Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Universal Studios, 1970-ish

I've got three nice images from Universal Studios for you today! They are undated, but I am guessing that they are from the late 1960's or early 1970's.

There were many amusing "photo ops" around the studio when you took the tour. You could pose with a giant shark (eventually), or in a fake snow storm, or next to Ben Hur's chariot, or in front of an enormous telephone (from "Land of the Giants" or so they told us). But nothing could surpass the thrill of sitting at the wheel of a motionless flivver while a painted backdrop revolved behind you. The rumor is that this was removed because it was too terrifying. I believe it.

Another photo op for those who have always wanted to be publicly humiliated in wooden stocks. This guy seems to be enjoying it, anyway! The structure behind him has a sign for KMPC (710 on your AM dial!), a radio station once owned by Gene Autry; it was one of the most popular stations in Southern California. Nowadays, the call letter's KMPC are for a Korean-language station.

Our photographer had a case of the "yips", nearly every photo has some degree of blur. Try a decaffeinated coffee already. Anyway, here's a cool old tank (World War I era?). I would lay down and pretend to be on the verge of being run over, because it would be hilarious and everybody would love me and I'd become a big star.


TokyoMagic! said...

I remember those stocks. I remember there being two versions. This one and one that had fake feet sticking out at the bottom. I also remember the car with the revolving background. There was a similar setup with a Stagecoach as well.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I just did a search and found the stagecoach setup visible in your post from January 19th of this year.

Connie Moreno said...

I remember the "yips"!!! He was probably using one of those 110 Kodak Instamatic Cameras. I know, I had one and it drove me crazy that no matter how carefully I pressed the shutter release, the camera would shake and blur the pictures. Grrr....

Anyway, great pics. I have one somewhere of my ex-husband in the stocks, LOL, I should put it on my blog. hahahahaha

JG said...

Ha, I remember the stocks too, also the fake feet.

I have some old photos of universal around somewhere, from about this era.

My Dad grew up in the valley right under the Universal hillside. (This is looonnnnngggg ago). He said they could hear the lions roar in the Universal zoo, early in the AM when the air is quiet.

Now, all the lions wear gas masks.

If Grand-Dad had held onto that land, I might be writing this comment from my corner office in my huge glass hi-rise corporate HQ...

oh well.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I had forgotten about the ones with the feet! I remember that the feet were black on the soles, which always puzzled me... maybe they were supposed to have been tarred? I have some better pictures of the Stagecoach version of that other photo too, I'll have to dig them out.

Connie, maybe you were drinking too much coffee?! I still take my share of blurries.

JG, I didn't know there was a Universal zoo. I guess they needed it for their jungle pictures. Are there still any animals up there? And I just assumed you were commenting from a corner office in a glass high-rise!.

The Viewliner Limited said...

You are already a STAR! You don't need a tank. Great Pics!

JG said...

Major, I think the zoo was long gone by any of our times here.

Dad said Universal had lions and other wild animals kept for use in the films. Back then (early 1920's), filming on-location was very rare, almost everything was done on the extensive "back lot" and so animal performers were kept there too.

I presume that at some point, the animals were moved away, or taken home by the stars as pets, or sold for their pelts.

Now, all my comments are written from the Starbucks down the street from the bridge under which I live. It's hard drinking with this helmet on...