Thursday, December 10, 2015
What, all we get is one measly Instamatic today? Yes, it's true.
My pal "Mr. X" was a mere lad when he decided to take this unusual photo of a "backstage" area... mostly parking for employees, but also views of the Administration Building. And other stuff. I asked X if he had any recollections or info that he wanted to share, and I loved his reply:
This was my photo? I must have wandered backstage. The building on the right would have been the new (1966) Administration Building. The wardrobe department was on the ground floor all the way to the right, which would have been right behind the Opera House. Dick Nunis' office was on the top floor corner, just overlooking the Opera House. And of course the Primeval World is in the same building.
The green building to the left is where the cast member locker rooms were located (on the second floor). Cash control was on the first floor; this was where cash was turned in and at the end of the shift (in my case) it was from outdoor foods during the first summer. Tickets were also turned in here, I believe - - though I am having trouble recalling now. Of course the Grand Canyon Diorama is located in the same building.
The senior supervisors at the time could park their automobiles backstage. I suspect that the photo may have been shot around 1966 or 1967 - - notice the construction sheds behind the Administration Building. They may have been still completing the building on the right.
I found this postcard with an aerial shot of the southeast corner of Disneyland; if you look toward the center of the red rectangle you can see the same general area as is seen in the first photo. Mr. X says:
You cannot see it clearly, but behind where the large tree is located, there is a train trestle with a wooden covered bridge, under which is a driveway with a fairly deep decline, as I recall (I was barely able to drive the outdoor foods scooter, with a stick shift, down that hill and up the other side) for operations vehicles and small delivery trucks to access backstage from Harbor Boulevard.
Guess what? I have a nice aerial photo from March of 1969 that I haven't shared with you yet! But here is just a portion of it, again showing the same general area we have been discussing.
The Harbor Boulevard employee gate was just on the other side of the green building. In fact, when we reported for work, we came through the security gate just on the other side of the yellow building, walked down a ramp and back up again. The Disneyland Railroad (please keep your hands inside) made the transition on that covered bridge from the Grand Canyon Diorama into the Primeval World segment, as it does today.
The new yellow building was where the Disneyland University was eventually located. I remember spending my orientation up on the second floor. Also, personnel was in the new building. Interviews would be conducted there, though my recollection is that they were in offices on the other side, facing Harbor Boulevard.
I suspect that this was taken from the cast member pedestrian gate located near the guest lockers, near the Market House.
I don't know about you, but I love hearing about that kind of insider info! And it's neat to see a vintage backstage photo, as prosaic and utilitarian as it is.