Marvel’s Amusement Park

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.

Chairlifts

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.

Scarborough Zoo

Above: Images from Scarborough Marineland and Zoo (source)

The attraction included sealions, dolphins, chimpanzees, model village and adventure playground.

Dolphin

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.

marvelsflyer3

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.

chairpostcard2

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.

DSC_0051a

Above: The huge slides (from the author’s personal collection)

Below: Crocodile roller coaster (from the author’s personal collection)

DSC_0051b

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 NewsArticles mention the history of the site, its redevelopment and eventual closure
Joyland BooksA website about amusement parks; contains bits and pieces (especially the forums)
Urbex ForumsContains a few threads about Marvel’s; mainly focused on its demolition
This YouTube video Includes some short clips of Marvel’s
Marine Animal WelfareWebsite featuring a page about Scarborough Marineland and Zoo (with images)

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30 thoughts on “Marvel’s Amusement Park

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  29. I remember Marvels well. One time we were on the chair lift when my son, aged about eight, lost a shoe. I had to go back and find it when we finally got off at the north end.
    We went back last weekend (he’s 36 now) to have a look round. Nothing recognisable now except the remaining chair lift structures. Took me back though. Very happy days.

    • Hello David,

      Thank you for sharing this memory – witnessing the loss of the chair lifts was one of the events that encouraged me to start this project, so it’s always nice to hear from others who remember them (and Marvel’s of course).

      Best wishes,

      Sarah (Stories From Scarborough)

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