This theme park brings Popeye the Sailor Man to life

Noble Horvath

That park is called Popeye Village, and the colorful vista that stood in for Sweethaven in Altman’s Popeye appears relatively untouched since production wrapped in the summer of 1980. There have, of course, been a few upgrades to the Anchor Bay locale over the decades, with the former film set now offering […]

That park is called Popeye Village, and the colorful vista that stood in for Sweethaven in Altman’s Popeye appears relatively untouched since production wrapped in the summer of 1980. There have, of course, been a few upgrades to the Anchor Bay locale over the decades, with the former film set now offering family-friendly activities like swimming, boating, and even miniature golf.

Such upgrades, and the obvious nostalgic vibes that come with the location’s odd cinematic history, have made Popeye Village one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Maltese Islands — extra impressive when you consider just how gorgeous the Mediterranean setting is. Still, when it comes to cinematic nostalgia, something as rare as an actual film set that’s been exceedingly well-kept for 40 years is sure to draw the attention of movie lovers young and old. 

As far as what you get to experience in Popeye Village outside of the aforementioned activities, it seems park organizers go all out in making each visit a unique Popeye experience, with costumed characters from the film and Popeye comics greeting visitors, ready to lead them through virtual movie recreations and guided tours of the practical locations. There’s a few food outlets as well, so all you Wimpy fans can get your hamburger fix in the same locales Paul Dooley did during Popeye‘s production (though you probably won’t be able to put payment for the meal off until Tuesday). 

While Popeye Village is billed largely as a family-friendly theme-park styled destination, it’s also available to host weddings for those who want the full Popeye and Olive Oyl experience. Here’s hoping any such event is capped off with a first dance to Shelley Duvall’s show-stopping rendition of “He Needs Me.” 

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