Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Frontierland Camera Shop, June 1978

It's Frontierland Time, with more donated scans from the Mysterious Benefactor. I thought I saw him in a crowd the other day, but he vanished before I could be certain. There was a red carnation on the ground - his calling card!

Today's photos feature rare views of the Frontierland Camera Shop, right next to the Golden Horseshoe. I honestly don't think I have a single photo of this place, other than these of course, so it's very cool to see it. In this first one a woman checks her bag to make sure she has enough beef jerky to trade for a roll of film. This slide was labled as being from June of 1978, but I see Christmas ornaments up on that balcony, so.... hmmmm.

"Gimme the kind of film that takes good pitchers!". "Ma'am, they are all fine brands of film". "What is Evel Knievel's favorite film". "Er... this one, ma'am". "Gimme that one then!". Aaaaannnd... scene.

Any idea what those colorful boxes are in the lower part of the image? I can see Disney character, and can make out at least one title ("Family Cartoon Parade"). This is pre-VHS, maybe those are actual films that you could take home and show?

They had Kodak film, Fuji film, and what looks like Polaroid cartridges. "Polaroid: for when you want instant pictures that don't look that good". I used to get a magazine called "Camera Arts" (long gone), and they would have ads for Polaroid that showed crisp, beautiful photos. That was never my experience.

"Ma'am, I know you're having second thoughts about Evel Knievel's favorite film, but I can tell you that Gabe Kaplan likes this film the best". "Why didn't you say so in the first place?! Gimme gimme!". Notice the rack of GAF Pana-Vue slides - there were great images, but those GAF slides... they turned magenta if you looked at them too hard.

Many thanks to the M.B.!

Extra! Extra! GDB pal TokyoMagic! has generously shared some photos of the boxes for some films that are similar (and in some cases, the same) as the ones we can see in today's scans. Take a look!

Here's Fantasyland (front and back):

Disneyland's 25th Anniversary (front and back):

The Main Street Electrical Parade (front and back):

And finally two smaller boxes, "Pirates" and the Matterhorn.

THANK YOU, TokyoMagic!


Nanook said...


I was kinda hoping we'd spy a copy of Song of the South, but it appears these are all shorts, of some sort. If these images are from June, 1978, that would be about 10 months after the introduction of VHS in the U.S.

So, after all that hemming and hawing, m'lady finally decided on a roll of movie film. For my own needs, I took advantage of Frontierland's own Notary Public, and used that service to finalize the deed transfer of the Sleeping Beauty Castle over to ME-! (NOW... let's get started on re-working those pesky 'new colors'-!)

Thanks, to the M. B.

Anonymous said...

You are correct. The boxes on the counter were films you could purchase and take home to show on your family projector. They generally came in standard 8mm and, later, Super 8mm. If I recall correctly, most were not entire feature films but excerpts from them, or cartoons. It's nice to see someone actually has photos of this shop, since it was one of the lesser memorable ones in the Park. Also, the location made it easy to miss.

Melissa said...

Yeah, those boxes look exactly like the ones we used to get for our Supee 8 projector. We never had any Disney ones, though!

I can’t tell whether the lady outside the door and the lady just inside the door have matching purses or just very very similar purses. And it’s driving me crazy!

TokyoMagic! said...

I see "The Love Bug" in those titles of movies, but as "Anonymous" pointed out, they were only highlights, rather than the entire movie. They also had film reels with footage of some of the park attractions. I remember around 1981 or so, they marked them all down to clear them out. It was at that time, that I decided to buy a few of them. I know I've already scanned the covers of the boxes, so I'll try to find those scans for you, Major!

In the lower left corner of the second to last photo, we can see the envelopes guests would use to drop off their film for developing. One of the envelopes has Mickey in a biplane. I picked up one of those envelopes just as a souvenir, with no intention of ever leaving a roll of film for developing. Disneyland's film developing was least when compared to other photo developing services, outside of the park. The other envelope on the counter, appears to have Mickey attempting to ride a horse. I don't remember seeing that one before.

Thank you, Major and Mysterious Benefactor!

TokyoMagic! said...

It appears that the shop space isn't being used today. And they moved that mailbox to the other side of the windows. The Golden Horseshoe posters have also been changed:,-117.9203784,3a,75y,87.11h,96.94t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxEvz_BQTBxnD_Bnt55qeOQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Chuck said...

