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Introducing ‘Vintage St. Pete,’ the book

Bill DeYoung



Now available from St. Petersburg Press, Vintage St. Pete: The Golden Age of Tourism – and More is a different kind of local history book.

A compilation of 22 stories from the Vintage St. Pete series in the St. Pete Catalyst, it profiles the pre-Disney era tourist attractions that brought millions of visitors to St. Petersburg, from Sunken Gardens and the Aquatarium to the MGM Bounty exhibit and the London Wax Museum.

Readers will learn about the gone-but-never forgotten Manhattan Casino, Webb’s City, Boyd Hill Nature Trail and Bayfront Center, and discover places from the mid 20th century they might not have ever heard about such as the Earl Gresh Wood Parade, the St. Pete Operetta and the Marine Arena, aka John’s Pass Aquarium. There’s a complete history of the St. Pete Pier, too.

Lavishly illustrated with more than 120 photographs, many in full color, Vintage St. Pete: The Golden Age of Tourism – and More is divided into four sections – Tourist Attractions, History, Entertainment & Fun and the Movies.

The latter section goes behind the scenes as Ron Howard films Cocoon and Robert Altman lenses H.E.A.L.T.H. in the city. Another chapter explores Sun Haven Studios, a Weedon Island film company that produced three features in the early 1930s.

Click the arrow above to watch as Daytime veteran Cyndi Edwards interviews author Bill DeYoung about the book – there are dozens of photos interspersed throughout the interview.

Vintage St. Pete: The Golden Age of Tourism – and More is available from (with a shipping option), and starting Feb. 1 at Tombolo Books, Pier Gear and Gifts and the St. Petersburg Museum of History.


Sunken Gardens

Webb’s City

Marine Arena

Tiki Gardens 

London Wax Museum

The Aquatarium

MGM’s Bounty


The Pier

Capone, the Babe & the Gangplank

Earl Gresh Wood Parade

Boyd Hill Nature Trail

Fort De Soto and Fort Dade

Marilyn Monroe & Joe Dimaggio

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary


The Manhattan Casino

The Operetta and the Music Circus

Bayfront Center

Gay Blades Roller Rink

Dr. Paul Bearer


Sun Haven Studios

Making H.E.A.L.T.H.

Making Cocoon

“We’ll be luuurking for you!”




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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Estelle Nicks Luter

    December 7, 2023at4:46 pm

    Any pictures or history on St.Petersburg youth circus started by Faye Moses.

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