Malibu HOT: History, Opinion and Trivia

The 1970 Malibu Chamber of Commerce directory listed seven restaurants: Cardi’s — in a complex that preceded the Nikita location; Colony Coffee Shop — now where the parking is outside Subway; The Malibu Inn — now the Malibu Inn - and Casa Escobar; Sea Lion — Dukes; Tonga Lei — at the site of the Malibu Beach Inn; Trancas — in the structure where Mangia just opened; and King-a-burger — now known as La Salsa. By my count, today we have 36 or so sit-down evening restaurants, but by the time you read this, one may opened or closed.

It’s about 30 years overdue, but there still needs to be a left turn arrow at Webb Way facing the hills.

During the 1960s, Malibu’s most popular hangout was the Malibu Beach Sports Club, located at the base of the Malibu Pier where Alice’s Restaurant later had a long and famous run. The Sports Club opened to a huge celebration in 1955. That was the same year that the Malibu Park school opened to ease the crowding of Webster Elementary School.

Sixty people had phone service in Malibu in 1930; nobody north of the Malibu Colony.

The new fire station looks great. That, and the new beach parking lot near Corral Beach attest to the overwhelming development we hear about in Malibu. But there’s more: about 10 new houses were constructed this year, bringing the total from about 4,125 to 4,135 homes built. The developers are certainly having their way. But, there’s more: The eight-unit luxury townhouse building was finally completed across from Carbon Beach and, nearby, the old Malibu Sands — Thai Dishes — shopping center is being renovated. Malibu development — completely out of control. 2014 will go down in history.

Malibu owes an endless thank you to Marlene Matlow and Helene Eisenberg for their efforts to save the Urgent Care facility many years ago, an invaluable resource to our community and a place anyone in town may desperately need at any time.

The water system in Malibu is a current topic. It was on Sept. 1, 1962 that a huge ceremony in Malibu marked the opening of the water lines in Malibu up the highway from in town — only up to Malibu Canyon, at that time.

It used to be that you could drive along PCH and see the many benches facing the road at Legacy Park without a single soul ever sitting on any of them, ever. But now the weeds are so high, you can no longer see them sitting empty always.

An important archaeological dig in 1968 uncovered about 100 corpses at the mouth of Trancas Canyon near the end of Zuma Beach. The bodies were of original aborigine settlers, but not Chumash Indians. They were pre-Chumash. The dig, conducted by the Malibu Archaeological Society of the time, and UCLA, determined the remains were from 4000 BC.

The most unnecessary stop signs in Malibu? The Fernhill stop sign at Sea Ranch is still completely useless and among the worst stop sign in Malibu. The Corral Canyon stop signs both ways at Newell, second place. All throughout Malibu West, also.

From stop signs to traffic signals: The first traffic signal ever on Highway 1, Roosevelt Highway-turned-Pacific Coast Highway, was at the base of the California Incline in June 1949. One month later, a signal was installed at Sunset. The signal at Topanga came in June 1955.

Now, how do you rank in Malibu longevity? Were you here before the first traffic signal ever in Malibu? That was in February 1955 when the Webb Way signal came in. The original Malibu Canyon concluded at Webb Way, and not at the Pepperdine/Bluffs Park intersection we know today. A signal at the Malibu Pier came next: August 1959.

The only other signals up through the 1960s: Coastline Drive in June 1963 as the homes of Sunset Mesa were under construction. Chautauqua in July 1963. Malibu’s third signal was way up at Trancas in February 1965 as the Malibu West tract was completed. Porto Marina, February 1968. The Bel Air Bay Club light was added in April 1968. Malibu installed the combined signals of Las Flores Cyn/Rambla Pacifico in August 1969 and Temescal came in September 1969.

Thus, in 1970, from the Santa Monica Pier to Trancas, only 11 signals. Today there are 27.