Note the stamp dispenser mounted on the wall on the right. I believe these were produced in the stamp mill over in Rainbow Ridge (I know the dates don't work, but the pun does).

The shop has Kodak, Fuji, and Polaroid film for sale, plus flash cubes, Magicubes, and flash bars. I could go with a flash bar right now, but it would spoil my breakfast. Ma'am, please buy the Kodachrome the helpful feller is pointing to in the second photo, shoot the entire roll at Disneyland, and then send your processed slides directly to Major Pepperidge. He's only in junior high and will have no idea what to do with them, but he'll find some use for them one day.

There are a couple of Kodak Pocket Instamatic 110 film cameras for sale inside the glass counter (one of them a set of two). Kodak had such fancy packaging for cameras that took such substandard photos.

There also appear to be some movie projectors for sale on shelves to the right of the film rack. That's just what I needed to lug around with me the rest of the day. I wonder if they'll let me take it on the Matterhorn?

The boxed movies at the bottom of the second photo are setting off my CDO tendencies. Note to stockers - arrange the boxes so that the titles on the edges are all reading the same way. Note the two different sizes of movies - both shorter, 50' reels on the right and longer reels to the left.


I remember when I bought my Haunted Mansion picture pack in this shop around 1979-1980 it was $3.75 .... I incorrectly said 4.75 last time - still kinda pricey at that time. I remember the 8mm films but by this time they ONLY had the park related films ..... Big Thunder , Jungle Cruise , Pirates of the Caribbean etc. the packaging always looked so cool and enticing , but my family had no projector and at that age I wasn’t about to spend money on just a nest looking box ( like I would today). I feel like during this time frame I rarely went into shops at Disneyland .... so I’m surprised I would have ever gone into The Frontierland Camera Shop .... but i always seemed to.

Rare pictures today .... thanks Major and Mysterious Benefactor!!


Regarding the thought of carrying around a projector around Disneyland a guest could purchase , makes me think of a time about 1981/82 I bought a straw boater hat at the main st. mad hatter ..... I had wanted one after being Cornelius Hackle in the play HELLO DOLLY. It was $45.00 ...... that was very expensive! The cast member measured my head and had me try on two sizes. Then she put it into a white hat box and tied it up in a lime green cloth ribbon. I carried that boxed hat around all day and guests and cast members kept asking me all day if it was a cake!! But everytime we went on an attraction that didn’t allow me to hold it the cast members working the load graciously offered to hold the box until I returned from the ride - I never had to ask once!

Andrew said...

I love these pictures of a shop that I'd never even heard about! I really wonder what the space is used for today... maybe storage or offices?

Anonymous said...

Ah, these pictures bring back memories of when I was a wee grad school pup, doing photography and working in various 1 Hour photo establishments around town. It was weird because there was a group of us that were pretty much photo gypsies and we would bounce around from place to place whenever we needed a short gig for a little extra money. I literally could call the head of Fox Photo in the morning and be working that afternoon. Good times. Alas, digital destroyed that situation (and most of the labs). It was ok, since I graduated about that time and went into "real life." Sigh.
Yes, as has been pointed out, those were 8mm films. They produced them until quite late in the game. I have the film "Disneyland From Dream To Reality" that was produced in 1980! I've never watched it, but I've looked at a few feet of it, and it's turned a wonderful shade of magenta. I suspect it's GAF film. You can find it on Youtube and those examples are magenta as well.
By the way, I still prefer film over digital, although I only use digital now. I'm old and grumpy. Get off my lawn!

Chuck said...

Andrew, it's used to store offices.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I do recall being in a camera/film shop on Main Street, but not in this one. I'll have to ask my dad if he remembers it. I wonder if the M.B. knew the gal in these photos. If not, was he stalking her? She doesn't seem to mind (or isn't very aware)??

Thanks, M.B. and M.P., for these unique shots!


K. Martinez said...

One of the things I love about Mysterious Benefactor's photos is his extensive coverage of the Frontierland shops and restaurants both inside and out. I wish more photographers back then would've done that. Of course the film processing would've added up. I hope there are more of these types of "shops and restaurant" images and of other "lands".

Thanks M.B. and Major.

Anonymous said...

