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Futuro House (Read 4828 times)
joejjc
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Futuro House
May 21st, 2012, 6:34pm
 
Growing up in Philly, I vividly remember a few UFOs in the area that looked like this:
 

 
One of them was on Morey's pier as a ride. †I think I remember it rotating. †One year it was outfited as a "Planet of the Apes" ride, where the host turned into a monkey (or is that monkeeWink) †I remember it also being Star Trek-themed at one point. It got redressed in whatever sci-fi theme was in the theaters that year. †
 
What I didn't realize until recently was that these structures are incredibly rare. †Only about 96 are still in existence. †(Some sources claim fewer than 60 still survive) †They were designed in the late 60's as a ski resort that was portable, easily assembled and could withstand the elements. †The Futuro was composed of polyester plastic and fibreglass, measuring 4 metres high and 8 metres in diameter.
 
The one in Philly (previously a diner) now sits in an unkept lot in very poor condition. †Even getting it moved would be a daunting task. †The one from Morey's has faired better, and lives down in Greenwich, NJ. †The current owner of the house is New York furniture dealer Matt Damon who purchased it for some $15,000 and as of the end of 2009 had spent some $65,000 on refurbishment work.
 
I eventually also found this page from Ralph Grassi's site Funchase. †A few of the pics are below:
 

 
and a few of it in it's original glory:

 
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« Last Edit: May 21st, 2012, 8:04pm by joejjc »  
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wildwoodgirl
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #1 - May 21st, 2012, 8:46pm
 

 
Cool.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #2 - May 21st, 2012, 11:13pm
 
Awesome!
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MMM
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #3 - May 21st, 2012, 11:17pm
 
It looked pretty interesting.  I wish I could have experienced the Wildwood one when it was on the Boardwalk.
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FlyinGN
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #4 - May 22nd, 2012, 11:42am
 
Whee was the one in Philly? I have been there 50 + years and don't recall it in the city
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scca28
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #5 - May 22nd, 2012, 4:54pm
 
I never knew they were mass produced until I saw the info on Ralph's site a few years back! I always thought ship in the Planet of the Apes attraction was a one of a kind home made piece built by Morey's...
That was such a cool ride the first time me and Dad stepped into it, I will never forget the fun we had then!
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joejjc
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #6 - May 22nd, 2012, 7:58pm
 
Quote from FlyinGN on May 22nd, 2012, 11:42am:
Whee was the one in Philly? I have been there 50 + years and don't recall it in the city

 
There was one I found that was actually for sale. †The preface read:
 
Quote:
Like all Futuro Houses sold in the US, mine was built in Philadelphia by the Futuro Corporation that licensed the design to build and market it in the US. Interestingly, my Futuro "House" was never actually a house at all. It was originally built as a restaurant. According to the previous owner, the restaurant was called "The Round House" in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any information on this. It was only a restaurant until 1978, when the owners passed away. The gentleman I bought it from purchased it from their estate and used it as a travel agency. As you can imagine, it attracted a lot of attention. Some time in the early eighties (I believe), he closed that business and moved the Futuro to its current location near Philadelphia.
~ from http://www.futurohouse.net/my_futuro/my_futuro.htm

I haven't had any luck in researching the restaurant, either. The link page has a lot of great pictures, though the condition of his is very bad. He's sold it. I also vaguely remember one near the Franklin Institute, though I could be mistaken on that count.
 
I'd love to somehow return the Morey's Pier Futuro (MPF †Smiley) to Wildwood. †It's extremely rare piece of architecture, and an interesting piece of WW history. †And though it was built in the 70's, it certainly has a mid-century aesthetic. †I assume it's still in Greenwich in need of further rehabilitation.  
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tradewinds
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #7 - May 28th, 2012, 8:08pm
 
Just remembered that there used to be one of these saucer buildings in Seaside Heights. It was over on the bay side and served as some type of visitors center for the longest time. I think it was even a bank! It disappeared sometime in the 1980s.   George
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #8 - May 28th, 2012, 11:42pm
 
