Friday, October 09, 2020

Tomorrowland at Night, November 1959

It's time for two more photos from our friend Lou Perry, and our other friend, Sue B., who shared Lou's photos with us. They feature rare views of Tomorrowland at night, from 1959.

This first one shows the unrestored snapshot - the paper had yellowed, as often happens. And this affected the colors of everything else. Plus it's off-center.

Here's a restored version, looking much more bright and shiny. We're looking at the fa├žade of the Hall of Chemistry, with its pebbled concrete surface, the jets of water from the fountains that lined the front of the building, and my favorite thing, the giant atom. Notice the flagpoles, each flying a flag of one of the US's 50 States, along with a small sign with some basic info about the State.

This next one is the real star of the show! Even unrestored you can tell that it is something special.

But seeing it restored... WOW! I could never have dreamed that I would ever see such a beautiful photo of the pre-1967 Tomorrowland at night. While the place looks deserted, I'm sure that Lou needed such a slow shutter speed that anything moving vanished as a ghost. It must have been a windless night, the flags are all hanging undisturbed.

There's the same pebbled wall as seen in the first image, only now we can see the lit entrance to Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry. We even get a glimpse of two attraction posters.

Just past the Hall of Chemistry would be the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" exhibit, I wish we had a great photo of that at night! Past the clock of the world we see the Moonliner, and it's kind of hard to make out some of the other details, other than the fingerboard signs.


EXTRA! EXTRA! Ya know, after waking up at 4 o’clock this morning, I decided that this post needed more pizzazz! And more pizzas. Lou took two more night photos, and they should be part of this post too. So these are a literal last-minute addition.

First up is this shot of the castle at night, with the usual fading and yellowed paper.

And the restored version; I like the blue trees.

How about King Arthur’s Carrousel? 

This one restored beautifully, for yet another very rare look at Disneyland in the ‘50s at night. I love it! The postcard rack to our left is intriguing, I can recognize some Art Corner cards that would fetch a pretty penny in today’s collector’s market.

Well that's it for now. MANY THANKS to Lou and Sue for sharing these wonderful night photos!


TokyoMagic! said...

These nighttime photos are beautiful!

Thank you Lou and Sue! And thanks Major, for taking the time to restore them for our viewing pleasure!

Melissa said...

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen nighttime photos of 1950s Tomorrowland. There are gorgeous, especially after the Major’s magic touch. There’s a real dreamlike quality to them, especially that view of the Clock of the World. Thanks to Lou & Sue & the Major too!

Andrew said...

Crap, the post got taken down between when I opened the comment form and when I tried to post my comment for like the second time in a month... and I REFUSE to type it out again! Um....

Old Tomorrowland looked considerably more appealing at night, as is true of most things, I guess. The lighting on the Hall of Chemistry sign and the Clock of the World is stunning, and I love the castle and Fantasyland shots, too! Thanks, Lou and Sue.

P.S. The first image is actually a picture of the outside of Major's mansion. It has no windows and no doors, by the way.

Chuck said...

Simply srunning!

[minutes later, after recovering my faculties}]


[another few minutes later]

Sue, please express to Lou just how wonderful these photos are. And thanks, Major, for using your special, electronsynthomagnetic restoration and interwebbery skills to bring them to us.


[mare minutes passed before I could summon the will to publish my comment]

TokyoMagic! said...

Hmmm, these photos multiplied when I wasn't looking!

The nighttime lighting on the Castle, reminds me of one of ViewMaster's nighttime Castle pics.

I'm guessing that fenced in area in the Carousel pic, must be the holding area for the Mad Tea Party? Unless it was a "playpen" type of thing, for adults to place their children in, while they go and enjoy the Fantasyland rides.....without them.

Budblade said...

I’m with chuck. WoW!

I’d like to make that last carousel picture and make it my wallpaper background on my computer, so I can look at it all day.

Is that ok?

Thanks to Lou and Sue and the Major, for making my Friday start out so nice

Stu29573 said...

I love how Lou pulled off what even Disney had difficulty with; the nighttime view! Granted, when Disney used Iwerks' night for day effects in their films, they were having to deal with motion pictures, not stills. Still, Lou knows what he's doing with a camera for sure! Thanks to Sue for sharing and Lou for taking them in the first place! Oh, and Major for restoring!

DrGoat said...

Wow Lou. I think these shots were why the term 'eye candy' got started. Stunning indeed. Every comment here is appropriate.
Thanks Lou & Sue and thank you Major for doing a beautiful job of bringing them to us.

Nanook said...

Wow, indeed-! The mystery of the evening hours beckons... I spy a ticket booth right there in the dead center of the Castle entry. (I didn't realize it was still sitting there in 1959).

Thanks to Lou and Sue for these marvelous images - and your color correction work, Major.

Irene said...

Wowser! That is all, just wowser!!!!

MRaymond said...

Just WOW. What great shots.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I’m glad you enjoyed these!

