Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Where the Flintstones Live (Kind of)

There was a time, and maybe it hasn’t gone away, when dad would hook up the trailer to the back of the car, stuff the kids in the backseat and head out on the open road for days on end for adventures in trailer parks, campsites and tourist traps.

It was a time when a monstrously high wooden Fred or Dino would beckon you to drive on in and buy all kinds of knick-knacks and visit a representation of the very town of Bedrock you see on TV.

Yes, we’re talking about Flintstones tourist sites.

One was north of Rutland, B.C. on the main highway. It was torn down to make room for a shopping centre. Freddy’s Brew Pub is on the site; need we tell you who Freddy was? Another was east of Chilliwack, B.C. on the Trans-Canada Highway and was turned into a generic Stone Age park due to some trademark issues.

Two others were in the U.S., one in South Dakota and another in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. A reader asked me three years ago about the last mentioned one. I wrote a post and didn’t have an answer, so the post went on hold. Well, I still don’t have an answer, but I’ll up the post anyway.

Bedrock City has a website that looks like it was designed to run on Netscape 3.0. Appropriate for the Stone Age, I guess. You can go to it here. Someone pointed me in the direction of an internet post of November 2012 where the resort was looking pretty run down. You can see the full set of photos here.



The real Bedrock never looked so barren, did it? The houses have helpful signs to let you know which characters lived there. This one belonged to “the policeman.” Maybe that’s the traffic cop from the opening animation during the first two seasons that almost nobody remembered or saw for years. There is a mailbox out front.



The Rubble abode. Betty has eyes from “Cow and Chicken.” Maybe that series couldn’t get its own fun park.



The Flintstones’ house. It appears the record-playing needle-bird has flown away.



Bedrock transportation. The onion-shaped thing with a doughnut on top is a school. Something tells me it wasn’t designed by Ed Benedict. Note the school bell behind the school bus.

Here’s a theatre where, apparently, Flintstones cartoons were shown in an endless cycle. We can only presume they were on VHS. It is the Stone Age, after all. Nice buckets outside the door.

A year ago, news reports had the 30-acre chunk of land for sale at $2 million. Lots of stories were written about it but there doesn’t appear to have been a follow-up piece about whether anyone bought it. You can read more about it here.

13 comments:

  1. the Bedrock Theater "north of Rutland" definitely screened episodes on film. Or at the very least, not VHS.

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  2. Wow, so great seeing these Flintstones Tourists sites. These days, it seems the parents take the kids and head for the beach, or a major amusement park, and a small number still head for the camping sites. In a totally unrelated comment, I can never see the word Chilliwack, without thinking of the band who hailed from the same area, and their song I played so many years ago ( fall of 1981 ): " Gone, Gone Gone ". As always, Great post, Yowp.

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  3. "Betty has eyes from 'Cow and Chicken.'"

    Well, at least they stayed within the Hanna-Barbera universe. Kind of, sort of, at least... :)

    "A year ago, news reports had the 30-acre chunk of land for sale at $2 million. Lots of stories were written about it but there doesn’t appear to have been a follow-up piece about whether anyone bought it."

    Well, considering the fact that the park's "Stone Age" website has a 2016 copyright date and is currently advertising the park as "for sale," I would guess that no one has bought it yet.

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  4. Those Betty and Wilma statues are based on Craig Kellman's Nineties' style guide revisions.

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    Replies
    1. Those statues look like real nightmare fuel.

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    2. Yeah I suppose they're difficult to render in 3D like that.

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  5. Not sure about most folks, but when we went there two years ago, 2014 it was utterly charming. We went there about an hour before closing, actually the best time: the sun was going down and it made everything feel just that much more prehistoric. To say that this place is the antithesis of Disney Land is an understatement: it feels hokey in an honest sense, whereas DL just feels fake and yes, sinister. Perhaps the real charm is that it was more like the first season of The Flintstones, thrown together, but there is love there, you can almost hear the squeaky-voiced/original Barney Rubble if you listen closely working on his Barney-Copter. No, this isn’t a “dark ride” like the Cave Train at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, or the Lost Dutchman’s Mine at the long gone Frontier Village in San Jose CA, but there is something about Bedrock City, AZ that harkens back to those glory days before things became too slick and everyone’s imaginations was bled white. If you have the patience for quaintness, this is your bag: as a fine and graphic artist this might be the best theme park I’ve ever been too!

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  6. I stopped there once on the way to the Grand Canyon, back in 1992. Not much to write home about, but in its way it was quaint and charming. I had a delightful time, even though I didn't quite feel I got my money's worth. Can't improve on Anonymous' comment above...he evokes it very well...

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  7. YOWP, I was hoping that one day you would do an analysis on some ''Flintstones'' episodes. I wanted to ask what does this joke mean - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC2D14fBtow I've heard several odd theories.

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    1. I'd have to go back and watch the whole cartoon to see the context.

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    2. Thanks for the reply :) It's pretty much a one scene joke. It is not connected to the rest of the episode.

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    3. Yeah that might seem like a head-scratcher there.

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