Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Photos From Lou and Sue

Not long ago, I was contacted by somebody who had just discovered this blog; Sue (that's her name!) then told me that her family had a long history with Disneyland, going all the way back to 1956 (when Sue's parents first went to the park). Sue said that as a side job and a hobby, her father Lou was a photographer (he is still with us, 90 years old), and he took "thousands (and thousands) of pictures of Disneyland -- including every sign and inch of the place". WOW! He also took home movies. Best of all, Sue is happy to start scanning some of her father's photos so that I can share them with all of you. Pretty cool!

She has her work cut out for her, but she's already sent me over 30 scans of photo prints from the 1970's, and they are very nice! Some of them have turned a bit yellow/orange over the years, but Photoshop can take care of that in many cases.

Check out this first example, from September 1977! It's the classic New Tomorrowland at night, with a wonderful long exposure to capture the Rocket Jets whirling around at Mach 5. Behind the Peoplemover track you can just see the "America Sings" building, and one of Mary Blair's tile murals is to our right. 

Here's a closer look at the mighty Saturn V rocket that helped guests go to outer space!

Moving to Main Street (and daytime), here are two more photos featuring a balloon seller. Sales must have been brisk, sometimes you see these sellers with what appears to be 50 ballons rather than the 20 or so she is holding. I love the Dutch angle, it makes me think of the old Batman TV show.

Here's a second, non-Dutch view for those of you who were feeling woozy. I like that our balloon seller is right in front of the rarely-seen Guided Tour Office (Formerly the Disneyland Police Department).

And just because I found it on the interwebs, here is a vintage photo of the Police Department...

MANY thanks to Lou Perry and Sue B., for sharing this treasure trove of photos - I am very excited to see them myself, and to be able to share them here. Sue said her dad took photos of Knott's Berry Farm and other SoCal attractions as well, so perhaps we will see some of those too. STAY TUNED!


Nanook said...


Wow - a new treasure trove of visual wonders to delight the senses-! The shot of the Saturn V rocket is pure heaven - or at least appears to be heading that way.

Thanks to Lou Perry and Sue B. for sharing these images & welcome aboard-!

K. Martinez said...

Well, thank you Lou Perry and Sue B. These are really wonderful images. I love the quality and composition. I'm really looking forward to more from your family collection. I really love the nighttime shot of Tomorrowland. It brings back a lot of warm memories. Thanks again and thank you too, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I also love the composition of these, especially that first one with just the sliver of the Tomorrowland entrance panels visible on the left. And look how empty Tomorrowland was in that shot! I remember days like that at Disneyland....and I miss them terribly!

I did the math. Lou would have been about 48 years old, when he took that pic. And Space Mountain would have been brand spanking new, and just around the corner. I wish I could step into that photo!

Thank you so much, Lou and Sue, for sharing these with us! And thank you, Major as always, for posting them!

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh, and in that second pic, we can see the oval sign on the flight deck, which had a diagram of the rockets and told guests to have taller riders sit behind the shorter riders.

Melissa said...

Hooray for Sue and Lou! I love how all these pictures convey a sense of movement. Even the stationary rocket looks like it's about to take off, and the wind is having a great time with the balloons.

Andrew said...

Nice! I can't wait to see more of these pictures! If these first ones are any indication, the rest should be amazing! You mentioned, "every inch of the place." Those kind of pictures are usually the coolest to see! Nice picture of the Tomorrowland rockets, too; it's very pleasant.

Pegleg Pete said...

Thanks Sue and Lou! And Major too! These are some great photographs, especially that first one of Tomorrowland at night – so much 1970s goodness. I can't wait for more from Sue and Lou.

TommyTsunami said...

Thank you, Lou & Sue!

stu29573 said...

Ok, being a complete rocket nerd (in addition to a complete Disney nerd) I feel I must point out that the rocket is "Saturn V inspired." It's a long way from what the actual Saturn V looks like, but it's still cool! Also, being "Stu" I feel right at home with Sue and Lou! Looking forward to more!

JC Shannon said...

Wow! Thanks to Lou for his great photo documentation and Sue for preserving and sharing them. Yea! I can't wait to see all of them. All of the treasures of the past are there to enjoy again. When I was just a lad, our class from Grant High had a trip to Disneyland, I forget why. The night shot in Tomorrowland reminded me of that trip as soon as I saw it. Good times. Thanks to Lou and Sue and Major.