Melissa, well, you did see some, also from Lou and Sue, just a few weeks ago! Or maybe you missed that day. I would link to it, but I’m on my iPad and it’s not that easy to do.

Andrew, ha ha, as I was redoing this post at 4:00 in the morning, I thought, “Only east coast people might be looking this early, and even then the odds are small”. But you are an early riser, I guess! Sorry about that. The first photo is of one of my old mansions, I sold it to buy a bigger one in Malibu.

Chuck, “electrosynthomagnetic”, ha ha. A word worthy of the Sherman Brothers.

TokyoMagic!, the post seemed kind of brief, and I knew I had those other night shots… it just felt right to add them. You’re right, the castle pic does look like a Viewmaster shot! And yes, I’m sure that fenced in area is for the Mad Tea Party.

Budblade, as far as I’m concerned you can use the carrousel picture for your wallpaper background!

Stu29573, ah, the classic “day for night” shot. At the best of times those looked odd, and at the worst of times they looked downright bad. I know one Disneyland special has a final bird’s-eye view of Main Street, I think it’s a combination of photography, matte painting, blue filters, and a little bit of live-action. It’s not too distracting.

DrGoat, “eye candy” actually refers to the fact that ancient Greeks liked to dip eyeballs in honey and eat them, but that’s another story. I know what you mean!

Nanook, the ticket booth almost looks like it is literally in the tunnel/archway (but I know it’s not). I wonder how long it took them to realize that it was causing traffic jams?

Irene, “wowser” is right!

MRaymond, I hope Sue shows these responses to Lou!

JC Shannon said...

Basically, there's Adams, Arbus and Perry! To my knowledge though, Diane and Ansel never did Disneyland. I love these! There is something about Disneyland at night. When I got to my teens, I really began to appreciate how cool the park is at night. I love the clock photo with the Moonliner peeping out. Great job restoring these, Major. Thanks to Lou and Sue as well. I will be enjoying these all day.

Tom said...

Great photos! I love old pre-1967 nighttime Tomorrowland photos. The lines were so simple and uncluttered, and they used so much color and light to bring life to the area. To me it felt more like "optimistic progress" than anything I've seen in the last three decades.

Thanks for sharing!

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, Diane Arbus actually did take a photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle at night, it’s easy to find if you Google it! I just discovered that she also took a photo of Skull Rock which I’d never seen until just now. Going to Disneyland at night was a sort of tradition, with “Navy Night” being a big part of our year, so I especially loved seeing all of the familiar sights lit dramatically, or even partially lost in darkness.

Tom, it’s actually surprising how coloful “old Tomorrowland” is, I don’t think most people would guess that there are so many reds, oranges, yellows and blues. I wonder if some of the Imagineers were in charge of lighting, or if they hired specialists?

Anonymous said...

I hereby pronounce these restored photos "Postcard Worthy". An excellent end to a long week.

@Tokyo, I think the fence in the carousel shot is the wait queue or maybe just the barrier fence for the Mad Tea Party.

The SBC pic with blue trees is wonderful.

Thanks L+S and Major. A good weekend to all.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Andrew, that's happened to me, too (where the Major's messing with this blog and I'm trying to comment..."the nerve of him!") ;)
I've learned to "copy" everything, after I type a paragraph or two, because I've also had everything disappear for no reason...and it's sooooo frustrating to start all over. I think it was Ken(?) who mentioned that it happened to him, too, many months back. [BTW, it just happened to me NOW, when I went to post this - everything disappeared - and thankfully I had copied all of this, first!]

TokyoMagic! The photos multiplied on me, too. I went to bed after seeing the first two, and was surprised this morning. It was a nice surprise.

Budblade, please DO put that picture on your computer! You'd make my dad happy.

Did you see what the Skull Rock photo, that Diane Arbus took, is called? "A Rock in Disneyland"

I personally love how the postcard rack and trash can are sharing the picture with the Carrousel. Standing proud!

Major, you made my day with how beautifully you restored my dad's photos (and also by including the "befores"), and Jr. Gorillas - you made my day with all of your wonderful comments! THANK YOU! I'll share these with my dad, tomorrow.


Sunday Night said...

These are unbelievably beautiful. The team of Lou, Sue and Major once again fill my day with happiness.

That Tomorrowland pic...Wow. The 20,000 Leagues exhibit is one of my great memories of the 50s Tomorrowland.

And that carousel pic! Like something out of a dream. Love the postcard rack!

Anonymous said...

Sue, please tell your Dad how much we enjoy these photos.

For me, Disneyland photos have a magic that few other places have. I was never unhappy in Disneyland and these pictures bring all that back. The Major's posts and the conversations here are a real relief in an increasingly insane world, and Lou's pics are the starting point.

Thanks to Lou, and Sue, and Major P.


Chuck said...

I just realized those white lights in the trees in front of the castle are the "fireflies." They look like they're all lit simultaneously due to the long exposure.

I know just the shot you're talking about, Major. I'm pretty sure it's at the end of Disneyland, U.S.A..

And...what JG said.