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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006 - 2:14 pm:   

NOTE: This thread was originally started in November 2005. In April 2006 the message board was damaged and I've been forced to repost certain threads. Links may not be operational.

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Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 03:11 pm:

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I am starting a new thread because I don't recall have reading this anywhere else...

I hope everyone is seated...

I am putting a link to a nice page I found.
I won't write a whole theory on it because I think the text speaks for itself. This goes back in the late 60's...what strucked me was "This is Zoltan speaking/with Zodiac signs..."

What do you think about that, friends of the board?

Anyone old enough to remember those machines in San Francisco?

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:Y2kKP0hVNaQJ:m arvin3m.com/arcade/zoltan.htm+ zodiac+coin+1969&hl=en


Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 03:24 pm:

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Wow...awesome find, Patrick! I had never heard of Zoltan.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 03:28 pm:

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Thanks Tom,

Needless to say I am pretty proud of it. I know I didn't walked on the moon, but this could at least tell us where Z took his starting letter sentence and inspiration.

Hope to hear more from you guys since I have no one to talk about this in Canada!


Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 07:59 pm:

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Interesting, Patrick. Wasn't Zoltan (or something like him) featured in the movie, BIG, starring Tom Hanks? Zoltan, or a machine like him, turned Tom Hanks into an adult, I think. The schematics of Zoltan kind of reminded me of Z's bus bomb diagram, lol.

Who the hell knows what sparked Zodiac's imagination? Nice find.


Ed Neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 08:20 pm:

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"Zoltar Speaks" was the name of the machine in Big... and Zoltar was also the name of the bad guy from Spectra in Battle of the Planets...




Angie
Username: Angie

Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 09:14 pm:

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Thanks, Patrick! Wasn't this the machine in the movie Big that Tom Hanks gets a wish from & turns into a grown man? I first saw a Zoltan machine in a saloon in Virginia City, Nevada... I can't recall what it said though...


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 09:45 pm:

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Interesting that there are 14 recorded messages.
Like in the Halloween card. 14.
The first Zoltan the Atrological Wizzard was made in Massachusetts by Robert Bliss Bourque in 1965.
A company called CPI makes reproductions of them today.

The Zoltan was extremely rare with only 50-60 ever made.

There have been automated fortune telling machines since the 1890's in America and in 1910 they went electric. In the 30's some had phonographs in them so they could "speak" but they broke down or skipped so by the 40's and 50's most went back to just giving out cards.
There were names like the Mystic Swami, Grandmother Predictions, Smiling Sam the Voodoo Man, Gypsy Grandma, Gypsy Fortuneteller, Donkey wonder, The Wizzard, Sibelle, The Skull, and The Devil.

Because of eight track tape technology the "talking" fortune teller made a comeback with the Zoltan.
If Zodiac got his idea for "This is Zodiac speaking" from the Zoltan it would have had to have been a Zoltan since none of the others at the time spoke.
Since only 50-60 Zoltans were ever produced and they came out of Massachussetts it seems likely that the majority of them were sold in the east and very few ended up in the west. In the entire city of San Francisco there was probably only one.
What San Francisco arcade would have had it where Zodiac could have seen and heard it in 1969?



Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 10:32 pm:

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At Playland at the beach in SF there was a fortune teller machine that was a weight challanged woman who laughed alot. Another place that could havd had a Zoltan was the Cliff House at Seal Rock, or around the wax museum and Ripleys Beleive it or not, near the piers.


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 11:47 pm:

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I looked into Playland and they had an arcade there filled with automated contraptions like Laughing Sal, The Grandma Fourtuneteller, The Barbershop Quart etc...some of these actual machines from Playland have been housed in a museum under the Cliffhouse.
"Whitney's Playland at the Beach" (1928-1972) would be my prime candidate as having a Zoltan.
If it's greeting "This is Zoltan speaking" was the inspriation for Zodiac's "This is Zodiac speaking" he would have heard it there.
Hearing it on one visit doesn't seem likely to be impressionable enough to make it's way into his communications. Hearing it many times would as a regular patron of the arcade or even someone who worked there.

Zodiac's inspiration for his bomb machine may have simply come from a knowlege not of making bombs but of arcade machine schematics.

Zodiac's pen light on a gun that he called his "electric gun sight" even sounds like arcade inspired terminology to me now.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 03:02 am:

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I remember Laughing Sal at Playland. She was right out front near the sidewalk, and would draw crowds just to hear her laugh! If they had a Zoltan, it must have been in back section of arcade, as I don't recall seeing it.

I bet a short letter to the Chronicle would connect us to some former customers who would remember a Zoltan at Playland.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 05:00 am:

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"I bet a short letter to the Chronicle would connect us to some former customers who would remember a Zoltan at Playland."

