Sunday, July 03, 2022

Almost Rejects

Here's another chance for me to use up some "ALMOST REJECTS". I don't think I need to explain what that means! I scanned a lot of 59 slides, and 47 of them are from Frontierland, which is both amazing and a little bit frustrating.

Looking over the heads of some kids, we see some teepees on Tom Sawyer Island, one of at least three Indian Villages in Frontierland. In the distance, we see a hill that is impressively tall, I'll bet the view from the top was amazing.

Some of the slides in this lot were very dark for some reason, and Photoshop could only do so much. They still look pretty murky. Still, I like the view of the Keelboat (which appears to be heading in the wrong direction) as it scooted past empty Fowler's Harbor. Nice fedora, pal! 

This is an OK view of a VERY busy steamboat landing, but the focus is a bit soft, so... it became an "almost reject". But it's not a total loss, I still enjoy looking at it.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Pool Party, Beverly-Wilshire Hotel

Here's a fun series of Summery photos from the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. They're undated but certainly from the 1950s - possibly even the early '50s. Crowds are gathered around the beautiful Olympic-sized pool to watch an event that involved... well, you'll see for yourself. I'd love to know if this was some special occasion, or if it was something that the hotel did for their guests on a typical Saturday.

Men perform daring high-dives, tumbling through the air with nary a bellyflop. Judging from the number of men in bathing suits on the low diving board, this went on for a while! I would surely have impressed them with my best dive, which I call "The Ol' Dipsy-Doodle". You'll just have to use your imagination.

A 48-star U.S. Flag hangs to the right, and in the distance we can just see the venerable Warner Theatre (now the Hollywood Pacific Theatre). The white building in the distance (top, near the center) is the old California Bank building (now Sterling Plaza).

A woman wears an off-the-shoulder gown worthy of Scarlet O'Hara. Is she just modeling the dress? I don't see a microphone nearby, so I don't think she's a singer. Notice in the lower right, we can just see what I believe is a conductor waving his baton, with what might be a small orchestra sitting at those unusual green music stands (?).

Oh boy! Bathing beauties, that's for me. The guys on the diving board are enjoying the lovely ladies too. It's like a fashion show in an MGM musical.

For context, here's a photo of the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel, located at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. The hotel was constructed by real estate developer Walter G. McCarty on the site of the former Beverly Hills Speedway. It was completed in 1928 (when the city had fewer than 18,000 residents), and was then known as the "Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel". The E-shaped structure is built of a Tuscan stone and Carrara marble in the Italian Renaissance architecture style.

Renamed the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel by new owners, it was renovated with a ballroom in the 1940s by architect Paul Revere Williams to accommodate the popular big bands of the day. An Olympic-sized swimming pool was built and championship tennis courts were added, with tennis champion Pancho Gonzalez as tennis director.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled program. A dancer (?) stands on some sort of surf board in the middle of the pool; it's probably trickier than it looks! Could she do a handstand? I could, I just don't like to show off (plus I just had my hair done).

Another dancer (dressed as a hula girl) strikes a pose, she looks like a hood ornament on the best car in the world. It's fun to observe the people in the crowd. At the upper corner of the pool we can see three ladies, one in yellow, one in pink, and one in blue, I can only assume that they were a part of the show. But maybe not! 

Now it's time for some female divers! Man, this show has everything. This woman is going in feet-first, unless she curled up into a cannonball at the last second.

This next one shows what might be the same diver as seen in the previous photo. Did she ever appear in any of Esther Williams' "aquamusicals"? 

You had to show up early to get your spot by the pool. There's plenty of eye-candy for everybody! I'm noticing quite a few flags on display, perhaps this was a special 4th of July show.

I found a couple of vintage postcards showing the pool area during calmer moments; you can see the upper deck to the right, near where our photographer must have been standing. 