Quote from tradewinds on May 28th, 2012, 8:08pm:
Just remembered that there used to be one of these saucer buildings in Seaside Heights. It was over on the bay side and served as some type of visitors center for the longest time. I think it was even a bank! It disappeared sometime in the 1980s. † George

 
 
Hey George,
 
Here you go:  http://www.tomsrivernjonline.com/2011/10/07/ufo-sightings-in-seaside-heights/307 0/
 
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tradewinds
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #9 - May 29th, 2012, 12:54am
 
Yes! That's the place. I haven't seen that "thing" in years. My friends had a house on Sumner Ave across the street from the bay in Seaside Hts. That building was a landmark for anyone who somehow got lost and couldn't find the place. THANKS!    George
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cringey
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #10 - May 29th, 2012, 12:58am
 
Here is something that freaks me out about my memory.   I remember being on the Star Wars ride on one or both of its incarnations. (Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back)  But my memory is either confusing the interior speed with Gravitron or did the Star Wars ride go fast enough like Gravitron did?  (What I mean was did it spin fast enough that you were pushed against the wall?)  
 
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scca28
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #11 - May 30th, 2012, 8:00am
 
Quote from cringey on May 29th, 2012, 12:58am:
†But my memory is either confusing the interior speed with Gravitron or did the Star Wars ride go fast enough like Gravitron did? †(What I mean was did it spin fast enough that you were pushed against the wall?)


 
I would say the ride rotated more than spun, not really all that fast. The idea was to give you the feeling of movement as you looked into a video screen in the center floor of the ship, showing the Earth getting smaller as you lifted off. I think there was two rows of seating in a circular pattern around the center screen.  
I only went on when it was the Planet of the Apes. A minute or so into the ride the lights would start to flicker, computers malfunctioned, etc, then the lights went out, complete silence. Suddenly, the lights come up, and the ship's crew is gone, replaced by apes with weapons! They guide you out the door, down steps into caverns under the pier. Exiting the ride was via three "transporter pads". You would stand on one with your back against the wall, and it would rotate you to the outside.. Lots of fun!
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #12 - May 30th, 2012, 9:04am
 
That sounds awesome
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cringey
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #13 - May 30th, 2012, 9:30am
 
Quote from scca28 on May 30th, 2012, 8:00am:
Quote from cringey on May 29th, 2012, 12:58am:
†But my memory is either confusing the interior speed with Gravitron or did the Star Wars ride go fast enough like Gravitron did? †(What I mean was did it spin fast enough that you were pushed against the wall?)



I would say the ride rotated more than spun, not really all that fast. The idea was to give you the feeling of movement as you looked into a video screen in the center floor of the ship, showing the Earth getting smaller as you lifted off. I think there was two rows of seating in a circular pattern around the center screen.
I only went on when it was the Planet of the Apes. A minute or so into the ride the lights would start to flicker, computers malfunctioned, etc, then the lights went out, complete silence. Suddenly, the lights come up, and the ship's crew is gone, replaced by apes with weapons! They guide you out the door, down steps into caverns under the pier. Exiting the ride was via three "transporter pads". You would stand on one with your back against the wall, and it would rotate you to the outside.. Lots of fun!

 
 
Thanks Dave! †
 
Yeah, my memory was mashing the 2 up into one ride for that time period. † I recall details of them here and there but somehow Gravitron (being a similiarly shaped ride) snuck its way into my memory. †
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #14 - May 30th, 2012, 12:26pm
 
That sounds great, Dave.  I never knew how that ride worked...
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Martin Melucci


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cringey
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #15 - May 30th, 2012, 12:41pm
 
Quote from MMM on May 30th, 2012, 12:26pm:
That sounds great, Dave. †I never knew how that ride worked...

 
 
I might be wrong with some details but I think Star Wars was similar.  Wasn't there a Princess Leia look-a-like as the 'pilot' central character and then instead of the apes Stormtroopers board and herd you off into the caves.  Part of me wants to say it was desert caves of Tatooine and in The Empire Strikes Back retheme it was the swamps of Dagobah.  
 
