Saturday, September 29, 2007

Universal Studios, April 1972

Here are a bunch of slides from Universal Studios, courtesy of the Graziano family! I think my own family went there around this same time, maybe a year or two earlier. I particularly remember throwing foam-rubber boulders around, climbing on a giant telephone, seeing mummies from an "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episode, and seeing H.R. Puff'nstuff in one of the displays.

I heard that the people who lived in this house had a relative who settled in a cabin on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. Nobody knows what happened to him! I get the feeling that forced perspective in being used here, what do you think? Something tells me that if you stood next to that surrey, you'd look like a giant. A nice giant, don't get me wrong!

From fire to a flash flood, you can see that there is a terrible downpour in this picturesque town (somewhere south of the border), and that a torrent of water is rushing down the street, straight at us! Many people remember the tree that slowly falls over, and every smarty-pants kid turned around to see it slowly right itself as the tram continued onward.

I like this old beat-up custodial truck, parked in front of a facade that looks like it belongs in a charming English village.

This fearsome gorilla applied for a job at the Jungle Cruise, but he lost out to another ape (a case of blatant nepotism, but that's another story). Fortunately, Universal was hiring. Here he is, hanging from a vine just like real gorillas do all the time. Please tell me he was not supposed to be King Kong! I don't remember him, though I think he might have shown up on a Viewmaster reel.

And finally, here's a stately plantation house that I have no doubt was used in many talkies. At first I thought it might be "Tara" from "Gone With the Wind", but then I realized that I was delirious and that it couldn't be. Wrong studio! Sets like these are so convincing, and yet the building itself was probably a hollow shell.

Thanks once again to the Grazianos for sharing these photos!


Anonymous said...

That burning house facade was pretty much full scale. I saw it more then once. If you campare it's size to the tour tram road on the right, you can get some idea of the size.

Anonymous said...

P.S. It *was* just a facade, just the front of the home. Viewed from the side you are able to see the units creating all the flame.

Anonymous said...

I believe that both the burning house and the final plantation house were both lost in a "real" fire in the late '80's or '90's. I know the burning house is no longer there, and I have never seen the plantation house. (We have passes.)

Anonymous said...

The 'Plantation House' was on the lot as late as 1997. Had lunch in there a few times while working on the Universal lot - just an empty shell, sometimes used to store stuff. It was located on the residential street where they shoot 'Desperate Housewife's' now.

Anonymous said...

WOW... I remember all these from back in the day. The last house, if I am not mistaken, was the hospital used in the Jimmy Stewart Movie "Harvey".


Anonymous said...

I was a Universal Tour Guide '76 - '77.

Chumley's Rest Home from 'Harvey' was also the home from the movie 'Tammy'.

The house with the truck in front was that of 'Beaver' Cleaver.

artaugogo said...

This house was used in 20,000 cheap Universal TV shows and TV Movies!

Connie Moreno said...

"I heard that the people who lived in this house had a relative who settled in a cabin on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland."

LOL I nearly fell out of my chair!