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Vintage Flashback // Ice Capades


Image: 60s Twist

Over the weekend, my friend Melinda posted pix of her little girlie enjoying the heck out of Disney on Ice on Facebook.  There were smiles, BART rides, pictures of playing cards ice skating (think Alice in Wonderland) and a $12 shaved ice cone.  It got me very excited to think about taking the Peach to one next time Disney on Ice skates into town.  It also made me think about the Ice Capades.

My mother swears she took me to the Ice Capades as a child, but I can’t remember it and I’m sure I would have remembered something as spectacular as THIS:


Image: Hollywood Place

The Ice Capades were a traveling ice show that ran from 1940 to 1995 featuring ex-Olympian skaters,  elaborate set-pieces/themes, and costumes that could have been featured in a Hollywood musical.  In the early years, I think they marketed themselves more on the prettiness of the girls than any ice skating capabilities.  At least according to the old Ice Capade programs which featured bombshell Vargas-like covers.  Vavoom!  I have a feeling Dads weren’t against taking their kids to this “wholesome family fun” ice show. Hmmm….


Clockwise: 1234

But for me and I’m sure many a little girl in the audience it was about the pretty outfits and the Ice Capades did not disappoint!  It was a costumer’s dream of fabulous outfits worthy of any MGM Musical! Just look at the array of fashion awesomeness here:


Image: Jen O’Sale

I want to meet the costume designer who decided on that bouffant hair style.

images: Retro Space.

I love this 1970 Ice Capade show featured Tim Wood, the 1969 World Figure Skating Champion. Olympics Bronze-winners Margot and Danne skated to a Beatles medley, World Free-Style Champion Tommy Litz appeared in a segment titled “An Astrological Affair.”

Oh, these sexy Librans!  I really don’t understand what the circle ponchos have to do with Libra. But it certainly makes for a sassy look!  With matching gloves, natch!


images: Pitch.com

Or this 1983 Ice Capades jazz handed hot pink tambourine extravaganza?


image: NeatNeatNeat

The Ice Capades had its roots in vaudeville theater, and many early acts included comedians, jugglers, barrel jumpers, magicians, and other such entertainers.

And this guy. Dave Pitts.

That Dave Pitts is one talented gent and is basically a chimp starmaker. Fancy!  I think that is the White Rabbit and Spanky is dressed as Snow White and and. Wow.  Just wow.


image: Hollywood Places

But the Ice Capades weren’t immune to partnering with other brands to make more money. Oh no.  That was a life saver for the show!  Starting with the best partnership.  DISNEY!

I’m not going to lie–that Pluto looks a little roughed up…

Or how about the Smurfs? And Peggy Flemming!


images: LoonBoy2

And–what the heck? A McDonalds inspired Ice Capades?

image: Hollywood Place

I can only imagine storyline of the Golden Hamburger caper with those terrifying pink and yellow mop things! This picture was two pictures that I put next together so you could see the truly magnificent operatic joy of the McDonalds Ice Capades show.

Former Olympian and 70s hair style icon Dorothy Hamill bought the show in 1993 for 10 million dollars, and then sold it to Pat Robertson in 1995, who pretty much ran it into the ground in record time, and the show was bankrupt later that year. There have been attempts to revive the show, but they have failed to get traction. (Note to self: add “Revive Ice Capades” to bucket list…)

But thanks to shows like  Disney on Ice, you can still take your kiddo to a sweet skating show and have a blast (and of course buy them a $12 shaved ice cone! YEAH!).

Did you ever go to Ice Capades when you were a kid? Have you and your kiddo gone to any of the modern day ice shows? ?

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  1. lishyloo says

    you know i’m obsessed with mcdonaldland.



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