Or any person who worked there at the time.
This kind of machine seems to belong with fairs, or playpark, I too don't think there were not a lot of them in San Francisco.

I can imagine Z walking in a fair, trying that machine one night, and something sparkle in his mind...

If I put the dates together, Zodiac probably saw the machine between July 31 and August 4th, 1969. Since it's first "this is the Zodiac speaking" letter is on Aug 4.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 01:54 pm:

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On an episode of the Twilight Zone "Nick Of Time" with William Shatner there is a fortune telling machine. The boardwalk at santa Cruz had an arcade.


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 02:49 pm:

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It's also interesting that Zodiac wanted people to wear Zodiac buttons and to operate this machine for your fortune to be told you had to press a zodiac button.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 04:18 pm:

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I was in that arcade in Santa Cruz too.(69 or 70).
I've been wracking my brain over this. I do vaguely recall a Crystal Ball, Fortune Telling machine at Playland in 69-70. My parents lived in Westlake-Daly City then, and would go to Ocean Beach in SF, walk the beach and visit Playland, The Cliff House and the Zoo. It seems my father was intrigued by this machine--I was not, I've never been into Astrology.Laughing Sal-yes.

I can't verify that it was a Zoltan, but someone from SF could help us out. Interesting thread.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 04:42 pm:

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I forgot to add that I was in the Cliff House during this period too. There were some arcade games in there. It's possible a Zoltan was there.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 05:06 pm:

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Dave, did you ever go to Bury-Bury the slot car racing track in Pacifia-Half Moon Bay. Alot of resturants in SF had nickelodeons and games, Chilerdeli Square (? spelling) had alot of tourist type stuff.


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 05:22 pm:

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This whole arcade thing is intriging. Like with his "electric gun sight." Shooting arcade machines have been popular for decades. Williams, United, Bally, Chicago Coin, Rock-ola,Genco, Majestic and Sega were among the manufaturers that produced games involving shooting guns. Games like Rifleman, Foxhunt, Safari, Tracer, Duckhunt, Gunsmoke, Moving Target, Shoot the Bartender etc..Chicago coin in the 50's came out with the Electric-Eye Ray Gun, Seeberg in the 30's introduced the Ray-O-Lite Rifle Range and in the 40's Shoot the Bear with Ray-O-Lite, Bally had the Defender and Moon Raider with Bulls Eye Ray Gun. Rock-Ola had the Light Beam Gun.
Zodiac may have adopted his "Electric Gun Sight" idea from playing games like these.
He also wouldn't have had to have military background or training with live firearms to feel he was proficient enough to use real guns. Just a wiz on a coin operated gun arcade.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 06:24 pm:

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Jim t--I was never in Bury-Bury, but I fished the Surf at Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. Never heard of Bury-Bury. We also went to Pick-Your-Own-Pumpkin place above Half Moon Bay. We also were all through Ghiardelli Square(Cost Plus my favorite), and the whole SF water front area from the Financial District out to the Golden Gate.

Johno--I like your arcade comments. I can visualize Z with pockets full of dimes and quarters, cruising the arcades, maybe watching couples. His "Electric Gunsight" idea may have indeed come from these machines. He may have been so lonely, he looked to Zoltan for advice, God forbid.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 07:35 pm:

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Funny how Zoltan and Zodiac are resembling words..like an anagram.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 07:43 pm:

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The company I worked for used Rowe bill acceptors, I think the Rowe company if its the same one is still in business. The electronic gunsight Z used (a flashlight taped to a gun) was being used to hunt varmits and rabbits at nite before Z was ever born. Z probably thought he was an electronic genius and the next step was building a sensor and timer for his bus bomb.


Mike Cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 10:45 am:

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Boston?! Oh no. I hope Penn isn't reading this...


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 01:20 pm:

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"This whole arcade thing is intriging."

Johno,

If you consider Z's mindset, he had always seems to be in a world of fantasy, symbols, personages, etc..this fit quite well with a circus/fair kind of environment. I'm sure he liked those cheap horror/haunted houses!


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 03:52 pm:

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Dave made a good point about arcades being a hangout for young couples too.
Somehow this idea of Zodiac being a regular at arcades or maybe even being employed at an arcade is more and more interesting to me. I've wondered what was Zodiacs occupation and what did he do for entertainment besides going to movies and the arcade scenario fits in nicely.
"Man is the most dangerous game."
His entire killing spree and taunting communications and threats seem based on a game that he created where he is the player, pitting himself against obstacles worth a set of points.
When he said 14-0 and 37-0 in his communications I don't think he was refering to the number of victims killed but instead a point system that he devised. A kill was worth so many points, a near kill worth so many points, a near capture and successful escape worth so many points etc..
He created his own arcade game using real people.




Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 04:03 pm:

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Hey Johno/Dave

Mabe Z was even playing at his machine!

Have a look at this picture I just found...
A Zodiac Pinball machine back in '71..