Another vintage postcard. Say, maybe I need an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

And finally, I happened upon this publicity photo of actress Margaret Hayes posing by the Beverly-Wilshire pool, and looking as pretty as can be. Hayes appeared in films such as Blackboard Jungle, The Glass Key, and Sullivan's Travels, and she later appeared on television shows such as Perry Mason and Bonanza.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel!

Friday, July 01, 2022

Two Beauties From 1973

It's time for two more super nice photos, taken by Mr. X back in '73. I love these bright, colorful views!

First up is this fun picture of an ice cream vendor over in Frontierland. I think it's interesting - and a bit odd - that by now they'd dispensed with the costumes that might look like they were from the turn of the century, opting for a very 1970s color combo of red, yellow, and white stripes. I guess the straw hat crisis of the '70s resulted in these changes. The ice cream freezer is similarly painted with a pop-art graphic pattern - it's not bad, it just doesn't seem to fit the theme of "Old New Orleans". Just my opinion. Mr. X remembered that the friendly cast member's name is Robbie Robinson. Maybe he's out there just waiting to see his photo on a blog!

Next is this postcard-worthy shot of the Plaza Inn, with one of the female cast members out front (I've seen them referred to as "golden girls" - long before the sitcom of that name) greeting guests as they passed by.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Omnibus, 1950s

Here's a nice pair of photos featuring the wonderful Omnibus! These slides had faded somewhat (Photoshop took care of that), but the focus is nice and sharp, so the photographer had a camera with a good lens.

Here it comes! A bus with an upstairs? Maybe it has a basement too, who can tell in this crazy mixed-up world? This Omnibus sure looks authentic to my untrained eye, as if it was somehow transported directly from some 1928 city street. I love the clear blue sky, apparently this was a sunny Winter day (everybody is wearing a coat except for Officer O'Malley (standing by the lamp post to our right). 

Next we're at the Plaza, where all vehicles can head around the circle to go back down Main Street. 

I like the group of ladies, each in their own fashionable SoCal Winter styles. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Parking Lot, 1965

Here are two more vintage photo prints from 1965 - this time the famous Disneyland parking lot is featured. Acres of Asphalt! A Cornucopia of Cars! A Plethora of something that starts with "P"! Both photos were taken from the Monorail, no small feat since they traveled at near light speed. Notice the red shift! Look at all them durned cars. There were still some tail-finned beauties, and my beloved station wagons, and even the occasional VW Bug. Under the distant Monorail track is a tram, and we can even see a glimpse of the Douglas Moonliner to the right.

This one is interesting to me for several reasons, though I am a bit discombobulated. What direction was our photographer facing? Does the dirt lot in the distance have anything to do with the construction in progress in the southwest corner of the park? Buses, campers, and even a sailboat would be directed to these mega-sized parking spots. I love that blue car hauling the cute little trailer. You'd be snug as a bug in that thing. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A Pair from 1969

I have two nice ones for you today, from 1969. We'll start with this shot of Main Street Station, and Mr. Timex Clock tells us that it's 12:44, so... right smack-dab in the middle of the day. The "population" sign says that 45 million people had visited Disneyland at that point. I won't say anything about the posters because you are probably tired of me blathering on about them. But they're great! 

Later in the day, we see one of the parking lot trams heading out to various parts of the vast lot, depending on where your car awaited. A nice convenience for guests who'd just spent all day on their feet. Hello, Monorail Blue! Funny, if I just had to guess by looking, I'd say that it was a Mark II Monorail, but by 1969 the Mark III trains should have been in service. SHRUG!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Big Thunda, May 5, 1980

It's big, it's thundery, it's the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! You can count the number of times it has appeared on this blog on the digits of one Venusian hand (I tried it). Today's photos are from when the ride was only nine months old (it debuted on May 2nd, 1979), so it had that "new mine smell" that we all love so much. 

