Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Universal Studios Pix

Today's batch of photos from Universal Studios (Hollywood, not Orlando!) fall into the category of "leftuggies". Pictures that didn't quite make the cut for earlier posts, and they've been sitting in the fridge until I had to use them now or throw them away.

OK, that's a terrible analogy. Hey look, it's the Munsters house! 1313 Mockingbird Lane. This image was snapped a few years after the end of that legendary series, and the house has been cleaned up somewhat. Nowadays, they don't even mention the Munsters on the studio tour, which is a travesty of unimaginable proportions. Instead they bore you with drivel about "Desperate Housewives".

You can't have a movie studio without a good Western street. Notice the plate-glass windows (both downstairs and upstairs), perfect for a cowpoke to smash through. And the road is a swell place to have a good old fashioned shootout.

And now for the obligatory photo overlooking the lower part of the backlot, the L.A. River, and Warner Brothers Studio. Beyond that... beautiful downtown Burbank.

From 1978, a tour guide is explaining something fascinating, I'm sure. Does anybody recognize this set? I'm wondering if it was from a real show, or if it's just a set created specifically for the tour.


TokyoMagic! said...

These are wonderful shots, can they be classified as Leftuggies?

Shall we start at the bottom? That set was a recreation of Jaime Sommers living room and was part of the Stage 32 attraction, which later became the Special Effects Stages, which is now being converted to a Transformer's Attraction. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but before Jaime Sommer's living room, I think there was a set from "Ironside" in that spot.

In that panorama shot of the Backlot, we can see Park looks like this was taken before the Parting of the Red Sea was added to the tour. The stone bridge used in Sweet Charity can be seen spanning a portion of the lake. Is that the Disney Studio water tower that I see way off in the distance (on the left)?

I love that shot of the Munsters house. Too bad it has been bastardized in recent years. The producers of Desperate Housewives didn't want it being recognizable as the Munster house. In fact, they completely avoided showing it in any camera angles in the first season of the show. Then they severely altered the exterior of the house so Alfre Woodard could move into it (she kept her son locked in the basement during most of season two....YAWN!). Oh, and Shriley Jones lived in the Munster's house in the VERY short-lived series, "Shirley" (late seventies). I like that photo because it shows the pictures that used to be along the roof of the Glamor Trams...usually promoting the latest Universal films.

I miss THIS Universal Studios! Thanks for the great photos today, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, TM!, you sure know your Universal Studios! Very cool that you knew Jaime Sommers' living room. Somehow I would imagine a bionic woman's home to be more Bauhaus! Thanks for pointing out the Sweet Charity bridge... that dates this to before 1972 probably. Speaking of which, my brother said he just watched Sweet Charity and thought it was pretty bad!! As for the Munsters house, I guess the majority of visitors wouldn't even remember that show (hard to believe). I've never watched Desperate Housewives (but I think I remember "Shirley"!).

Anyway, your info has helped turn some "ho-hum" pictures into something a lot more interesting!

Anonymous said...

Nice view of the Toluca Lake Golf Course (across the river) in picture 3.

That living room looks like ours did in 1978, only bigger.

When I saw that room, it was the Ironside set. I remember how weird that be IN a room you had seen on TV.

Thank you TM for the mini-Tour and Major for the pics.


TokyoMagic! said...

By the way, the Bionic Testing Center was located just around the corner from Jaime Sommers' living room in that same Stage 32 building.

Major, I've never seen the movie version of "Sweet Charity". I just remember them always pointing out that bridge on the tour. I did get dragged to the stage version however, a few years ago with Molly Ringwald (she was in it, she didn't go with us!) I kept waiting for her to sing the "Facts of Life" theme song, but she never did.

Chiana_Chat said...

I'm surprised how well that interior pic came out. Pity there's so much emphasis on the crummy curb in the overview pic - looks like one of my pics! ;) But it is interesting to see one of the area then.

Sweet Charity? Gracious. As a spirit, we could do with more of it these days. As a movie well, I take a real dim view of most musicals post-1965. The spate of 'em from '66 to '74 was a near complete loss. Huge sums of money; no creative quality. *shudders

*humming Munsters theme

Connie Moreno said...

Dang, I was gonna post this hours ago but got distracted. These pics are SO COOL!!! What fun! And Tokyo, your memory blows my mind!

Nancy said...

liking this set. i went on this tour in 2001 on our first visit to California and my favorite part was the courtyard where they have the horror movie buildings and stuff, and of course the Bates Motel. i could not get over that i was at THE Bates Motel. we also saw the remake of Norman's house up on the higher hill but was not thrilling like seeing the original house and motel :)

210Frwy said...

In the backlot shot - the Disney Studio is in there somewhere. That may be the water tower slightly to right of center. I’m using Google Earth to help me with this idea. Pretty sure we have 3 motion picture studios in this shot.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG and Connie, glad you liked the pics!

TM!... Molly Ringwald! I saw a picture of her not that long ago, and thought she was still pretty darn cute.

Chiana, that interior photo took some Photoshop noodling, and even then it was rather dark and grainy. You just have to decide how much grain is too much! And the Munster's Theme (second season) is the best!

Nancy, when I was at the Studios a few months ago, they had an actor come out carrying what looked like a body wrapped in a sheet, which he placed in the trunk of his car. When he notices that we are watching him, he comes at the tram with a knife! It was pretty funny.

210Frwy, yes, the water tower is the one at the Disney Studio. And I do mention Warner Bros. in my post. So yes, three studios!

Vaughn said...

I love the Universal photos. My brother worked for Technicolor for a couple of years and had some kind of super family pass to Universal, I just wish we had made the trip while he was there. He has stories of how he and his coworkers would wander around the lot at lunch time, in their suits, and pretend to be bigwigs, good times!

Yendorb said...

I don't think that's the Disney water tower on the left of the picture. That's the WB one. It looks more pointy on top. Disney is more in the middle. the group of soundstage looking buildings.

Of course there are 4 studios. NBC is there too.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to share that on the Universal Studios tour I recently went on in July the Munsters house was indeed mentioned and acknowledged for what it was. Maybe it depends on how much each tour guide cares to share? All is not lost. :)
Great pictures btw!