The mention that slide was dated 1978, whatever month, is supported by the fact that film brands other than GAF are being displayed and sold. From 1971 to early 1978 GAF had the exclusive film sales rights inside the Park after Kodak’s departure. It operated the GAF Photo Salon on Main Street, a space that is now part of the Clothiers. The Ohoto Salon had a camera assistance camera up front, where GAF employees would help with minor camera troubles and try to explain to people what in the heck GAF was. In the center was an AV display about GAF (essentially a bunch of rear screen slide projections), and at the back was the long counter which sold film, cameras, Viewmasters, Panavue slides and assorted photo-related items. Along one wall was a set of individual Viewmasters mounted on vertical tracks, so a guest could tailor each to their height to look into it. GAF film came in red boxes (as opposed to the famous Kodak yellow) so the whole shop was hideously and overwhelmingly red, right down to the flocked wallpaper. In 1978 GAF gave up its contract, and shortly thereafter Polaroid became the official film. When that happened, the AV show in the center of the salon gave way to the photo platform where guests could get their photo taken in period costumes on the back of a faux Lily Belle caboose, and other films types that were not in direct competition with Polaroid were allowed back into the film sales racks, hence the variety seen in the these photos. And by the way a lot of the things in these photos, like the projector and the equipment in the large glass display cases at the very back of the shop, were just themed displays items and not actually for sale. Those were days when theming was important but much less sophisticated than today, and some if it was just leftovers from the earliest days of the Park. For instance, does anyone remember the display of antique rifles in the Frontier Traders, just around the corner from Frontierland Camera?

DrGoat said...

Tokyo, I like your style. Picking up a ubiquitous object like that envelope, bag or napkin. Heck, I wish I had that foresight back in the early days, or any days.
Putting three slide packets up by the vents is a nice touch. Visually fills up that space nicely. Looks like those pictures on the walls were for sale, considering they all have a little tag. Nice, uncommon pics, MB.
Thank you Mysterious B., and thank you Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...


Those copies of "Song of the South" are pretty rare and I think the last medium it was on is laser disk. Who has a working one of those still???
The only way I got a LQ copy is a few years ago a brit taped it off Brittish TV and posted it on youtube. I saw it and downloaded it before they took it down. It's 480p but even if you can find an old VHS copy it would not be in very good shape or much better quality.

Kathy! said...

Major, I think that’s some kind of creeping vine with red flowers on the balcony in the first picture rather than ornaments. Melissa, I also noticed the ever so slightly different purses in that photo too. It looks odd to have an open door there, I also didn’t know it had ever been a shop.

Nanook said...

@ Alonzo P Hawk-

I have both that laser disc and a working LD player. (Those Pioneer players simply refuse to die).

MRaymond said...

Flashback time, I remember my camera strap breaking in the park and I went into this shop to find another one. The strap I chose was printed like a piece of film with Mickey in each frame. I think it's still on one of my cameras.

Nanook said...

@ Kathy!-
In the 1950's that location was home to the Frontierland Gun Shop. One presumes they didn't actually sell guns there, but...

"Lou and Sue" said...

MRaymond, Lou has one of those I know where it came from. Thank you!

Major, is that you in the 1st picture, on the right?? ;)


DrGoat said...

Nanook, the Frontier Gun Shop, according to references, had working old firearms like flintlocks on exhibit. I know as a kid I must have gone in there back in the old days. Guns and all that. The reference said it closed in '86. Didn't know it lasted that long. I do have solid memories of the shooting gallery though.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, they probably sold excerpts from Song of the South - just the animated bits of course. That’s all I ever saw growing up until I finally saw a bootlegged copy of the entire film (which is not that great). I’ll bet a VHS machine was incredibly expensive in those early days. Maybe over $1000? My first DVD player was over $400! I am glad that you own the castle now, and hope that you throw some keggers there.

Anon, that makes sense. A friend of a friend had a projector (I thought it was 16mm, but maybe it was 8mm), and they had quite a selection of store-bought film clips that they apparently watched now and then. The only one I specifically remember was the dinosaur scenes from “Fantasia”.

Melissa, if you didn’t have any Disney movies what DID you have? Maybe those ladies bought their purses at the park, they do look similar (if not exactly alike).

TokyoMagic!, highlights from “The Love Bug”? “But this box is empty!”. See what I did there? I wonder if these commercially-produced souvenir films turned horribly red just like the store-bought slides? I was wondering what those things were, you can see the word “film” - it never occurred to me that they would be envelopes for film developing. I can only imagine how much they charged guests for that service. Why not just wait until you got home? What’s the big hurry? Tell me!

