Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Universal Studios Panorama, 1972

Welcome to day two of "A Week Without You-Know-What".

Today I have stitched together two photos of Universal Studios into one glorious panorama. Isn't Photoshop amazing? Except for the black squares in the corners, they stiched up perfectamento.

It's a pretty clear day, you can see all the way past beautiful downtown Burbank to the San Gabriel Mountains. Closer to us is the Lakeside Golf Club, and the lovely (ha ha) L.A. River. Howsabout a few closeups?

In the foreground you can see various props that kids could climb on, including scissors (from "Land of the Giants" (?), a police car, a jet fighter, and a stage coach with a background painted in a continuous loop that would turn when you pressed a button. To the left you can see a mere edge of the "New York" buildings. Moving to the right are some of the actor's bungalows, and then a lake with a Mississippi steam boat.

Looking further east you can see the walls of a medieval city. I'm not sure if that's where they filmed some of the scenes from the 1931 version of "Frankenstein"... anybody? Slightly to the right is the western town, where zillions of "oaters" were filmed. I sure would love to be allowed to just explore on my own down there!

And finally, looking past the Warner Studio soundstages you can juuust see Walt Disney Studios. They were probably working on their animated version of "Robin Hood" right about then!


PT-73 said...

The castle was built for Tower of London (1939). The steamboat (Mississippi Gambler 1953) was part of the tram tour, and would start up to spray water. Park Lake is also the location of my fave McHale's Navy.
Universal has the coolest backlot!

Nancy said...

we went on this tour on our first trip to You-Know-Where in 2001.

it was so cool to see the Bates Motel....too bad there were sets from Whoville behind it..grrr!

i also took a picture of the gargoyle fountain that is in the medieval courtyard. i remember the guide saying that quite a few spooky movies were filmed there back in the day

a really cool set today, thanks Major! ;)

TokyoMagic! said...

These are great, Major...thanks for the close-ups. You can even see one of the pink Glamor Trams just below those actor's bungalows. And that little structure to the right of the stagecoach was a jail....my brother and I always had to have our picture taken inside that!

Dave Meek said...

Great pics! I remember going on a school field trip to Universal in about 1974 and the giant props were indeed from the TV show "Land of the Giants." I remember having a great time playing all over them. In addition to the giant scissors, there was also a giant rotary telephone. I imagine most kids today wouldn't even know what that was.

Major Pepperidge said...

PT-73, thanks for the additional info!
TokyoMagic!, I missed the glamour tram... there it is!
Nancy, I wish you could have seen Universal Studios "back in the day".
And Dave, I remember the giant rotary phone as well; such a simple feature, but kids loved it!

TokyoMagic! said...

There was also "half" of a giant glass bottle....I have a pic of my brother standing behind that prop and he looks like a human specimen inside the bottle.

Remember in the later part of the seventies, Prop Plaza also had a van that you could lift up on one side. There was another one inside the "Bionic Testing Center."

Major Pepperidge said...

I definitely remember the van that you could lift! I also remember being able to ask Kitt the car (from Nightrider) questions. My brother asked it where babies come from. I forget what Kitt's answer was!

Jim said...

The oversized props may have indeed been used in "Land Of The Giants"' but a snapshot of me and my sisters standing next to many of these in 1966 tells me that the items predate the series. They might have been created for 1940’s "Dr. Cyclops" with Albert Dekker. Anyways, if you look just to the left of the scissors, you can spot an LAPD black and white cruiser. That's the Adam-12 car. Series stars Kent McCord and Martin Milner often made scheduled personal appearances at the plaza much to the delight of visitors.

Chiana_Chat said...

Jim, if you haven't, be sure to check out Farscape (2000-2005), Kent McCord turned up in a few episodes as the series stars' father.

Maj, when asked where babies came from, Kitt oughtta say, "Detroit." tee hee.