Sunday, January 22, 2012

Universal Studios

I recently acquired a group of slides from Universal Studios (California), from March, 1985. 1985? Why that was just yesterday, wasn't it? Seems like it, anyway. About half of the slides were a bit on the blurry side, but I decided to share them anyway. Hopefully they won't drive you too crazy.

Part of the famous tram tour takes you past the peaceful town of Amity, where there has been a series of gruesome shark attacks. (I believe that Amity used to be this nameless tropical harbor). See that snack - um, I mean person, sitting in that boat?

Well, he's just been violently yanked into the water, boat and all! A plume of bright pink/red water used to shoot up right afterwards. I used to go to Universal's "City Walk" (think Downtown Disney) fairly regularly, and from the parking garage way up on the hill I could look down onto this scene and watch the little boat repeatedly sink and re-set itself as trams came by. I could also hear the recorded screams of the fisherman!

Oh my gosh, it's a Blurry White Shark! They are much more dangerous than a Great White. I was at Universal just last year with my niece and nephew, and it was hilarious to see the looks on their faces when this mechanical shark lurched towards our tram.

And, just because I am trying to use up the blurry photos, here's a shot of the famous house from Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". It always surprises me how little it looks when you are there. Notice the light on some scaffolding... I believe that "Psycho 3" would have been shooting right around March 1985 (the movie came out in July, 1986).

Stay tuned for more from Universal Studios!


Chuck said...

Found an interesting article on the Bates House at

Aside from a rather detailed history of the house, it also reveals that the nameless tropical port that predated the "Jaws" encounter was called "Singapore Lake" at the Studio.

And Major - blurry is OK - just keep 'em coming!

Connie Moreno said...

That was fun!

Nancy said...

remember going on the tram tour the only time i went to Universal in California and thinking how cool is it to see T-H-E Bates Motel and Norman's house? answer...VERY!

David said...

I've been on the tour several times in the past, long before digital photography. If you had an old Instamatic, it was hard not to take blurry pics because the tram moved all the time.

Still, its nice to see them. The last time I was there was about a month after the fire that destroyed most of the New York set -that was, what, three years ago?

Gojira said...

Just watched a Columbo episode with William Shatner last night that had a scene filmed from the same vantage point as the first slide! That curbing was visible I believe in the scene. Jaws made an appearance but the teeth were different. Love the pic of the Psycho house! Thanks Major!

Time Spectator said...

I do so enjoy this blog whether the topic is vintage Disneyland or not.

The real tragedy of that fire was not the damage to the replaceable sets and tour but rather the loss of the vast archives on the lot.

Douglas McEwan said...

Back in 1972 I was working at a radio station in the San Fernando Valley, and one of my duties was writing weekly 30-second commercial promos for the Universal Tour. This lasted a few months, until I wrote an ad promoting a new item on the tour, "The Parting of the Red Sea." The tagline of the ad I wrote to promote it was: "Anything God can do, Universal Studios can do better."

That ad aired ONCE! Universal called within two minutes of it airing (literally) to yank it off the air. I was relieved of my duties writing ads for Universal, though I was not fired from the radio station. They got me at least.

Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast said...

If you like walking do it as Universal Studio City Walk offers much to do and good thing is mostly are free. Great place for weekend with kids.