TokyoMagic!, don’t they realize that they could sell plush dolls by the hundreds if they used that space? It must have some use, just not one that is available to the public. Maybe it’s the other entrance to Club 33.

Chuck, good eye on the stamp dispenser. For a while it seemed like postcards that were stamped and postmarked from Disneyland would fetch a premium price. I thought they were interesting, but preferred my postcards to be unused and mint. I think of all those flash bars, cubes, and so on, that were purchased by people who thought that the light from those things would reach hundreds of feet. Like I did when I tried to photograph the empty sub lagoon at night! I got several photos of bright rocks in the foreground, and blackness. Also, what am I supposed to do with all of these 40+ year-old rolls of film? I still don’t know. Kodak was smart, a fancy package hid a lot of “sins”. Jeez, buying a movie projector at Disneyland - you know the markup was crazy. Just go home and buy one at George’s Camera Shop, he’ll give you a deal (I actually used to go to a place by that name). CDO? “Compulsive…Disney…something”? My best friend must have it worse than you, the money in his wallet has to be in order, with all the Presidents facing the same way.

Mike Cozart, yes, even $3.75 was pricey in 1978. I would prefer park-related films to cartoon highlights, personally. I say that now, but there was a time, before home video made everything so much more available, when I was hungry to see as many Disney animated shorts as I could. Now I realize that it can be kind of a grind to watch several “Silly Symphonies” in a row, they are very repetitive.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, yikes, $45, that must have been a quality hat, not a cheap amusement park thing. I hope you still have it. Very nice that the CMs were so helpful!

Andrew, they just walled up the old shop, and everything is still there, just as it was in 1978! A perfect time capsule.

Stu29573, I wish I’d gotten into photography in high school like some of my friends did. They now have nice photos of Thousand Oaks (where I grew up) and even places in L.A. from decades ago, they are pretty neat. It is surprising to see how much an area changes when you aren’t paying attention. One friend took photos on Sunset Boulevard, those things are amazing now. The old Tower Records store features heavily in many of them. Fox Photo, wow, that’s a blast from the past. The convenience of digital is hard to resist, even though I get the appeal of film.

Chuck, whenever they need a new office, they just dust off one from storage, add a few framed posters, and voila.

Lou and Sue, the Mysterious Benefactor did not personally take these photos, they are from a collection of negatives that were for publicity purposes. He only had a chance to scan the Frontierland negatives, but there were photos from all the “lands”.

K. Martinez, see my comment to Lou and Sue! That being said, it IS pretty neat that this photographer (or multiple people) thought to take pictures inside shops and restaurants. There are definitely more “shop and restaurant” views to come!

Anonymous, I’m glad there are some clues as to the dates of these photos, because I feel like some of them might be misdated. But you make a good point about GAFs presence in the park. Too bad their film was so awful! I have a few vintage GAF slides, and grainier, more faded things you will never see. It was designed to look good for maybe 10 years, probably. Being a Viewmaster nut, I am intrigued by your description of the Viewmaster display with the viewers mounted on racks (etcetera). Never heard of anything like that before! I’ve seen photos of people in costume on the back of the Lily Belle, had no idea that was from the photo shop. Stay tuned for some photos of the gun display you mentioned! Thank you for your great comment.

DrGoat, yeah, I would have NEVER thought to ask for a freebie souvenir such as a photo envelope. Ha ha, those three measly Pana-Vue packets up by the vents… WHY?

Alonzo, you can watch (and download) a decent copy of “Song of the South” on the website (the Library of Congress) HERE

Kathy!, you might be right! It looked like a bit a garland to me, but it’s hard to be sure.

Nanook, I’m amazed how many people still seem to have held on to their laser disk players!

MRamond, this is why you should never swing your expensive camera around and around like a lasso. I hope you learned your lesson.

Nanook, I miss the Frontierland Nunchuck Shop. They had brass knuckles too.

Lou and Sue, no, that is definitely a woman.

DrGoat, as I said to Anon, stay tuned, there are photos showing the gun display! No idea how long it was there, since so many of the photos in this bunch are from 1978.

JG said...

These are fascinating pictures, I must have walked by this shop hundreds of times, but have no memory of it.

The young lady's outfit is certainly "au courant", look at those shoes.

I was never a photo buff or expert like so many of the Junior Gorillas, but I do recall seldom buying GAF. Kodak for me all the way once I got an SLR, but I think some of the pictures from my folks instamatic might be GAF because they are very magenta indeed.