(see link)

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:TLUJLhvR-BUJ:w ww.xmission.com/~daina/images/ tm/zodiac.html+zodiac+%22pinball+machine%22&hl=en


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 04:14 pm:

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Johno's post makes sense to me. I can see Z living in this fantasy, arcade world. And let's not forget, there may have been an old time shooting gallery at Playland(and other arcades, fairs)-where you aim the rifle at ducks or bears and a cork or pellet knocks them down. Good practice for Z! Maybe he attended the San Mateo, Marin, or Solano County fairs too. There's a good chance Darlene, Betty Lou, and CS went to Playland and the fairs.

I miss laughing Sal. There was a Hall of Mirrors near her also.


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 05:45 pm:

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Here is the 1966 Bally Zodiac Mystic Lines Bingo pinball machine:

http://bingo.cdyn.com/machines/bally/zodiac/resour ces/bg-l-1.jpg

http://bingo.cdyn.com/machines/bally/zodiac/resour ces/fly-l-1.jpg

http://bingo.cdyn.com/machines/bally/zodiac/resour ces/si-h-1.jpg


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 05:57 pm:

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Playfield of the 1966 Zodiac Mystic Lines:

http://bingo.cdyn.com/machines/bally/zodiac/resour ces/pf-l-1.jpg


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 - 05:00 am:

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Patrick-the graphics on that "Zodiac" pinball machine you posted are interesting. 5 human figures(3 females-2 males), like the number of victims. It also has 5 replays racked up!

If Z did live in this fantasy world of arcades and fairs, perhaps he got his idea for the skeleton on the Halloween card from a "Fun House" at an arcade(maybe Playland). And maybe he listened to "Pinball Wizard" by The Who...


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 - 06:33 am:

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I am still trying to find records of the Zoltan machine in San. Francisco. What push me to search is that the timing is good. Z decided to name himself the Zodiac during a week-end, between Friday July 31 to Sunday August 3rd 1969. The Zoltan machine was made and distributed (in limited quantity I agree) in the same year.

Those days fits the summertime.

My guess is that he went to a kind of fair during that week-end in San Francisco (he posted the august 4 letter from San Fran) and he saw the Zoltan machine. Drank a few beers, went home and thought about the fortune teller..Now Z will become the fortune teller, he will tell us our future..."it is murder".

Johno, if you live close to the Playland, then you have a major advantage on me. I will bet on your knowledge of the area, since I have never been there. Is that museum still open? all IMO.




Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 - 07:31 am:

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I meant to add regarding the graphics on the "Zodiac" pinball machine, figures could represent the 5 deceased victims. Thus, Z's need to get another male victim(Stine?). The planets on there look like dots. I know this is weird, but so was Z!

Since Ed and other posters think Z was from the Vallejo area, I wonder if there was a Zoltan, or a Zodiac pinball machine in or around Vallejo.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 - 12:55 pm:

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In the Orson Wells movie "The Lady from Shanghai", Playland amusement park is in the final climatic scene. Wether it is the real hall of mirrors that is used in the movie or a Hollywood stage isnt clear acoordining to Norethern California movies.com


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 - 10:02 pm:

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Patrick, I live in southern California and used to live in Michigan. I was never at Playland or around that area where it was and have never visited the museum. All I know on it is what I've been researching since you started this thread.
The museum is called Musee Mechanique and is now located on Fisherman's Wharf until a new permanent home for it is found.
Just to toss this in while discussing the museum, the Cheri Jo Bates confession letter was written on a Royal typewriter and in an odd twist of Znchronicity concerning this thread, one of the displays at the museum is the Fortune Telling Royal Typewriter that types out your fortune.

Another aspect of the Zodiac that seems like arcade lingo to me is his use of "kiddies."

" ...Pick off the little kiddies as they come bouncing out."

Across the street from Playland was Funtier land. Funtier Land was an amusement park for little kids. Funtier Land was built on the site of a previous spookhouse thrill ride called Laff In The Dark. Playland had two other spookhouses called Limbo and Dark Mystery and they converted the site of Laff In The Dark into Funtier Land when westerns were big in the 50's. It was designed for smaller children and had kids rides and a western town setting. More of a kiddieland type attraction. It was also owned by the Whitney's who owned Playland.

I can almost see someone across the street at Playland watching the civic group, school and church chartered buses pulling up at Funtier Land full of wide-eyed exicited children and the bus doors open and the kiddies come bouncing out.


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, November 11, 2005 - 10:06 pm:

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Jim, in Lady From Shanghai I think that hall of mirrors was in Playland's old Laff In The Dark attraction.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 06:01 am:

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Johno, thanks for your informative post. I think I should re-read all Z letters keeping this playland concept in mind. The Funtier land is very interesting, specially if Z was employed close to it or even work there.

