The Ed Marzola Interview (2) - Blackpool's Pasaje
Tell me a
little about yourself.
I participated with the company (Monsters and Monsters) in the
setting up of venues in Seville, Malaga and Orlando for the
attraction. I also sold, promoted and advertised further
installations following this...the Pasaje del Terror at the
Tibidabo in Barcelona was one of them but it ran more
autonomously than the rest.
Parallel to this I was instrumental in obtaining the 75 cars
that became the core of the 'Hollywood Car Show'.
How long did you work for the company?
I believe I was associated with the company for some 3 or 4
years. I know I am not being very specific but this is because I
was not a salaried employee, but rather a consultant paid on a
When did the company first attempt to sell the Pasaje del
Terror to Geoffrey Thompson at Blackpool Pleasure Beach?
We first went to Blackpool some time in 1993, and met with
Geoffrey Thompson and David Mercer of the Blackpool Leisure and
Amusement Consultancy Ltd. We did not sell the Pasaje at that
time because they did not have the space for it at the park
I am happy to see that Blackpool has finally installed one.
We went there many times trying to convince Geoffrey Thompson to
have one in the park, but all we got was a lukewarm reception
and the suggestion to install it in Morecambe which compared to
Blackpool is a rather sad seaside place without the traffic of
the main park.
On a field trip to Morecambe we determined that the flow of
public would not be enough to sustain its commercial operation.
Did you ever go to Southport?
Actually it's been so long ago that Southport sounds familiar!
Perhaps I was mistaken (apologies) and maybe that's the place
they suggested instead of Morecambe.
What I do remember vividly is that it was a rather sad beachy
area without the pull of Blackpool.
...sounds like Morecambe!
...and after some study we determined that the exploitation
would only be successful at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
What were the Blackpool management's initial impressions of
the Pasaje del Terror attraction?
The executives told us they liked the concept, but were hesitant
to empty one of the operating structures at the main Blackpool
Pleasure Beach site to try something so new and different as
Evidently they have now changed their minds and I hope the thing
works well for them.
What sort of agreement does Blackpool have with the ride?
Unfortunately I was out of the loop when the deal was closed,
so I do not have any details.
If I ever run into them I will ask the same question, perhaps at
the upcoming IAAPA convention in Florida next month. IAAPA stands
for International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
- a trade association that you can visit at: www.iaapa.org
What are your own impressions of the Pleasure Beach?
I love England, and in fact I had a residence in London as I was
married to a girl from Liverpool!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a great park because it has remained
true to its early roots. It has a long history and I believe has
been owned and operated by the same family since its opening
some 100 or more years ago.
And yet, as old as it is, the administration has managed to
modernize and improve it constantly, and this is quite a
When did you leave the company and what are you doing now?
I was never a salaried employee of the company but was active in
many projects for them until about 1996/97.
I travelled a lot on their behalf actually and those records are
long gone. To give you an idea, in just two years I travelled 52
times to Europe!
Some years ago I also worked with a chap from Glasgow that had
created "Alien Adventure", another walk thru attraction based on
the movie "Alien". The idea was well executed - a "guide" took a
group of people through a hi-tech facility that presumably was
holding the alien from the film, when suddenly the alien escaped
and the terrorized public had to find their way out to safety.
It was well done, I'd say, with venues in Piccadilly, London,
and also in Glasgow.
In 1994 I became involved with the Pele sports and marketing
organisation and produced for them some 50 tv programmes
featuring Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele), perhaps the
greatest football player of all time.
I met and interviewed for TV Bobby Charlton, Michel Platini and
many other prominent footballers.
Right now (2001) I am producing a weekly radio programme that
reaches 23 million households in the US and also preparing a
series of sports related programmes for worldwide television.