The Disney folks excelled at making ramshackle wooden buildings, and this one seen from the queue is appropriately weathered and rusty. That upstairs room is MY apartment, but I didn't think it through. Don't have an apartment as part of a roller coaster. A word to the wise. Meanwhile, the "hoodoos" of Bryce Canyon glow in the late afternoon sunlight. Nothing could truly replace the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, but I really do like Big Thunder.

You have to be pretty quick on the draw to capture a runaway mine train with your camera. Our photographer did an especially good job, considering that he was using a pinhole camera (built using an oatmeal carton). A snow-capped peak in Switzerland contrasts with the orange sandstone of the desert. I can almost hear the whistle as the train passes by!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Almost Rejects

I've shared some "ALMOST REJECTS" before, and I have lots more for you! Yes, I want this to sound like it's great news.

This first one isn't really that bad, though I had to lighten it way up, and as you can see, there is some weird stuff going on in the sky area. But it's still an OK look at the old fishing pier on Tom Sawyer Island. There are no anglers testing their nerve and skill against Nature - yet.

You can see why this one is an "almost reject"... shot from the Mark Twain's rail, the photographer tried to capture the Disneyland Railroad as it passed the group of Indian warriors who want NO funny business on their territory. "Just keep passing through!".

Moving over to Adventureland, we have this "meh" photo looking along the Rivers of The World. Those indistinct lumps in the river are the three crocodiles that guard the ruined temple and its treasure. It leaves a lot to be desired!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Pershing Square, Los Angeles, March 1965

I'm a fan of vintage views of Los Angeles, and today I have three that were taken in Pershing Square. What is that? Pershing Square is a small public park in Downtown Los Angeles, California, one square block in size, bounded by 5th Street to the north, 6th Street to the south, Hill Street to the east, and Olive Street to the west. Originally dedicated in 1866 by Mayor Cristóbal Aguilar as La Plaza Abaja, the square has had numerous names over the years until it was finally dedicated in honor of General John J. Pershing in 1918. So now you know.

This first photo shows a monument to California's twenty Spanish–American War dead was erected in 1900; it is said to be modeled after a Spanish–American War veteran, 7th California Infantry volunteer Charlie Hammond of San Francisco, and it is believed to be the oldest work of public art in Los Angeles.

Notice the man with the picket sign to the left, some sort of protest was going on at this time - possibly an anti-Vietnam War protest. On March 3 of '65,  the United States Navy and South Vietnamese air force began a 3½-year aerial bombardment campaign against North Vietnam.

If you are familiar with downtown L.A., you might recognize some of these old buildings, such as the Temple Baptist Church, the Equitable Life building, and that cool tower to the left is the 449 foot AT&T Microwave Tower, which ceased operation in 1993 - but the structure still stands, looking impressive. the buildings to the left of the Equitable Life building are all long-gone, replaced by a modern structure. If you look closely, you can see more protesters in front of the Baptist Church.

This is an odd photo; the photographer might have been aiming at Googie's Coffee Shop on the corner of 5th and Olive.

Here's a closer view; the original Googie's (on Sunset Boulevard) was a famous hangout for hip people like James Dean and Dennis Hopper. The buildings playful, daring style, by architect John Lautner, inspired the term "Googie architecture".


Friday, June 24, 2022

Inside the Coke Corner, 1973

I have two rare and unusual photos, courtesy of my friend Mr. X, who took these himself back in 1973. I've only seen a few interiors of the Coke Corner, so I get a real kick out of these special views. 

I'm not sure it was "peak lunchtime" but the restaurant looks pretty busy. The cashier is remarkably  unfrazzled, she's seen it all before. I love little details like the bottles of Coke to our left, each one with a red tag with the name of a country where Coca Cola is sold and enjoyed.

There's a familiar face! Rod Miller, ragtime player extraordinaire, serenades guests with the fastest fingers in town. By 1973 he was already a battle-worn veteran of four years (starting in 1969), but his career with Disneyland would continue 2005, incredibly. Over 35 years!