Also interesting to notice is that if Z was working close to or at a playland, he could see people wearing nice Z buttons.

I wonder if any crime of interest ever happened at Playland.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 06:24 am:

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"Please help me, I'm drownding".---A dunk tank??


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 09:15 am:

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I just got info this AM that there is a Laughing Sal in working order at a place called "The Allen Theatre and Coffee Shop" in Anneville,PA. It originally came from Hershey Park.

The customer who told me this is a circus afficianado, and is going to help track down a Zoltan machine.Interestingly, he said that 10 years ago he stayed at a motel on Lombard St.SF, and would rent a bicycle to ride to graphics classes on the Presidio!


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 09:46 am:

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Playland had a roller coaster and supposivily GI's would ride on it drunk and would stand up and get hit on their heads, knocking them out or killing them.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 11:40 am:

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The beach accross from PLayland also had a reputation for a terrible undertow. Despite many signs warning about the crosstides and undertows, (some of them actually in the water), people still waded out and were knocked over by waves and were swept into the ocean and drowned (zodiac would have said drownding!). Sometimes rescurers swam out to help them and were in turn pulled out to to sea by the strong currents.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 12:28 pm:

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This what I remember of Playland and feel free to correct me. First you went thru the hall of mirrors, then after banging agaisnt mirrors and hitting your head, elbows and knees you were sent thru giant buffer wheels (like the ones on home shoe pollishers), which wasnt much fun if you were small and the person operating it ddn't stop the wheels and you kept getting spun around! When you finally entered Playland there was a giant turntable that spun a round, a giant slide that you slid down on burlap bags and a rotating round tube that you had to go thru to get out. Outside there was a ride that was a bathsespere where you went under water! Near it was a picture of a giant octopus! I cant remember any of the other rides possibly the wild mouse or a tilt a world?


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 06:01 pm:

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Jim-thanks, and Patrick-thanks. This jogs my memory. We walked from Thornton State Beach north towards GGB. The surf closer to GG was treacherous, I remember those signs by Playland Beach. "Swim at your own risk", and "No swimming, Dangerous currents" planted in the water off shore. There was a big cement wall with steps leading down to the beach from Rt.-1, and people would sit on these steps and smoke weed or whatever.

At Playland, I remember Laughing Sal and the Hall of Mirrors right next to her. I never went in back to whatever was back there. I seem to recall a Ferris Wheel,but not a Roller Coaster.

I wonder if there is an arcade or an amusement park like this at Gaviota or Lompoc, with similar attractions.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 06:41 pm:

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One of the other fortune telling machine at Playland had curtains that would open when the fortune teller (automation) made his prediction. Also sometimes when
the winds were strong enough, they would blow accross The Great Highway (rte. 1) and the lanes would be covered in sand.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 05:03 am:

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I remember the sand blowing across Rt.1,and sand dunes by the Zoo. I'm wondering if victim Stine made a lot of drop offs at Playland.His murder scene, if I remember, is not that far away. Go north, past Cliff House, get on Geary east,and its a straight shot past Presidio Heights all the way into town.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 06:40 am:

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Dave/Johno and Jim,

Thanks for your time, your posts are really appreciated and help me filling the gaps.

Since an image worth 100- words, here's some pictures of Playland at the beach. There is the laughing Sal and other pictures.

I wonder if Zoltan could be in the Musée Mécanique (see link)

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:EP8VSvDCvP0J:w ww.mirrorproject.com/mirror/re cent/%3Fid%3D1970+%22laughing+sal%22+san+francisco +1969&hl=en

Good idea Dave also to check around (Vallejo, etc) if there is others places susceptibles to have a Zoltan machine

More to come...

http://www.sonic.net/~playland/playland.html

I wonder what the others are thinking about this. Did I miss something in the chat?


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 11:22 am:

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Parick-what a great post! Maybe some connection with the Diving Bell, and there may be a Zoltan in the Playland pics. I've re-read the letters."he plunged himself into the billowy wave". In the "Little List" letter, he mentions clowns and thingamabobs.--Carnival speak. And in the view of Playland, you can see part of Twin Peaks in background. IMO, Z either worked here, or visited often. What a great spot for a homicidal maniac to pick out victims. Both locals and transients using highway 1.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 12:27 pm:

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Update!!

There is a Zoltan machine in Sunnyvale, California!

The origin is unknown, but the Sands Mechanical Museum received it or bought it in order to be repaired. See link for more info.

Also, it is funny how they speak of the machine as "He". When he arrived, etc..

I don't know if the museum would be willing to let me know from where they got Zoltan.

This Zoltan story is getting more interesting each days!