The interior seems very tight and small, maybe this is why it was closed up.

Major, your comment about the carnation makes me think perhaps the MB was an Edgar Allen Poe fan.


Chuck said...

Major, sorry - OCD. Have to put the letters in alphabetical order.

Your best friend must hate $10 bills.

Melissa said...

Major, I remember having some Keystone Kops, some early Fleischer cartoons, and some other silent comedy shorts which may have been Buster Keaton?

Yeah, those early VCRs could get pricey. I remember Dad making Mom write the check for our first one, because as much as he wanted it he physically could not make himself spend that much money. I remember it had a real metal case instead of the later ubiquitous black plastic.

MRaymond said...

Major - I never swung my camera overhead like a lasso, I used it more like a mace. That's how I got to the front of the line faster.

DrGoat said...

Wow. Thanks for those pics Tokyo. Eye candy.
Melissa, I actually took out a loan to buy my first VCR. Didn't have much to spare at the time but I had to have it. Early 80s. It was a 4 head RCA top loader that cost 1100 dollars! I still have it and it still actually works. Weighs a ton.
Again, thanks Tokyo and Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I’m sure I never went in that shop. I was a crazy kid with a song in my heart and a pocketful of dreams! The woman looks like my mom’s cousin (I guess that makes her my second cousin?), right down to the outfit. Kodak was definitely the Tiffany of film - I know Fuji Film is well respected, but I probably never used it myself. “Poe Toaster”, I was literally picturing a toaster (that makes toast), and wondered what Poe had to do with such a thing. I recently saw a funny meme: Stephen King: “What if there is an EVIL clown?”. Mary Shelly: “What if somebody made a monster from corpses?”. Edgar Allen Poe: “Oh no, a bird!”.

Chuck, ah, now I get it. My friend DOES hate $10 bills, he gives all of them to me. It’s quite a chore.

Melissa, I can’t think of Keystone Kops without remembering going to Shaky’s Pizza when I was a kid. They showed the Kops, and Ben Turpin movies, and who knows what else. Plus everyone sang along to old songs like “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?”. What a different time it was. Also, I mis-typed… it was my first CD player that was over $400! Hard to believe, but they were the latest thing. The machine is still at my mom’s house and still works.

MRaymond, yes, a mace is more what I meant. I’m not very bright.

DrGoat, $1100, so crazy. I remember an article in LIFE magazine about pocket calculators, the early ones were many hundreds of dollars. For a calculator!


Regarding Song of the South : that film was never released on video or anything else in its entirety EXCEPT:

JAPAN : a very limited release on Laser Disc
ENGLAND : on video cassette ( they used PAL system that was not playable in North America )

Most bootleg copies of Song of the South were from the Japanese issue that allowed the viewer to switch the soundtrack to English , but showed Japanese subtitles on the screen.

Several segments of Song of the South were released on 8mm home movies.

The Frontierland Camera Shop Space is used for storage today. Many small shops and food service spaces at Disneyland were closed and never replaced for many California State safety reasons - some even the park’s grandfather laws couldn’t protect . One was retail spaces needed to have multiple entrances For guests ( the Frontierland Camera Shop space did not) some spaces couldn’t meet kitchen or food prep service space requirements and were closed . The Wheel House and Le Petite Pastry bring some examples.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm glad that you were able to use the scans of those Super 8 film boxes. I scanned those 8 years ago and intended to use them in a post of some kind, but never did. Your post today, seemed like the perfect place for them.

I should probably see about getting those films transferred digitally. The Fantasyland one has interior shots of all the original dark rides, before they were remodeled! The "Disneyland From Dream To Reality" (which Stu also mentioned having) shows a lot of great vintage footage of the park, including an aerial view of the live mermaids in the Sub lagoon, doing a "synchronized swimming" number. From what I remember, some of the footage had been shown at one time or another on "The Wonderful World of Color/Disney." As for the Matterhorn film, I was excited to see that the old bobsled was pictured on the cover of the box. I thought it would be old film footage of the original attraction. Unfortunately, they had updated the film, but not the box. The updated footage shows the new tandem bobsleds and the Abominable Snowman, etc. But I guess now, even that footage is vintage.