DrGoat said...

I'll add my thanks to Lou, Sue, and Major of course. That must be just wonderful to go through all those memories.
I agree, that first shot is a gem. I'll be stepping through right behind you Tokyo.

Irene said...

Welcome Lou and Sue! What great photos and I'm looking forward to seeing what more is to come, even Knotts and other places!!! I wish my Dad had taken as many photos of the places we visited in the 1950's as he did later when he went on trips with my Mom. Not sure why he didn't unless it was the expense of the film. He always shot Kodachrome and that wasn't cheap - but gosh Kodachrome sure has held up over the years!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Thanks so much to Lou and Sue for sharing these photos. This blog is like the second (non-paying) job that Major never expected to last this long. Just when you see the end of the road ahead someone drops a new batch of photos and the race goes on. Thanks for posting.

zach said...

Thank you Lou Perry and Sue B! The Major now has more job security!

These are a great start and I am looking forward to more. Plus, it's a labor of love.

Prettiest balloon seller ever, once she had that third leg removed.

Thanks, as always, Major P.


Tom said...

These are amazing! That first one had me hooked - the clean lines of the static portions of tomorrowland coupled with the blur of activity make it a picture in motion, with beautiful lighting. These pictures are beyond compare! Thank you to Lou and Sue and the Major!

JG said...

Whoa! What Everybody Said So Far.

Thanks Lou, Sue and Major P. This is like a dream come true, a wonderful surprise. I feel like discovering an Egyptian pyramid or something full of treasures.

Like Tokyo said, I want to just walk into photo 1 and ride Space Mountain again with my Dad for the first time, like I did in 1977.

Can't wait to see more! Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have the feeling that Sue’s stash is going to go way past my own collection. Pretty soon it will just be the “Lou and Sue show”!

K. Martinez, seeing that long exposure of the Rocket Jets whirling around just makes me feel good. That’s my Disneyland.

TokyoMagic! it looks like at least some people have vanished due to a long exposure, you can see some transparent blurs. But even so, it’s nowhere near as crowded as it gets today. Just wait, there are some Space Mountain photos coming up.

TokyoMagic!, so funny, I literally just made a post featuring that same sign (from photos from Irene and Bruce).

Melissa, I do sort of like the way things like the angle of the balloons lets us know that there was a breeze that day. Otherwise I imagine it always being warm and windless. Glad you liked these!

Penna. Andrew, I know, I am really looking forward to seeing some unusual signs, or the insides of rarely-photographed shops, and so on. Should be fun!

Pegleg Pete, this is from the Tomorrowland that I remember best!

TommyTsunami, I hope your brothers enjoy these as well.

stu29573, I know that the Rocket Jets isn’t *exactly* like a Saturn V, but it’s pretty clear that they based the design the Saturn model, including the Saturn I and IB.

Jonathan, I can’t wait either! I’ve seen a bunch that you haven’t, but from the sound of things, Sue has many MANY hundreds to go. I hope she doesn’t burn out! You’re right, the night shot is reminiscent of the footage of Apollo rockets (with vapor hissing out of them) on the launch pad.

DrGoat, it sounds like a real treasure trove, for sure!

Irene, I was too young, but I’m sure color film really was pretty pricey for the average family. My mom used black and white film even when I was a kid, and by then color was the norm for most people. I guess a Navy family wasn’t exactly swimming in money. And yes, Kodachrome was the bomb.

Alonzo, ha ha, I do wind up putting more time into the blog than I anticipated, but the main result of that is that I watch much less TV. I feel like it’s a fair tradeoff.

dzacher, as I said to Nanook, it sounds like Sue’s stash is going to outlast my own by quite a bit. Maybe I’ll have to change the name of the blog!

Tom, yes, that was the first photo that Sue sent to me, and I knew that this was going to be something good. Stay tuned for more from her!

Melissa said...

With Sue, Lou, and Stu, there has to be a slew-foot joke in there somewhere. But danged if I can work it out.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, ha ha, yeah, we are all like Howard Carter when he first discovered King Tut’s Tomb. “Can you see anything?”. “Yes, wonderful things!”. Imagine being able to visit Disneyland at this point in time - I would appreciate it in a way that I didn’t back then.

