Mr Marvel’s Showtime USA Fun Park opened in 1984, and was located on a small hill close to the North Sands and Manor Gardens in Scarborough. It was reached by chairlifts from the beach, and from the Corner Cafe.
Above: The chairlifts took visitors to Marvel’s in the 1980s and 1990s (source)
Prior to 1969, the site featured tennis courts and a roller skating rink. Don Robinson, Managing Director of Beach Management Ltd, assumed the lease of the six-acre site, redeveloping it into Scarborough Marineland and Zoo, which opened in 1969.
Above: Images from Scarborough Marineland and Zoo (source)
The attraction included sealions, dolphins, chimpanzees, model village and adventure playground.
Above: A performing dolphin at Scarborough Marineland (source)
When the site was redeveloped a second time, into Mr Marvel’s Showtime USA Theme Park, parts of the Marineland and Zoo attraction remained – including the model dinosaurs and anthills. The animals, however, did not. The new park featured a number of new rides and coasters.
Above: Marvel’s map (from the author’s personal collection)
Chairlifts enabled visitors to access the park from the North Sands and the Corner Cafe.
Above: The multi-coloured chairlifts were later painted red (source)
I remember very little of Marvel’s itself (other than the row of tall multi-coloured slides and the crocodile ride. The chair lifts, however, are much more pronounced in my memory – their vivid red colouring, and the excitement of ascending the hill from the North Bay are both prominent in my recollections of Scarborough holidays.
Above: The huge slides (from the author’s personal collection)
Below: Crocodile roller coaster (from the author’s personal collection)
Marvel’s closed in 2002, and the chairlifts were dismantled. Although the site was cleared, remnants of the park remain, and the chairlift struts – faded and rusting – still tower over the North Sands.
This blog post is only a short introduction to Marvel’s and its history, based on limited sources – more details will be added as the research progresses.
See any mistakes in this post? Want to share any additional information or memories? Please comment below – all contributions are very welcome!
More can be found on the following sites:
Scarborough News – Articles mention the history of the site, its redevelopment and eventual closure
Joyland Books – A website about amusement parks; contains bits and pieces (especially the forums)
Urbex Forums – Contains a few threads about Marvel’s; mainly focused on its demolition
This YouTube video – Includes some short clips of Marvel’s
Marine Animal Welfare – Website featuring a page about Scarborough Marineland and Zoo (with images)