The Second (Tourist) Class Overflow Lounge

Located on A deck, aft, the second class overflow lounge was located just aft of the aft most major cross space with a large stairwell and an adjacent elevator. It was 56 ft. long by 52 feet wide.

According to the Shipbuilder the bulkheads were paneled in Moselle figured Canadian birch with a dado of elm birch. They were offset by bandings of silver bronze metal. The floor coverings were of Korkoid in a special tile design. There was a parquet dance floor, 25 ft by 20 ft, in the center of the room laid in oak panels with a walnut border. This parquet floor was covered by a large rug when not in use.

At the aft end of the room was an attractive fireplace with three electric fires in a surround of red Formica with silvered bandings. Above the fireplace surround was a bas-relief in sprayed nickel by the artist Rebel Stanton. It depicted a nude woman at the seashore reaching up for a beach ball. The clock in the bas-relief took the form of the beach ball.

Aft-view of room showing bas-relief panel by Rebel Stanton (close-up, right) .

The lighting of the central portion of the room was from concealed trough lighting, supplemented by wall fittings at the sides.

The furniture, including easy chairs, settees and writing tables was in elm burr with metal inlay to harmonize with the general decoration. The seating accommodation was for about 100 persons.

History of Use

1936 – 1939 - we are unaware of any significant changes made to these facilities during this period.

1940 – 1946 - the ship was used as a troop transport during this period. The precise functions assigned to the tourist (or 2nd) class supplementary lounge on A deck during this period is currently being researched.

1947 – 1967 - the paneling and the furnishing were meticulously restored in the post war refit. And the room was again used as a supplementary lounge for 2nd class passengers – at that time called cabin class.

In the 1950s the room was somewhat modified to function as a rendezvous for teenage passengers. Called the Beachcomber Club, it included a bowling alley and a soft drink bar.

Deckplan showing the Beachcomber Club

1968 – present - the lounge was essentially intact when the Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach. The City of Long Beach inventory shows that the prewar Rebel Stanton bas-relief was in place. However the room was soon stripped of its fine paneling and its bas-relief. The room was renamed the Capstan Room for the large capstans in its wings which were enclosed in the room. (The open once working deck behind is also now called the Capstan Deck.)

The area is the "Capstan Lounge" today.

Photos of the Capstan Room today and the Capstan Deck at the stern of the ship, with docking gear removed along with the teak decking. Photos of room and back deck today are courtesy of Tracy Adams.

In 1980 when this author first encountered the room it was used as a private dining room for hotel guests and had an Italian theme. The aft third of the room was parceled off as a kitchen with counter/bar forward of it.

In the late 1980s when the Disney Corporation managed the ship under the name of the Wrather Corporation the room was slightly remodeled again and used as an exercise room/lounge for hotel guests.

Since the early 1990s under the RMS Foundation, using the Disney era decor the room is a "ballroom" available for rent. It is used for meetings, banquets and receptions. Usually it sits idle.

Restoration and/or Reuse Potential

This space is in an area of the ship that we see reserved for hotel guests and Club Queen Mary members. Assuming the restoration of all of the dining rooms on R deck and all of the lounges on Promenade and Main, A and B decks the question arises – what would be the best use of the 2nd class overflow lounge on A deck aft?

The aft capstan deck as it might be partially restored for Club Queen Mary use.

We see a number of alternative possibilities. The lounge might serve as a:




With any of these uses the recovery of more of the original dιcor – paneling and bas-relief would be wonderful.

See also:

Hotel Queen Mary – creating a ship within a ship for hotel guests and Club Queen Mary members.

Club Queen Marycreating a new social center for Long Beach.

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