Melissa, if YOU can’t work it out, nobody can!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Thank you Lou and Sue!

May I put in a special request for Disneyland Railroad photos? The trains are sort of a passion of mine.

Anonymous said...

After years of searching for a fellow-gang-of gorillas (gang? gallery? gaggle? gathering? gorp?) . . . hold on a moment, this is where google comes in handy . . .

a WHOOP of gorillas?!?! (Per google: A whoop consists of a dominant male silverback, etc., etc.)

After years of searching for a fellow-whoop-of gorillas, my dad (Lou) and I feel honored to be accepted. We finally have a home.

Stu29573: You WILL feel right at home, as one of my cousins is Stu (and I will eventually be showing pictures of him and by him). We'll be Lou & Sue & Stu & Stu, maybe.

Steve DeGaetano: Of course you can request RR pictures. The Whoopster currently has two train pictures that I sent him a few days ago. Will keep an eye out for more . . .

In the 1st pic, did you notice the blur of People Movers also flying by?


Matthew said...

@Sue I did notice that blur of People Movers "flying by" at break neck speed.

But did anyone notice those conspicuous "brown paperbags" sitting just outside of the Disneyland Police station??!!! Huh? Wonder what the men in blue were doing just before everyone ran into the Police Station? And why are they running anyway?

Thank you Lou & Sue for sharing your photos with Major and all of us. I look forward to seeing... and commenting... on them.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

stu29573 said...

YAY!!! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pictures!

Vicki G said...

I had the great pleasure of living across the street from the Perry’s growing up. Sue and I have been friends for over 50 years . Her dads Disney collection of memorabilia, maps, statues, ornaments, decor and many other items in their finished basement was mind boggling. Lou could have opened up a museum. They started my life long love of Disney! My daughter is now a Cast member in Disneyworld. I haven’t seen all of the photos he took but I do know he was a talented photographer and those of you on this site are in for a treat. We will be traveling down Memory Lane thanks to Lou dragging all of his equipment to the amusement parks for many, many years.
Much Love to my dear friend Sue and her “daddy” Lou XXO

Major Pepperidge said...

Steve DeGaetano, I had no idea you liked trains, you should have told somebody! ;-)

Sue, well, “whoop” is a new one to me, and I’m a long-time gorilla fan. I know “troop” and “band”! I am very glad that you found GDB, and VERY glad that you decided to share your dad’s amazing photos with all of us. I feel like you and I both had the same feeling - why not share it with others so that many can enjoy, instead of just a few? Now that we have Lou, Sue, and Stu, maybe we need a Baloo. I do have a couple of train pix for Steve DeGaetano, but he’s going to have to wait a while… I have a lot of articles in the queue. Patience is a virtue. And yes, I love the blurry Peoplemover cars! THANK YOU (and Lou) again!

Matthew, ha ha, I was wondering about that mysterious package too. If that was sitting in an airport these days, we’d have to alert the bomb squad. And yes, why was everyone so anxious to run into the police station? What did they think was in there?? But… that’s the sort of stuff I love about Disneyland.

stu29573, I know, I can’t wait!

Vicki G, thank you for your nice comment, so neat to hear from somebody who has known the Perry family for so long. Now I am wishing I could have seen the collection of Disneyland souvenirs… who knows what rare wonders might have been in there. And I didn’t really think about it, but you’re right, it’s probably quite a feat to bring quality camera equipment (especially in the 50’s and 60’s) to the park. Thanks!

walterworld said...

So great to see this happen. Thank you Lou for your time well spent! And Sue of course for sharing the wealth.

JG said...

@Sue, the blur of the PeopleMover was almost the first thing I noticed, after the RocketJets. That photo was taken only a few steps away from where my AVI picture of the spaceman was taken.

Welcome to GDB, where you come for the photos and stay for the comments.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to many more shots. These are good! KS

Nancy said...

Beautiful!! The first photo of Tomorrowland is especially captivating! The colors and the lighting are just fabulous

thanks again for sharing your photos with us!

Liz said...

Great Pics!! Thanks Sue for sharing Lou’s pics. He’s probably super exited that others can now see how he captured Disney back in the day ❤️