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Queen Mary Ship

February 1, 1995
The Long Beach City Council assured operators of the Queen Mary on Tuesday that the waterfront landmark will remain open for at least three years, and directed city staff to negotiate a much longer operating lease. The City Council's assurances will enable the operator, RMS Foundation, to borrow money to keep the floating hotel and tourist attraction in business. RMS had signed a five-year lease in 1993 and is seeking a 20-year extension.
September 27, 1994 | Chris Woodyard, Times staff writer
Hail to the Queen: The Queen Mary in Long Beach is the site of a celebration this week to mark the 60th anniversary of the famed liner's christening. The festivities began Monday with a re-christening ceremony, complete with bagpipers and Prince Michael of Kent representing Britain's royal family. The ship, which is now a floating tourist attraction in the Port of Long Beach, has been weathering rough financial times.
Preservationist Diane Rush cringes when she looks at the gift and souvenir shops that were recently installed on the historic deck of the Queen Mary, altering the ship's original design. Then she turns her attention to what has not been restored, such as the areas where crew members worked and lived, and the dining area where economy-class passengers ate. The ship's operator "is not putting anything into historic preservation," Rush said.
August 6, 1993
Starting today, tourists who want to visit the Queen Mary will have to pay. Officials are abandoning the ship's free admission policy because a crush of visitors have spent too little money at the historic ocean liner, a spokesman said. The thrifty visitors pushed up security and maintenance expenses, which pushed down income. The new admission charge--$5 for adults and $3 for children 4 and older--is a spending minimum, said Joseph F. Prevratil, president of the RMS Foundation Inc.
June 23, 1993
A grand-opening celebration with bands, bagpipes, a wandering puppet theater and fireworks will be held today at the Queen Mary, marking the ship's return to full operation as a tourist attraction. The city-owned ocean liner was shut down last December by the Walt Disney Co., which decided not to renew its operating lease after years of losing money. A nonprofit foundation, the RMS Foundation Inc., acquired the operating lease and reopened portions of the ship Feb. 26.
May 13, 1993
A proposal that includes moving the Queen Mary as part of an ambitious effort to revitalize the downtown waterfront has raised concerns about parking. Joseph F. Prevratil, who manages the tourist attraction, said in an interview this week that he is concerned that a plan to move the Queen Mary includes only 100 parking spots for visitors, compared with 2,500 parking spaces at the current site.
After two months of unemployment, Joy Ortega was tickled to be polishing furniture in preparation for last Friday's reopening of the Queen Mary. The cleaning would soon be done, and Ortega, 64, would reclaim her position of seven years as a cashier at Sir Winston's restaurant aboard the vessel. "We're all doing everybody's work," said Ortega, who tried unsuccessfully to find another job while the ship was closed. "We don't care what we do as long as we get everything done."
February 27, 1993
The Queen Mary reopened under new management Friday after more than a year of uncertainty about the fate of the money-losing tourist attraction. About 100 people boarded the moored liner by midafternoon, despite a heavy rain, a receptionist estimated. There was no admission fee, but guided tours were offered for $5. Restaurants, the ship's wedding chapel and other attractions were scheduled to open today and Sunday. Hotel service will reopen March 5.
February 15, 1993 | Chris Woodyard., Times Staff Writer
Joseph F. Prevratil, 55, has become a Captain Fix-it for Long Beach's landmark Queen Mary. When Walt Disney Co. abandoned the liner last year, it seemed as though the city might sell it. Enter Prevratil, a Fullerton resident who once ran the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park and operated the Queen Mary during most of the 1980s. With the financial backing of Robert Gumbiner, chairman of FHP Inc. in Fountain Valley, Prevratil plans to reopen the ship Feb. 26.
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