The History of Magnolia Park Lock Shop

Magnolia Park Lock Shop today

Magnolia Park Lock Shop today

In the year 1932, when Al Capone began serving his prison sentence for tax evasion; the FBI Crime Lab officially opened; and the Dow Jones Industrial average reached its lowest level during the Great Depression, a man named Utley established Utley’s Lock Shop in Burbank, CA.

All that we now know about Mr. Utley’s identity is his last name. However, his deeds tell us more about him than a mere name. Here was a man who had realized that it was the right time to help keep a growing army of burglars at bay. So, he took the risk of starting a business in the midst of the Great Depression. Fortunately, Utley’s Lock Shop was a success—even today his presence is felt as many of his personalized original key blank stock bearing the Utley name is a part of our inventory. Originally located on Burbank Blvd., the lock shop changed locations and hands quite a few times in the coming decades.

Having run Utley’s Lock Shop for 17 years, Mr. Utley sold the shop to a man named Walt Kault, in 1949. Walt and his wife had moved to California from Minneapolis, MN, after his retirement. He had formerly owned the Schwinn Bicycle Company and was a founding member of the American Motorcycling Association—his membership card number was #0001. Walt moved Utley’s Lock Shop to the Arcade, our current location in the Magnolia Park neighborhood of Burbank. The main reason behind the relocation was not a quest for a better location, but a sentimental attraction. He renamed the business Magnolia Park Lock Shop, the abbreviation of which, MPLS, matched that of his hometown, Minneapolis.

Walt’s ownership of Magnolia Park Lock Shop lasted only 12 years. In January of 1961, he sold the shop to George Deahl who left his job as plant superintendent at Photo-Sonics, Inc. in Burbank to run MPLS. With the active support of his wife and children, the Deahl family ran the business for 32 years. They built Magnolia Park Lock Shop into a thriving business with many loyal customers who returned thanks to the quality of the products and services.

In 1993, Magnolia Park Lock Shop changed ownership again. After a long search by the Deahl family to find someone who could carry on the MPLS traditions of quality service and integrity, they chose Ara Manoogian, a locksmith with 9 years’ experience. At the time, Ara was working with a CCTV manufacturing company, developing infrared illumination devices, for which he had been awarded a U.S. patent. Although Ara’s career in manufacturing was blossoming, the Deahls’ offer was too good to pass up.

With a solid client base going back 50 years and Rose Deahl, George’s widow, staying on temporarily with a commitment to help run the shop for a smooth transition, Ara and his family, including his father Evan, a retired building contractor and seismic engineer, expanded Magnolia Park Lock Shop’s services to include the newest technologies: Closed Circuit TV, Electronic Access Control, and Intercom Systems.

Today Magnolia Park Lock Shop is the oldest locksmith shop in the San Fernando Valley, thanks to the solid foundation laid in 1932 by its founder Mr. Utley to offer its customers innovative solutions and quality products that provide years of trouble-free service.