinks, so they were rented as were ice skates at the ice skating rinks. The roller skates had four wide hard rubber or urethane wheels on them.

I find ads in my wife's and my old high school and college yearbooks. Lots of advertising in the back of those. That's where I found the Kelley's ad I posted earlier.

57Tbird, weren't we all so envious of those great shoe skates, so glamorous? At home we struggled mightily with our clamp-on, metal clumsies, which frequently fell loose from our shoes and twisted an ankle or plopped you down on the sidewalk. My fam didn't take us much to Gateway Skate, but lots of kids had their birthday parties there, always a treat. The rink seems so huge and usually so crowded, a bit daunting. Big, noisy place, but fun.

Knew about the pool, but never went there. We had West U., Southside and the Shamrock, didn't need to go far afield.

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the bubble was a Plexiglas canopy which was chained to the bottom of the deep end at 4 anchor points. A pump blew air through a hole in the bottom of the pool. the air stream was regulated so the air captured under the canopy was forced out by new air, therefore it did not become stagnant.

My older brother swears he has some old 8mm reels that relatives from NYC took at Gateway in the late 50's. I have yet to see the films. Like you, I have very fond memories of Gateway, tetherball, zinc oxcide on my nose, burgers and soft serve from the concession stand, and the Archies on the juke box...man, oh man..."Sugar, Sugar" I can almost smell the place now

Thanks for the info - I knew I should'a paid more attention to the Mr. Wizard shows since he probably

talked about this -- what I don't understand is that since under the plastic canopy, where the air was being pumped in, there was still water also -- thus how could people breathe the air being pumped in without getting the water in their mouths ? Or did the air push out the water so that there was an air pocket ?

speaking of smells of the pool area, I'm remembering suddenly the smell of the rink; not the greatest smell

but probably due to so many people sweating and the building itself being hot too since I think it was made

of galvanized metal; I think it had these big fans in the windows trying to circulate the air and always

tried to rest near one of those windows.

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Thanks for the info - I knew I should'a paid more attention to the Mr. Wizard shows since he probably

talked about this -- what I don't understand is that since under the plastic canopy, where the air was being pumped in, there was still water also -- thus how could people breathe the air being pumped in without getting the water in their mouths ? Or did the air push out the water so that there was an air pocket ?

speaking of smells of the pool area, I'm remembering suddenly the smell of the rink; not the greatest smell

but probably due to so many people sweating and the building itself being hot too since I think it was made

of galvanized metal; I think it had these big fans in the windows trying to circulate the air and always

tried to rest near one of those windows.

the skating rink predates me by a few years, and I ain't all that young.... in my day the big metal building in the parking lot was the indoor pool. I used to have swimming parties in February when I was in elementery school....that was reall cool back in the day....I miss it, but it was something from a different time...

Edited by Native Son

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what I don't understand is that since under the plastic canopy, where the air was being pumped in, there was still water also -- thus how could people breathe the air being pumped in without getting the water in their mouths ? Or did the air push out the water so that there was an air pocket ?

There was an air pocket, you'd swim to the bottom, duck under the canopy and stand up and there was the air pocket. I can't quite remember where the air hose was. I do remember, if you had tooth decay the air pressure let you know pretty quick.

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I recall going under that bubble just once, and it was full of tobacco smoke....kids actually smoked in that bubble! Now that's getting desperate!

Closer to me was Glenbrook Valley Pool. Someone also built a huge pool with a retractable roof not far from Santa Rosa theater, but I don't recall its name.

Patrick

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Closer to me was Glenbrook Valley Pool. Someone also built a huge pool with a retractable roof not far from Santa Rosa theater, but I don't recall its name.

tropicana

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At HAIF one need only ask.

gatewayswim547.jpg

Hi Subdude. Thanks for the memories. Crystal Pool was my home away from home growing up. It was built behind Gateway Roller Rink about a year after the rink was built. They were located behind "Bert Wheelers Liquer Store" on South Main where it intersected OST. If you were driving toward it from downtown Houston, you would have passed Stuarts Drive In, then Princes Drive In and turned right at Ben Wheelers. The "picture" is a pretty good rendtion of the pool: It was the second largest pool in Houston. The Shamrock pool was larger. I still have my last pair of skates that I bought from Les Oldfield who owned the rink and the pool. I am 73 now, so that would make them antiques. I grew up in Playland Park further down Main St. and used to walk to the rink and pool. My Mom and Dad built a home on Hatton Street in Knollwood which was the community of homes where the "rolling Hills" are shown in the picture. Do any of you remember the Old South Main Street Airport? It was located where you turned into Knollwood. Bringing back good old memories. Thanks a lot, Sparky

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It's amazing what happens to a post when you leave it for a while. Absolutely great comments! Good lesson for everyone. Revisit old posts and see what happened while you were gone. I love this place. Great collective memory.

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I remember going to Gateway. At that young age, it seemed to be a long, scary trip down to the bubble in the deep end. Probably still long and scary at this old age. Once there, you couldn't take the pressure to your ears very long.

Wasn't there a swimming pool similar to Gateway located on Long Point back in the 60s/70s?

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Does anyone know where this Gateway would have been located, by landmarks from past or present? I know the street well, but not by addresses. "8510 S. Main"... in/outside of the loop 610? Can't believe I never heard of this place.

just inside of 610, about 4 or 5 blocks, i think that there is hotel of some kind there now. the pool must have been filled in

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I remember going to Gateway. At that young age, it seemed to be a long, scary trip down to the bubble in the deep end. Probably still long and scary at this old age. Once there, you couldn't take the pressure to your ears very long.

Wasn't there a swimming pool similar to Gateway located on Long Point back in the 60s/70s?

I'm not familiar with the one on Long Point, but there was one on Telephone Rd. called the "Tropicana". It also had an underwater bubble, high dive platforms, slides and a covered roof that closed during rain. It was on the west side of the road somewhere between Long Drive and Garden Villas. I was very young, and we went along as guests of a member.

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I'm not familiar with the one on Long Point, but there was one on Telephone Rd. called the "Tropicana". It also had an underwater bubble, high dive platforms, slides and a covered roof that closed during rain. It was on the west side of the road somewhere between Long Drive and Garden Villas. I was very young, and we went along as guests of a member.

I remember the Tropicana sitting somewhere in between the Santa Rosa Theater (east side of road) and Bellfort. But it was located on the west side of the road, before Brays Bayou. I never went there.

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