Friday, January 17, 2020

Main Street, November 1959

I am proud to present four excellent 1959 photos, featuring Main Street USA! These were taken by Lou Perry, and are graciously shared with us by his daughter Sue B.

This first one is a nice look at Town Square as seen from the top of the steps at Main Street Station. The park is so uncrowded! It's late afternoon, and in November that probably means 4:30. The brand-new Matterhorn peeks up over the Wurlitzer building, and a bit of an Omnibus can be seen in the lower right.

The sun has continued to sink in the west, and now most of Main Street is in shadow. I'm kind of surprised that the exterior lights haven't been turned on already, but photos can make it look darker than it appeared to the eye. Looking at the buildings, I am always impressed with the level of architectural detail that Walt lavished on Main Street even though he was cash-strapped.

There's the old Firehouse - by now the popcorn lights have been turned on! I don't see any signs of life in the upper windows, so Walt Disney probably wasn't spending the night. I always enjoy a look at the Bekins wagon.

And finally, here's stately City Hall. More impressive architectural details! It would be very pleasant to sit on one of those chairs by the front door and watch the world pass by as the sky darkened and the air got chilly (I hope your brought a sweater).

There will be more Main Street '59 photos coming up, courtesy of Lou and Sue!


Nanook said...


How serene and peaceful - not to mention 'uncrowded'-! What a swell Main Street, indeed-!

Thanks to Lou & Sue B.

"Lou and Sue" said...

This was my 1st trip to Disneyland, but my parents didn’t know it, yet. ;)


TokyoMagic! said...

Such nice pictures of Main St., without a bunch of guests cluttering up the shots!

I bet these were taken in late November, since the Christmas garlands can be seen, strung across the street, in the first two shots.

Thank you for sharing these, Lou, Sue and the Major, too!

Chuck said...

The position and lack of apparent depth of the Matterhorn sticking up behind the Wurlitzer "Building" reminds me of the mountain that used to stick up behind the Western street at Paramount.

These photos are a real treat. Thanks again, Lou & Sue!

Andrew said...

Cool photos today. The castle looks faaaar down the street in the first pic. I like how you can so plainly see the fire house tower, too - that seems to be something largely obscured today. And lastly, the big question is what that information board in front of City Hall is for. Thanks, Sue and Major.

Stu29573 said...

Although Main Street was inspired by Marceline, it was styled more after Ft. Collins. The WDW Main Street was even further removed from Walt's home town, being influenced by cities on the eastern seaboard. See, sometimes I have actual facts!

DrGoat said...

What a positively great first day, Sue. These are the perfect photos that you would like to just jump in and stay.
Thanks Sue and Major. A great way to start a Friday.
Chuck, thanks for that link. Great article with some interesting photos and stuff I didn't know.
I see the need for Dan Blocker to have a driver. It would have been a very tight fit for Hoss.

Melissa said...

I love how the first picture is almost perfectly bisected by the flagpole.

One of Walt's and Roy's main talents was knowing what to spend or not spend money on.

JC Shannon said...

Wonderful shots today. Makes me want to put on my bowling shirt, penny loafers and chinos and head for the nearest time tunnel. Thanks to Lou and Sue for sharing. When I was little, I used to dream of driving a Bekins big rig. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, there is just something about these photos that I really love!

Lou and Sue, ha ha, what your favorite ride that day? ;-)

TokyoMagic!, man, those Christmas decorations are pretty hard to notice. Maybe they hadn’t gotten most of them up yet, or this was in the days before crazy excess.

Chuck, that is an interesting article! I should take a tour of Paramount Studio - I did the Warner Studio tour years ago and it was a nice change of pace. Expensive though. When you think about it, those cartoony hills above Toontown are a similar idea (though not as effective).

Andrew, Sleeping Beauty Castle is smaller than every other Disney castle, but I believe that part of the plan (besides saving money) was that its size was appropriate for the park, and as you noted, gave the illusion that it was much more distant. I also think the muted colors were used to enhance that illusion. Unfortunately that information board is impossible to read, but I assume it lists closed attractions.

Stu29573, yes, I learned about Fort Collins from “The E-Ticket” magazine - it is definitely more grand than humble little Marceline. I think that Harper Goff lived in Fort Collins as a boy.

DrGoat, I would love to be able to walk around that Disneyland, and feel the chill in the air, and just enjoy that uncrowded, beautiful park!

Melissa, now that you mention it, you are right! I never thought about it, but knowing what to spend money on and what NOT to, is pretty important.

Jonathan, don’t forget your wallet full of vintage money! Kids from our generation liked trucks the way that kids of Walt’s generation loved trains.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
Yes, thanks for that link. What fascinating info. And now, of course, I’m wondering why there’s a VistaVision camera on the set of “The Errand Boy”, as that film certainly wasn’t released in VistaVision. (Perhaps that camera was merely used as a ‘prop’ in the shot, as 1961 saw the last VistaVision film released by Paramount - “One Eyed Jacks”).

Chuck said...

Nanook, I think you are right about that VistaVision camera being used as a prop. That scene shows up in the trailer for The Errand Boy at about the 22-second mark, and Jerry appears to be disrupting the shooting of a Western.

Chuck said...

It's funny - the "I'm not a robot" reCAPTCHA security phrase asked me to "select all pictures of mountains or hills." It appears that even the Blogspot security system reads this blog!

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
I think you got it. Paramount probably had a lot of idle, ‘Lazy 8’ cameras sittting-around the camera department at that time. Why not use one as a rather-expensive prop-?

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major :) I've been told we rode the Matterhorn, that trip - but that my mom WOULD NOT have done so, IF she had known I was also onboard.

Thanks, everyone, for your nice comments!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook and Chuck, you boys and your movie talk! Actually I’m pretty impressed at what you guys notice. I mostly look at the purty pictures.

Lou and Sue, maybe the reason you love yodeling so much is from your mom’s time waiting in line for the Matterhorn!