Friday, January 11, 2019

Main Street Station, 1958

Here's a very nice photo of Main Street Station as seen from the ticket booths, circa November 1958. Looks like there is a stiff breeze a-blowing. It amazes me that there is not so much as a garland or wreath on the train station. I suppose it is possible that whoever took these photos went to the park several times during the use of one roll of film, but I don't think too many people did that back in those days. Look at the prices, for gosh sakes! $4.25 for a "Jumbo" adult ticket book?? Outrageous.

Long ago we have speculated about the two empty (?) booths at the lower edge of the picture. Were they for security guards? Are they phone booths? Are they elevators that take you 1000 feet underground to Walt Disney's secret bunker?

On the other side of the turnstiles, in front of the floral Mickey portrait, a rather large group of folks poses for a photo. As always, you've got to love those attraction posters (I wonder who had the idea to make those in the first place?). Up on the platform, the Kalamazoo hand car (named after Dr. Albert Kalamazoo).

I love this sunny, blue-sky shot of Main Street with the classic garlands, wreaths and bells spanning the street, just like a real town. Disneyland's famous cleanliness is evident here - everything looks scrubbed and tidy. We can just see the front end of the Carnation Milk Truck peeking out from West Center Street. Notice how spindly those trees are!


walterworld said...

There's the front of the Carnation Ice Cream Truck in the last shot!

Thanks Major

Anonymous said...

Those are (were) phone booths at the Main Gate. I believe that is the Guest Services “cage” (vacant for some strange reason) right next to them.

Fun post, thanks!

Nanook said...


Another vote for phone booths. There was a pair at both ends of the ticket booths,

Thanks, Major.


MAJOR: actually the Kalamazoo Hand Car was named after Dr. Albert Handcar.

A few imganineers kinda came to the conclusion fir the use of park travel posters - but main it was Walt’s idea — shortly after Disneyland’s opening the sign shop began making “sandwich” signs ( A frame 2-sided sidewalk sign) “lollipop” signs ( a large - normally round sign on a stick) and very inexpensive cardboard hand painted signs giving quick explanations of what the attraction featured , or where an attraction was located and to let guests know of the most recent addition to the new Magic Kingdom - Walt and John Hench didn’t like the quick and carnival like signs cluttering up the theming of the park - After departing LAX on a trip Walt pointed out travel posters lining the terminals and lounges to John Hench and mentioned that posters like that would really solve the problem with all those un-cohesive temporary signs. These added color to the park - provided guests with quick information AND helped to meet some marketing requirements for sponsors!!!
Incidentally a BRAND NEW version of the Disney Park Attraction Poster Book is being readied - and it’s gonna feature some “jaw-dropping” things for you attraction poster fans - posters That were almost completely unknown to exist! Incidentally the Attraction Poster book was one of the best selling books in the history of Disney Editions - and the money it brought in has justified a bigger and better version!
I love that sidewalk view of Main Street.

Chuck said...

Looks like I'm going to have to budget for yet another second edition of a Disney book...

Alonzo P Hawk said...

$4.25 is still quite cheap by today's standards. They just didn't know it then. That equates to about $37.50 in today's money. Far below the $100+ for off peak and $149 for peak days. I agree with the comments I've seen this week (internet) on the price hikes. Scrooge McDuck is running Disneyland.

Alas the way back machine is my only option for reasonable prices and mild crowds like these.

P.S. I want that Autopia Poster!

Anonymous said...

After walking past piles of trash and the hobos in every doorway on my short walk from the parking garage to my office building, I am feeling very nostalgic for a clean and tidy downtown. Even one with phone booths.

@Mike Cozart, thanks for the background on the posters. Clearly a great idea. The Disney Family Museum in SF featured some travel posters by Mary Blair. This type of item seems to have faded out.

@Alonzo, the recent increases are just ridiculous. Makes me glad I only go every third year or so, and will certainly reconsider even that unless the experience improves.