More to come...

http://www.sandsmuseum.com/coinop/sample/zoltan.ht ml



Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 01:02 pm:

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Thank you Patrick this has been an interesting story to follow. Please keep us informed. One thing I thought of was the logo of the "It's It" ice cream sandwhich that the owners of Playland sold was similar to the writing on Z'z Dripping Pen card "I can't do a thing with it"


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 07:39 pm:

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According to the Herb Caen article, there was a "shooting range" at Playland, where live .22 cal. shells were fired! (from Patrick's link to Playland). And if you click on the Fun House picture, I believe one of those machine's on bottom left was a Fortune Telling machine.


Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 11:37 am:

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Patrick,
Just returned home from a show(and ran into a big ransacking of my office along with all electronics gone-the police did a great job but it's no fun)and got your email and rushed to find your new discovery and it is a very,very good one sir!
That made my day!

I believe there was a Zoltan machine at the old Cliff House in S.F.A fire destroyed the CH along with a lot of the historical displays.
I seem to remember seeing one of the Z machines there when I was a kid.

Everyone is doing a great job of follow up too!

P,you got Tom's accolades too,so great!


Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 03:53 pm:

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As an FYI ,Zoltan is a Hungarian word relating to the Turkish word "Sultan" meaning leader,potentate or king.
A famous Hungarian composer by this name toured England and the US and other lands.He died in 1967.
We know Z had an interest in the British play the Mikado so there may have been some interest in music,etc.
Zoltan would have come up in music historical works as is found in many music appreciation classes in college.
The rh found on the desk and taken from the music room at RCC can mean right hand a term in music as is the musical score symbol for pause or a bisected cross/circle, which looks like Z's symbol.

We know Zodiac was capable of double meanings so anything is possible here.

We find a possbile Z interest in comics like Bat Man,etc.,so Zoltan may have been a file name association Z selected from his memory bank when deciding upon a name for himself.

Either way Pat's discovery is intriging to say the least.


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 06:27 pm:

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Sorry to hear about the univited visitors Howard, I hope they didn't take anything that couldnt be replaced. I just looked thru a stack of 60's Barman and Detective magazines and found a story from June 67 about a fortune teller with a crystal ball and (I forget what they call their hats or head wraps with a jewel in it) Fez. Anyway I was looking for a story I remembered where a gang consults a fortune telling machine, if anyone remembers it.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 06:14 am:

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Jim--do you recall seeing any stylized skeletons around the Fun House at Playland. Like on the Halloween Card?

I thought of a good possible job for Z. At Playland, you could rent bicycles! What a great way to meet young people or potential victims, watch them, and become envious or enraged. The wheel and spokes on a bike reminds me of a circle with radians.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 08:32 am:

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I just want to mention this, in case anyone wants to pursue. There was a Safeway Market at Playland. If Z worked in the area, he had to buy food. I'll bet he was in there, or maybe even worked there. There was a Safeway in downtown Vallejo on Maine St. within walking distance of the bus station. The Halloween card envelope is addressed to the Chronicle at 5th and Market---he doesn't use a street address! Makes me think he may have passed Chronicle on the way to the bus station at 6th and Market(or Mission).It would be nice to check Safeway's employment records for handwriting and other info.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 03:38 pm:

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Tom/Ed, does any known suspects have ever been in relation to Playland at the beach or close by? Ever heard anything of interest?

thanks




Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 04:30 pm:

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As Jim t pointed out, Playland's hall of mirrors was featured in the climatic scene of "Lady From Shanghai."

Playland's roller coaster was also featured in the climatic scene of the 1950 movie "Woman on the Run" about a killer.
The Cliff House was featured in the climactic scene of the 1958 movie "The Lineup" that was directed by Don Siegel and was turned into the TV series "San Francisco Beat."


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 06:37 pm:

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Thanks Johno,

Just my opinion and for the fun of it; in the know Z suspects, I could imagine Marshall in being interested in Playland, Horror houses, fairs, etc..Stuff that could extended the impression of being in a movie/fantasy world. ALA too would be of interest in Playland because of the kids of course. Just food for thought, thanks


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 06:41 pm:

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Someone asked about crimes that occured near Playland, on one episdoe of Unsolved Mysteries had a WWII derigdeable (lighter than air ship) that was on a routine patrol off the coast around the Faralone Islands and came ashore at Baker Beach just north of the Clift House without the pilot or co-pilot! Then it was dragged accross the beach and then went back into the air and later crash landed in Daly City.


Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 08:16 pm:

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Patrick, the only suspect I can think of who might have been interested in such a place is Allen, for the exact reason you mentioned.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 05:49 am:

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Jim and Johno--Thanks for references to SF movies (scenes) to watch.

The Blimp may have been headed to Crissy Field, if not Moffat.


Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 11:32 am:

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T,
You do have a good point there.
With your contacts you may be able to find if A did go to Playland and the Cliff House.

