Last week, SF Gate reported that the Queen Mary is in danger of capsizing, breaking my film-location-loving heart right in two. The former Cunard-White Star luxury cruise liner, which has been moored at the Port of Long Beach and operating as a hotel/tourist attraction since 1967, is not only one of L.A.’s most oft-filmed locales but one of its most historic, too. It’s also a highly singular lodging, the likes of which aren’t often seen in today’s modern world.
But sadly, according to an April 28 inspection of the vessel performed by naval architecture and marine engineering firm Elliott Bay Design Group, it is currently in need of more than $20 million in crucial safety fixes. The Long Beach Post reports, “That’s on top of the $23 million in bonds and Tidelands funds that the city issued to former operator Urban Commons in 2017 to fix some of the most critical repairs listed in a marine survey. The funds ran out before many of the repairs were completed, and now, the latest report says most of the urgent structural work hasn’t even started as the ship slips into further disrepair.”
A 2019 inspection found the Queen Mary a mess of duct-tape-covered carpets, damaged handrails, dilapidated lifeboats and, per the Long Beach Business Journal, “missing numbers on the ship’s elevator” that had been “replaced by drawn-on numerals.” But the most recent findings are far more alarming, with the Post noting, “The current status of bulkheads and lack of a functioning bilge pump system and flood alarm system could lead to flooding throughout the ship, potential capsizing of the ship and life safety and environmental issues to the extent that flooding occurred.”