I'm getting used to the virtual tours hosted by the Major and Daveland, not seeing as much need to go back, even for Wookie World.


Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, I know, I mention it in my second to last sentence! :-)

Anon, I still want to believe that they lead underground to an enormous (and luxurious) bunker!

Nanook, why didn’t people just use their cell phones?

Mike Cozart, I know I’ve seen those “sandwich” signs outside of the Main Street Cinema. And I think Matterhorn1959 has some old hand-painted signs from the park (with beautiful hand lettering). As you probably already know, I absolutely love the old Attraction posters. When I first became aware that some of them were out there to buy if you got lucky (at Howard Lowery’s auctions, for example), I had to try to get at least one. Wow, I am excited to see the new and improved attraction poster book! I have two regular copies, and one of the Walmart-only editions with the four prints inside. I wonder how much that book had to do with the skyrocketing auction prices? A buddy of mine sold most of his posters just before the book came out, and he is certain that it cost him tens of thousands of dollars (he’s probably right).

Chuck, I know, and I have NO room for more books. Guess I need to cull my collection.

Alonzo, just imagine taking a family of four on a peak day. $600 just to get in, and that doesn’t include parking or Max Passes (or food or souvenirs). I have no idea how much it costs to run the park, but there is a theory that the prices are raised to lessen the crowds. We all remember Walt’s story of eating peanuts on a bench while his daughters rode the merry-go-round at Griffith Park: “If only there was a place where wealthy people could go to have a good time together”. BTW, did you see that the Autopia poster in the recent Richard Kraft auction (Van Eaton Galleries) fetched $250,000?? That is an anomaly of course, on a good day one of those in better condition might go for $5000 or so. Still a lot, but no quarter of a million clams.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I know what you mean; Walt always prided himself on Disneyland’s cleanliness - I’m sure he saw some run-down towns back in the Depression. I didn’t know Mary Blair did travel posters! I’ll have to look those up. And while I’ll never say never, I haven’t been to the park for a few years, and am really in no big hurry to go back, especially with you-know-what opening in 2019.

K. Martinez said...

Approaching the Disneyland Main Gate and Main St. Station isn't the same without the parking lot. It was like an oasis in the desert. Now it's just a component of a larger complex.

The second pic is a beauty. Thanks, Major.


"I'm getting used to the virtual tours hosted by the Major and Daveland, not seeing as much need to go back, even for Wookie World."

That's my sentiment exactly!

Melissa said...

I remember Dr. Albert Kalamazoo from the old song. You know, "I've Got an Al Named Kalamazoo."

@Alonzo - The $15.00 my Dad had a conniption about paying in 1983 works out to $37.46 in today's money, so he was getting a pretty damn good deal. I wish I'd understood more about inflation back then!

MRaymond said...

If I ever get a chance to visit California again, I'll probably cough up the gate cost, just for nostalgia. I haven't been to Disneyland since 1994 and the last time I went, you still parked in the original Carsland out front. Texas is a long way from my childhood home in Whittier. So like some of you, I rely on Daveland, GDB, Justin Scarred, Fresh Baked, and LMG videos for my Disney fix.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I guess it is better to have more amusement park stuff to enjoy, but I will never have the love for DCA that I do for Disneyland. Which makes me realize that there are probably people who have grown up with DCA being their absolute favorite place ever. Strange to think about. Then again, there are people who would rather go to Six Flags Magic Mountain than Disneyland! To each his own.

Melissa, if I ever met a gal named Kalamazoo, I would flip my lid. And as for dads, they are never happy with the price of anything! “You want fifteen cents for ice cream?? What am I, First National Bank?”.

MRaymond, you should go! Don’t let curmudgeons like me convince you otherwise. “Fresh Bakes”, that’s a new one, I’ll have to look that up.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I actually like and enjoy DCA, but as a whole, the magical little place on Harbor isn't quite what it used to be. At least for me that's the case. Things change. I understand that. But that's okay because now I'm exploring Knott's more and enjoying it like I never did before.