The Main Street Electrical Parade footage is still in it's plastic wrap and that $20 DL price tag is the original price before the markdown. It is also the only "sound film" that I purchased. I was only about 16 or 17 years old when they were clearing these out. I would not have paid $20 for a souvenir film at the time, but since they were marked down for clearance, I couldn't resist. The silent films would have originally cost less than the sound film, but they were still pricey as far as souvenirs go.

I know I also scanned the "film envelopes" that I took as souvenirs. There was another one similar to the other two, which had Mickey sitting in the engine of an old train. And a few years later, there was one with the White Rabbit on the cover. I couldn't find the scans of those, and unfortunately the actual items are stored away deep!


TOKYO MAGIC : I have a White Rabbit film development envelope that cane from the Disneyland Hotel ..... a photo shop there even had a great sign of the white rabbit with a giant pocket watch.

In the 1990’s Disneyland used FOX one hour photo developing and the process studio ( trailer) was right with the group of WDI trailers backstage. The one hour developing at Disneyland in the 1990’s was INSANELY EXPENSIVE!!!!!

Melissa said...

Thanks for adding those film box scans, TM! and Major! Wowee-wow!

I saw a bootleg of Song of the South recently and I wasn’t really blown away. Some of the songs were catchy, and the live action/animation scenes were technically impressive, especially for the time. But overall? Meh.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
Yes, thanks for sharing these images. Each one gave the viewers a chance to 'shine' by providing their own narration, singing, and playing the zither.

@ Melissa-
With all this talk about Song of the South, I took a look at the laserdisc this morning. Have to agree with you about my overall impression - 'meh', indeed. Of note though, I see the live action cinematography was done by none-other-than the great Gregg Toland-! (For those unacquainted with his work, he's given credit for often-using "deep focus" shots, among other striking techniques). And is most-famous for shooting Citizen Kane, although he has several other films to his credit, including Wuthering Heights, 1939, which won him the Oscar for Best cinematography. I wonder how Disney ended-up choosing him to shoot the film-?

Chuck said...

Thanks for sharing the extra scans of the film boxes!

I think I've mentioned it before, but I have a souvenir Super 8 reel of it's a small world labeled for WDW. The back has the same "Walt Disney Super 8 Home Movies" Mickey Mouse graphics as these do. I bought it off a barrow in - no kidding - London's Portabello Road along with a 1950s View-Master reel of Canterbury Cathedral. It truly is the street where the riches of ages are stowed.

Dean Finder said...

Chuck, Major, I'm enjoying the irony of getting "OCD" out of order.

JG said...

Tokyo, thank you for the box cover scans, those are wonderful. I’d love to see a transfer of that Electric Parade film!

Major, thanks for this great post. Big thanks to MB, wherever he is...

I found a bootleg video of SotS on a share site some years ago. Took hours to download. I think I still have the file.

It was an ok film, I guess. I enjoyed the music and the animated segments, with Mary Blair influence. I find it fascinating that the music is heavily featured, not only in Splash Mountain, but in the Disney Family Museum in SF. I’m sure there are many visitors wondering where that all came from, and no way ever to find out.


Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, the version of “Song of the South” that I linked to says it was a BBC version, whatever that means. It looks pretty good, better than the Japanese bootleg, which is the one I originally saw years ago. I am not surprised that the old camera shop is now storage, though I would think that they could store stuff many places not right in the middle of the park. But you do mention the safety regulations that they would not be able to meet, which makes sense.

TokyoMagic!, if the films have not turned red, it would be neat to have them digitized. It’s an expensive process though! It would be very neat to see the Fantasyland dark ride interiors, pre-1983. That alone would be worth it. Mermaids doing a Busby Berkely routine? Fun! I noticed that the Matterhorn looks so squashed on that box cover that it almost looks like Cascade Peak. I wondered about that $20 price tag! That would have been an expensive souvenir back then. Don’t spend too much time looking for those film envelopes, you’ve already helped out so much!

Mike Cozart, I don’t get why anyone would have paid so much to have film developed in the park when they could have just waited and had it developed anywhere else, even a local drugstore that might have had one-hour (or 24-hour) service. Maybe some people just didn’t care how much it cost.

Melissa, I don’t think SotS is a bad film, but it IS a bit icky to watch today. And the animated segments are the only reason to watch it, in my opinion. I wish I liked “The Princess and the Frog” better, I am very curious to see what they do to Splash Mountain.

Nanook, I love a good zither! “The Third Man Theme” for instance. Gregg Toland? Interesting! I wonder if this was his only color film? I’ll have to look up his filmography. I believe he died fairly young, this must have been one of his last movies.