A goldmine would be to find a video of this ride in any incarnation.  I love the video on Youtube of the apes chasing people on the pier.
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #16 - May 30th, 2012, 4:54pm
 
Quote from scca28 on May 30th, 2012, 8:00am:
I would say the ride rotated more than spun, not really all that fast. The idea was to give you the feeling of movement as you looked into a video screen in the center floor of the ship, showing the Earth getting smaller as you lifted off. I think there was two rows of seating in a circular pattern around the center screen.
I only went on when it was the Planet of the Apes. A minute or so into the ride the lights would start to flicker, computers malfunctioned, etc, then the lights went out, complete silence. Suddenly, the lights come up, and the ship's crew is gone, replaced by apes with weapons! They guide you out the door, down steps into caverns under the pier. Exiting the ride was via three "transporter pads". You would stand on one with your back against the wall, and it would rotate you to the outside.. Lots of fun!

 
As always Dave, your recall & explanation of all things Wildwood are both superb. †I was very young when I went on Planet of the Apes, but how you described it instantly brought back memories. †I remember there being a distinct smell inside the ride. †Not a "bad" or "gross" smell by any means, but sorta like that smell of brand new carpet. †I think the interior of the whole thing was carpeted; from the floor to the curved "walls" to the roof. †So that probably explains it. †I remember being really scared when the ďapesĒ took over the capsule. †I immediately covered my eyes with my hands. †And when I slowly peeled my hands away from my face there was an ape staring DIRECTLY at me RIGHT in front of me! †Man, he scared the absolute bejesus out of me! †(Not to mention forever scarred a young boy with a frightening image that I could never shake!) †I'm not sure if I went on it during its Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back incarnations, but I remember it being a very fun custom ride designed by the late, great Fred Mahana.
 
I know we've broken out this classic YouTube clip a few times in the past, but I think itís fitting to do so here again, since it shows probably the best known film footage shot outside Planet of the Apes.  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PV2RN_iCcM
 
 
And here's a great website you may not know about dedicated to Fred Mahana; who I personally think might be the most unsung visionary (at least in terms of an amusements perspective) in the history of The Wildwoods.
 
http://www.fredmahana.com/
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Moving to the Wildwoods someday.........
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MMM
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #17 - May 30th, 2012, 5:03pm
 
Maybe the ride being enclosed as it was, plus the warmth, brought out the scent of the carpet - possibly the padding...
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Martin Melucci


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Re: Futuro House
Reply #18 - May 30th, 2012, 5:32pm
 
[quote author=Sean Carragher link=1337639681/15#16 date=1338411269]Quote from scca28 on May 30th, 2012, 8:00am:
I remember there being a distinct smell inside the ride. †Not a "bad" or "gross" smell by any means, but sorta like that smell of brand new carpet. †I think the interior of the whole thing was carpeted; from the floor to the curved "walls" to the roof. †So that probably explains it.

 
Sean,
 
I think I totally remember that smell.  I'm trying to remember how the Star Wars part ended, i.e. the transporter pads for Apes.  
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #19 - Jul 23rd, 2012, 5:12pm
 
Hi - the one in PA (Media) is currently being prepped for transport off site. More info on that one and many others here http://www.strangebuildings.thegrumpyoldlimey.com/2011/09/futuro-house-info-phot os-maps_102.html .
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #20 - Jul 23rd, 2012, 7:55pm
 
Strange that this type structure came up cause in our local paper where there is one of those flying saucer building about 10 minutes down the road from us.. Here is some info on it..
 
http://lostinjersey.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/the-futuro-house-of-tomorrow/
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Re: Futuro House
Reply #21 - Jul 24th, 2012, 2:46am
 
Welcome!  Smiley
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Martin Melucci


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Re: Futuro House
Reply #22 - Jul 24th, 2012, 2:04pm
 
Quote from thegrumpyoldlimey on Jul 23rd, 2012, 5:12pm:
Hi - the one in PA (Media) is currently being prepped for transport off site. More info on that one and many others here http://www.strangebuildings.thegrumpyoldlimey.com/2011/09/futuro-house-info-phot os-maps_102.html .

 
welcome grumpy!
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