I now remember that there was such a machine at the CH and PL and that it was 10 cents to get your fortune read.
My parents used to take my sister and I to both places.
Later,I went to PL with friends.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 11:44 am:

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Howard--It all comes out now! You are the Zodiac!!

I seem to recall arcade machines like this at the SF and Vallejo bus stations, and in the general area around the SF bus station. Maybe someone would remember what types of machines were there. Picture Z going to his favorite dives and bus stations, playing his Zodiac machines, living in his fantasy world.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 06:39 pm:

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Patrick-what a great thread! I have a sub theme to yours. If you are correct about Z working or visiting Playland, how about this scenario.

Z,IMO,lived in Vallejo area. He may have had a car, but didn't use it all the time. He may have hopped a bus to SF, dallied in the area of 6th and Market, playing his machines, then walked over to Union Square to visit theaters, and then hail a cab! He may have been trying to get back to Playland area, but did Stine in Presidio Heights on the way. Geary is a straight shot out from downtown to Ocean Beach.---All this is speculation, of course, but fits in with your premise. He could have hailed another cab, walked, got into his pre placed vehicle, or bicycled(or motor biked) out to Playland area!


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 07:29 am:

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Hi Dave,

I like the way you imagine Z because it fits with the way I view him too. I know it's all speculation, but how fun. People will say the Zoltan machine is only a coincidence, but IMO, it fits very well with the Zodiac. The timing is also good. And the more I think about it, the more I am asking myself why that Playland area have not been thought about before.

Maybe a police surveillance at Playland could have been successful of finding a man looking like the composite. I don't think Z changes that much after Stine murder. He probably continued to go to the places he used to go. Thinking how easy it is to fool people.

May Zoltan be with you...


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 08:26 am:

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The first thing I thought when I saw this pic, was " did playland move to Fisherman"s wharf?"
http://virtualguidebooks.com/CentralCalif/SanFranc isco/FishermansWharf/Pier39Car ousel.html
Maybe there"s a Zoltan there.

Some other thoughts--Was Z a bus driver? It would have given him a way to observe couples and their destinations. He could have dropped many passengers off at Playland. I think Geary, and that other main Ave. that ends at Playland, just south of Geary, were a heavily used part of his turf.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 06:39 pm:

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Speculation again--If Z were a bus driver, or say, cab driver, he could have played all those pinball machines and arcade games during his layovers or time off. SF,Vallejo,Riverside,Santa Barbara,Sacramento?

http://www.agilitynut.com/bus3a.html


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 06:12 am:

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When Playland at the beach closed, the owner did an acution in order to make some profit before the bulldozer tear down the place. A lot of things were sold at a ridicule price.

"Knock-'em-down metal milk bottles were auctioned by the dozen. Antique movie machines, especially those playing "See what Eve did to Adam" and other naughty film strips, were in high demand"

See the link for the full story and interesting pictures of Playland at the beach at the time.

http://baseportal.com/cgi-bin/baseportal.pl?htx=/z pub2000/sfentries&cmd=list&ran ge=0,50&Title~=P&cmd=all&Id=115


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 06:28 am:

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And here's what Herb Caen wrote about Playland when it was closing:

"When it closed on Sept. 4, 1972, Herb Caen wrote a column called, "We'll Never Go There Anymore." He reminisced over It's-Its, Bull Pup enchiladas, a 40-cent corn dog and a ride on the carousel."

Maybe Herb even saw Z at Playland without knowing who he was! Just kidding...

Anyone able to find the entire text? I guess it woulb be in the San Fran Chronicles archives.




Deansf
Username: Deansf

Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 10:30 am:

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Pat,

I do miss the original "It's It" icecream/oakmeal cookie monster sandwitches. . . the ones they sell today are half the size !

My grandmother used to go to Playland and the Cliff House as a child. It was certainly the most popular amusement park of it's era. . .


Seagull
Username: Seagull

Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 03:35 pm:

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The dark comedy "Harold and Maude" has a scene in it filmed in the penny arcade at Playland. Though released in 1971 it could have been filmed a year or so earlier. It might be worth a look-see.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 04:05 pm:

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Patrick--I'm enjoying your thread. My parents took me to lunch and dinner at the Cliff House in 1969. We also visited the Cocktail Lounge! That Totem Pole in front of the Cliff House has a Z like cross on it. That first pic of the Museum downstairs has a Horoscope machine on the bottom right!

Seagull--I will be sure to watch "Harold and Maude". Thanks.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 08:07 am:

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Thanks Dave, I enjoy it too! It's fun to search into something new, all the possibilities are there.

Seagull, I will watch the movie too, thanks!


Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 09:01 am:

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Playland was relocated to Fisherman's Wharf. However, the Zoltan machine was apparently recently moved to another location for some reason. (At Taylor and Jefferson)


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 02:55 pm:

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In the theory that Zodiac derived his introduction "This is Zodiac speaking" from the Zoltan fortune teller machine introduction "This is Zoltan speaking" we concluded that Playland would have been a likely candidate to have had a Zoltan machine but we hadn't conclusively found where in San Francisco there was a Zoltan machine. So did this mean that Playland did indeed have a Zoltan machine? This would strengten my belief that it was the Zoltan machine that served as the inspiration for Zodaic in his introduction on his communications.


Angie
Username: Angie

Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 10:50 pm:

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I do think there was a Zoltan machine at Playland... I think it's odd that it's no longer displayed with all of the other machines now housed at Pier 45. When we went to the Cliff House, Sandy specifically asked about where we could find the old machines & the guy there told her that everything had been moved 2 years ago & was "intact" at the new location. When I got inside the new Playland exhibit, I made a beeline for a man working on one of the machines. When I asked him if the Zoltan Machine was in the building, he knew immediately what I was referring to & said "No, It's been moved to Taylor & Jefferson, where it is often moved from one street to the other"... hmmm


Tommyt
Username: Tommyt

Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 03:20 am:

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Maybe after this dicussion evolved, too many Z researchers where quetioning this machine and kept finding the new location. Therefore, lets get this damn machine out of here.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 05:30 am:

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Angie,

Thank you for the time you take to go on site and ask the people who work there. You can't do better then that! Have you went on Taylor & Jefferson to see if it was there?

I think we're getting closer...thanks to all.

Johno,

I don't have a theory on the Zoltan machine, when I found this nice discovery, I immediatly shared it with the board. Personally, I think the odds are really good that Z got the idea from the machine. Anyway, it is the first real tangible answer we can get on where Z got this sentence. And it fit the character. IMO.


Angie
Username: Angie

Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 08:22 pm:

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Hi Patrick!

We tried to find the Taylor & Jefferson location, but we didn't see it as we drove on Taylor away from the Pier, and we weren't able to go back & check thoroughly (We had an hour to get someone to the airport)...

One thought that came up as we drove away was how ironic it would be if it turned out that the machine was in the posession of a known Zodiac suspect. I mean, if the machine is NOT at Taylor & Jefferson, where is it? Maybe it's in someone's private collection...


Warren_b
Username: Warren_b

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 07:55 am:

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Has it been pointed out that Zoltan actually stood for "Zodiac Electronic Sultan"?


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 08:00 am:

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Warren, I don't think so, at least I didn't knew that!

I remember reading something about Dracula too, just forgot the story.


Warren_b
Username: Warren_b

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 08:05 am:

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Bored? Hear Zoltan speak: http://www.karenandjay.com/mtpark/mpsounds/mpsound s.html


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 08:15 am:

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I think the link in the first post of this thread also contains Zoltan voice in MP3 format.

Warren, or anyone else,

What are the possibilities/opinions that the Zoltan Machine may be in Sunnyvale, California, at the Sands Mechanical Museum (as posted on this thread)? Is it a long ride from Sunnyvale to Playland/Musee Mecanique?

I have sent emails to the Sands Mechanical Museum, but didn't receive any answer.




Dahlia
Username: Dahlia

Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 12:10 am:

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Taylor and Jefferson is right across the street from the famous Fisherman's Wharf row of restaurants that includes Sabella's, Alioto's, and Fisherman's Grotto.

The intersection has the restaurants on one corner, a big modern marketplace and open area on another, and touristy sh*t shops on the other two.

We went by there tonight after seeing an "atomic peril" 50's film, "Split Second", at the SF Film Noir Festival.

Obviously the big marketplace and the restaurants, specifically the fish market right at the corner, were not the answer. One of the tourist mercantiles. the idiotic earthquake-themed one, was open and featured nothing of interest. But through the window of the closed one we could see a large "Mystic Swami" machine. It's a lot like the one pictured on the following page:

http://marvin3m.com/arcade/swami.htm

which can also be accessed through Patrick's original link at the beginning of this thread.

It's definitely not a Zoltan machine.

So, let's hope more info comes to light about Playland! And I suppose it's entirely possible that the Zoltan in Sunnyvale might've originally been a Playland fixture...next time I'm down that way I'll definitely have to take a look!




Jbheath
Username: Jbheath

Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 08:39 am:

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Dahlia:
Winderful pics, I thought those machines were always a woman swami. I've not seen very many from where I am at. Great post.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 11:42 am:

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Dahlia--great post. There's a good possibility old Playland and the Cliff House had both a Zoltan and a Swami ! I recall more than 1 machine.-----Wouldn't it be wild if Z worked on these machines, in addition to playing them. Maybe he's a Collector!


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 12:26 pm:

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And what about the Sands Mechanical Museum? Does anyone knows this place? Anyone who live close enough?

Great post Dahlia, thanks for the time you take to get there physically, as I said, you can't do better than that!


Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 04:25 pm:

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Pat,
It's a husband and wife owned co.Anyone can call or email them...no need to drive.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 04:55 pm:

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Howard,

And what if the machine is there? That would be a pleasure I would love to see with my own eyes, if I would have the chance to live closer.

I would also do a tour at the musee mecanique, all the pictures I saw up to present on the net didn't show the Z machine.

Thank you for your interest!


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 06:17 pm:

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I was at that intersection in 1969--ate at Alioto's and the Grotto. Bought crabs at the fish market. Was there an SF Film Festival in 69?

The art work and design on the 2 machines look so similar, almost as if they were done by the same craftsman!


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 01:34 pm:

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"I believe there was a Zoltan machine at the old Cliff House in S.F.A fire destroyed the CH along with a lot of the historical displays."

Howard, I think you are right! If that machine was at the Cliff House in '69, I guess Z was around, unless there were more than 1 machine in the city.

Here's what I found on the net. The site is more or less a teenager agenda and he mention his visit at the Cliff House.

4.22.2002
"Amongst other things, this weekend found me at Musee Mechanique, an underground hot spot for the somewhat off the beaten path tourist. Located underneath the Cliff House, this little museum houses a few handfuls worth of old arcade machines from what once was a San Francisco amusement park. And, when I say "arcade" think of the Zoltan machine from the movie Big...awesome."

Here's the weblink
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:oR9hcSIPBwEJ: www.floorpie.net/apr02.htm+%22 cliff+house%22+zoltan&hl=en


Johno
Username: Johno

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 05:46 pm:

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Earlier in this thread Angie had said she saw a Zoltan at a saloon in Nevada and Jim T was the first to suggest that Zodiac may have seen a Zoltan at Playland and he also suggested the Cliff House, Seal Rock the Wax Museum or Ripley's Believe it or Not as other possible locations that may have had a Zoltan machine in 1969.
We know that not many of these were produced and an arcade in San Francisco like Playland seemed like a likely place to have housed a Zoltan but looking back at promotional literature for the Zoltan machine the manufacturers wrote that;

"Location results indicate that Zoltan belongs in supermarkets, discount houses, transportation terminals, theater lobbies, department stores and arcades..."

So even if Playland had a Zodiac maybe that's not where Zodiac saw it. Maybe there was another in the San Francisco area like at a movie theater lobby or at a bus terminal or airport that Zodiac saw.
Zodaic could have lived anywhere to have seen a Zoltan at Playland or at the bus terminal or at the airport but since we know that Zodiac was a movie buff, if a movie theater had a Zodiac it would have been the movie theater that Zodiac probably attended regularly and likely lived near to.


Patricktremblay
Username: Patricktremblay

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 06:19 pm:

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Great post Johno, you had a great idea to get to the manufacturer info. And thanks to Angie and Jim too, their input have helped to develop this thread! So thanks to everyone.

It is interesting that those machines were more common than I first thought. If they were around 60-80 manufactured starting in '69, how many of those machines could have been in San Francisco at the end of '69? This might give an idea of how many machines could have been in SF?


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 06:32 pm:

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Once we ate at a resturant I think was the Old Spagetti Factory somewhere in North Beach, I think and they had the old nickelodeon machines and old games, can't remember if they had Zoltan, but I remember a movie on a loop called " A night in a Chineese roughhouse". As a kid I couldnt understand why you want to spend a night in a normal chineese house! Anyway SF thrives on its history and back then business with old stuff were very touristy and popular. Nowadays resturants try to develop some sort of phoney atomspere ala sports bars, Las Vegas glitz etc.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 09:47 pm:

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I ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Upper Grant. There wasen't a Zoltan there, but the spaghetti and red wine were mighty tasty!


Jim_t
Username: Jim_t

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 10:11 pm:

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One unique place outside the bay area that had some old stuff too was Juanita's resturant outside of Sonoma. Juanita had worked for the famous madame of SF Sally Stanford.


Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 11:08 pm:

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Maybe we need a thread just about San Francisco land bay area nostalgia etc. Even though I have only been there once, I remember a few.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 01:27 pm:

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Finally found a pic of the old Vallejo bus station, 1950's. Pinball machines? I lived within walking distance of here, but can't remember any machines or not.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/OldVallejo.html




Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 06:28 am:

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My point is, This is one way Z may have gotten to Union Square for Stine. They had buses running every hour or two into SF at 6th and Mission. Then an easy walk to Geary. The local stopped in Pinole, Richmond and Albany and other points.


Dave Torzillo
Username: Vallejo_dave

Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 11:12 am:

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For an interesting comparison of rides, games and equipment to Playland, Google Coney Island and Palisades Park. On the PP links there is an art print that has a Laughing Sal and a Zoltan like machine. Baba, are you there?
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006 - 2:19 pm:   

Here's a link to the new discussion about Zoltan.

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