Monday, August 18, 2014

Main Street, March 13 1958

I like this first view of the east side of Main Street U.S.A. because the place is so deserted! Judging from the clock, it is just past 1:30 in the afternoon, but people seem to be as scarce as hen's teeth. Keep in mind that attendance on this March day never exceeded 4,000, which is ridiculous. Once again I'd like to point out the wonderful variety of fa├žades. Anaheim's Main Street feels prosperous and clean, but not completely out of the realm of possibility. When visiting relatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I would often pass through small towns with their own little Main Streets - many which had seen better days, but still - I couldn't help thinking of Disneyland's version.


Up by the hub, the Horse Drawn Streetcar begins its trek back down toward Main Street Station. The driver looks so lonely and mournful! Notice the Monsanto House of the Future just visible through the trees.


13 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

What lovely early images we have today. We see the Wonderland Music Company in it's second, of three locations. (Originally that location was home to Blue Bird Shoes for Children, from 7/17/55 - 9/13/56). By June, 1960, Wonderland had moved next door to what is now the Mad Hatter Hat Shop in Town Square, where it stayed until 1/1/73. The location we see in the first image was absorbed into the Kodak Camera Center.

And it all started out where the Magic Shop once lived.


Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I can't help wishing to be that guy in the first picture - alone with his family in a clean, pristine, and fully-staffed park.

And then I think how creepy that would be...

K. Martinez said...

The man with his family are a set of store mannequins. Same with the two street-car guys and taxidermy horse. It reminds me of the first episode aired of the Twilight Zone "Where is Everybody?", except it's in color.

Tom said...

The second photo might have passed for a slice of genuine turn-of-the-century Americana, were it not for the ALIEN SPACE SHIP that landed to the left of Dobbin's noggin there.

Awesome how the past and the future can dwell in such harmony.

Melissa said...

@Tom, sounds like an episode of The Wild, Wild West.

Nanook said...

@ All-

If I've shared this memory before - forgive me, but...

This would be back around 1982 - so just the Magic Kingdom - I was visiting a friend who worked at WDW. At the time, he had an office above the Opera House, and was there after the park closed that evening. (In the winter, so we're probably talking 6-8:00, at the latest). He needed to do more work, so he suggested I walk around the park while he finished up.

Yes, talk about your Twilight Zone moment: All the lighting, water, background music, etc., was operational, although shop doors were closed. And the entire time while making a huge loop through the park and back to the Hub, I saw (essentially) no one-! Musta been too early for the night crew to have started their shift.

Talk about incredibly wonderful and surreal-! (And, no, I don't remember the specifics as to why no one asked 'what I was doing there', etc.) That was obviously one of my favorite Disney park experiences - although if you work night/graveyard shift - it's part of your daily routine.

Nanook said...

Ahhh... Make that "back to Town Square".

Chuck said...

Ken - I was thinking of "Where is Everybody?" as well, but thought the reference might be too obscure. I should know better with this crowd.

K. Martinez said...

@Chuck - Your comment about "how creepy it would be" actually made me recall the Twilight Zone episode.

@Nanook - I never heard you mention that story before. That definitely would've been cool and surreal to experience. I love it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wonder why they moved the Wonderland Music Company around? Why couldn't it stay put?

Chuck, that guy has two tiny tots with him, so he would have company. I would LOVE to explore a completely-empty Disneyland!

K. Martinez, Marcia is buying some Kodak film so that she can remember her day out.

Tom, I see alien spaceships all the time, so that photo doesn't phase me one bit.

Melissa, I loved that show! I still remember seeing Ross Martin at the Farmer's Market (this was after the series had ended, but was running in endless repeats) and I was so shocked that he was a REAL person.

Nanook, I have a friend that used to work for the park, installing Christmas decorations in the wee hours of the morning. And she confirmed that they keep all of the music and SFX going all night long, which must have been strange. Of course she had other worker elves with her most of the time.

Chuck, that one is a classic… wasn't that the very first episode of the Twilight Zone?

K. Martinez, I'm going to sneak into the park late at night. But before that, I'm going to observe the kinds of ID that employees might be wearing. Then I'll have a hard hat and a clip board, and maybe a lanyard with some sort of Photoshopped phony pass on it. Please come visit me in prison!

Melissa said...

@Nanook, I had incredibly vivid dreams exactly like that almost every night for months following my first visit in 1982. Maybe you were ending my some kind of psychic message!

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Your wish is my command, my liege.

Chuck said...

Major - you are correct - that was the first episode aired...and will probably now be the TV show I watch next.