Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Some Rescans

Say, howsabout some more rescans?

We'll start with this one, originally posted waaaay back in 2006. It's an interesting angle (circa October 1962) looking down on the Bertha Mae Keelboat as it slowly cruises past the southeastern bend of the Rivers of America. The scan looks pretty murky, with yellowish grays and dark shadows. Yuck.

The original slide had some problems, but this rescan helped a lot, restoring some of the color, and lightening up some of the darker areas. A group of sailors (on leave from the Naval base in Long Beach?) lounges on the top of the Keelboat. Over in Frontierland, major construction is underway; the Plantation House has been removed, for one thing. The earliest work on what would become New Orleans Square has begun! 

Zooming in a little, you can see the yellow passenger cars of the DL&SFRR in the upper right. Along the construction wall you can just make out the "Chicken Shack" eatery. And a pickup truck appears to be parked on a level much higher than the foreground walkways. To the right is a bandstand, which was moved to various locations throughout the park, including the area near the Mine Train queue (see a shot of it in this post).

Next is this fairly horrible-looking scan from August of 1955. The slide had turned red, and I was ill-equipped (mentally!) to deal with that issue in 2007 when it originally appeared on GDB. I don't need to point out the many problems, you can see them for yourself.

The rescan is a considerable improvement, if still not as good as I'd like! However, any photos from 1955 is welcome, in my opinion. At least we can see that the Indian dancers were not wearing mostly black. Behind the trees we can see part of a yellow banner showing guests the way to the Indian Village.


Nanook said...


What a comedown: Going from a 'Plantation' to a 'Shack'. Ahhh, such is the life of a theme park "... that will never be completed..."

Of all your rescans, the one featured here with the Indian Dancers may just be the most spectacular. The differences are truly like night and day-!

Thanks, Major, for peeling-back the layers of fading.

K. Martinez said...

Wow! What a difference a scan makes when it comes to the Indian Village pic.

I wonder if any of the younger Native Americans that worked at Disneyland are still around. I'd love to hear their stories of working in the Indian Village and Dance Circle. Those might make for very interesting Disneyland stories. Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Impressive improvement in that second picture!
The empty spot where the Plantation House used to be makes me wonder - do you suppose people got as passionate about Disney making changes to the park back then as they do now? Would they have started a petition to keep the PH, not realizing that what would replace it would remain one of the parks most popular attractions to this day?

Chuck said...

Wow - what a difference a rescan and 10 years of photo restoration experience makes!

While those sailors in the first photo might have pulled in to Long Beach for a port visit and shore leave, they definitely aren't stationed there. They are wearing the White No. 1 dress uniform of the Royal Navy (the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Royal New Zealand Navy also wore the same uniforms at the time).

The Dance Circle photo is nothing short of spectacular. It reminds me a lot of the color in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Searchers, although the subject matter might have a lot to do with my immediate association with those films.

Great work on the rescans, Major. Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it did go from a plantation to a shack, but then we got New Orleans Square, which was the best of all! I’m glad you liked the Indian Village rescan.

K. Martinez, I don’t know about actual performers from the Indian Village, but there was a gentleman on Facebook the other day who was pointing out photos of his Grandmother (I believe), and maybe his Uncle, who was a small boy at the time. Some of the photos were from GDB.

Scott Lane, thanks. My guess is that folks did not get so bent out of shape in those days when things were changed. For one thing, Disneyland’s history only encompassed a few years at that point (7 years, in that first photo). But I’m sure there were regular visitors who were sad to see the Plantation House being removed.

Chuck, I was reasonably sure that those were not U.S. sailors, but I sure couldn’t have told you where they were from. I know what you mean about the color in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”… some older movies have a certain look - possibly from the film degrading over the years, just like my slides! I wonder if that John Ford movie has received a relatively recent restoration?

K. Martinez said...

Scott Lane, I think back then Disneyland wasn't yet a multi-generational park like it is now. Adults with childhood memories of Disneyland didn't exist yet. Disneyland was still new and developing in the 1950's/60's. But even as far back as the 1970's there was protest of plans to replace "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln". I do remember that.

Nanook said...


I believe the restoration of She Wore A Yellow Ribbon performed by the UCLA Film & Television Archive back in 1988 is still the version we see used today on home video formats. It was made from the original B&W Technicolor separations, which explains one aspect of the beautiful results. And in spite of it being done prior-to when digital 'enhancements' - such as adjusting for shrinkage of the individual film elements - could be employed, it still looks stunning.

@ Chuck-

There's definitely something to be said for "the look" that was achieved when shooting Technicolor films outdoors: In the case of She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, using a Technicolor 3-strip camera; and with The Searchers, utilizing a standard 35mm camera and an Eastman Monopack negative - along with the VistaVision widescreen process. What both films have in common, of course, was their original release prints employed the dye-transfer printing process, yielding intensely-beautiful colors (not unlike Kodachrome), that happened not to fade (just as with Kodachrome).

Although 'technically-speaking', using the original camera negative(s) as the mastering for video formats, would not yield that 'exact look', as the aniline dyes are really responsible for all that wonderful color, there's no arguing that using the proper film elements [when available], and placed in the proper hands, when transferred to video can produce results on DVD/Blu-ray, etc., rivaling, if not equaling, "the look" seen from an original Technicolor Dye Transfer Print.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, Major. Good to see the difference that new equipment makes.

Thanks for a new look at old scenes.