Chuck, very cool that you found that Super 8 film on Portabello Road. In my mind, somebody bought it during a trip to Florida, brought it home, and it gathered dust until the owner decided they could live without it. I remember looking at the bookseller stalls in Paris and seeing so many ancient-looking books - and also thinking that the exposure to sunlight couldn’t be good for them.

JG, I also downloaded the bootleg (with Japanese subtitles), probably from Usenet newsgroups. Again, not a bad movie, but the plantation scenes make me want to hit the “fast forward” button. Mary Blair’s work is beautiful. She really did have a talent for using vivid colors, but somehow made them work. Remember, “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” used to be practically an unofficial theme song for the Disney company.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, the DL Hotel is where my "White Rabbit" film envelope came from. And I remember the giant graphics on the wall of that photo counter. I believe were identical to the graphics on the envelopes.

I'm glad to hear that everyone enjoyed seeing the scans of the Super 8 film boxes!

Nanook, now I can hear the zither playing the them song from "The Third Man," as Walt paces off the land in the Anaheim orange grove. Yes, that footage is on the "25th Anniversary" film!

Chuck, I remember a souvenir film for It's A Small World, and also, the Haunted Mansion and the Jungle Cruise. I just couldn't buy all of them, even though they were on sale. I'm happy to hear that you were able to get the IASW one!

JG, I'd also like to see the MSEP one. I'm not sure why I didn't open it. Actually, I feel like I might have seen it somewhere else, so that might be the reason. I seem to remember seeing the footage and it included scenes from the earlier days of the MSEP, when it still had some flat, two-dimensional floats. Although, I might be confusing two different sources of footage of the parade.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, your last comment was posted, while I was still writing mine. I should have mentioned that the "footage" of the Fantasyland dark rides is actually made up of still photos of the interiors, that the camera slowly zooms in on. It's actually better than footage, because it's a longer look at the interior scenes, than you would get if you were just going by them quickly. I seem to remember for Mr. Toad, they show certain scenes, such as the policeman blowing his whistle and holding out his hand, but the camera moves a little bit from side to side, to give you the feeling that you are out of control and that you might hit him.

I did do my own amateur version of a transfer, by showing the film on a screen and having a video camera film that. It's not a great way to transfer film, but it's the cheapest. Since then I have transferred that VHS footage to DVD. I think it's time to get it out and evaluate the quality of it. Unfortunately, I seem to remember it having that constant "flicker" going on, which doesn't occur when it's transferred professionally.

Chuck said...

Apparently, the BBC version of Song of the South has the "The End" titles on a blue card rather than the original cream one.

I saw Song of the South in the theater when I was three, and while I remembered the animated sequences vividly, the only things I remembered from the live action portion was a grandfather clock against a white wall in a old house (I had a thing for grandfather clocks after watching so many episodes of Captain Kangaroo) and a little boy crying.

I picked up a PAL VHS copy when I lived in the UK, but it hasn't been watched since our multi-system TV died in 2007. I now understand why the animated sequences stuck in my childhood memories while the rest of the film did not, although as an adult I could enjoy watching James Baskett and Hattie McDaniel act circles around everybody else in the film.

DBenson said...

Here’s a solid history of Disney 8mm:

My own footnotes:

I was an 8mm film collector, novice grade, from late middle school through high school. The big boxes were 200’ reels, capable of holding a ten-minute film at sound speed (silent projects tended to run a bit slower). Most of the films were actually 150’, that being the length of a theatrical short cartoon. Features were clipped to fit that length, usually by focusing on a single action sequence. Silent movie title cards or subtitles covered for the lack of sound. The 50’ reels were edited down from the 150’ versions. Here and there you’d see a 400’ reel, usually combining two or three short cartoons. Nearly all were B&W, with color a costly upgrade.

The ones I found in camera shops, department stores and Kmart were:
— Castle Films: Mostly Walter Lantz cartoons and old features from the Universal vault, especially Abbott and Costello and the classic Monsters. Plus some venerable Paramount titles that Universal bought.
— Columbia/Screen Gems: Three Stooges (cut from two-reelers to single reels), Mr. Magoo, some Harryhausen fantasies, a silent reduction of the wartime Batman serial in six parts, and odd feature cutdowns.
— AAP: The Warner cartoons they distributed on TV. AAP evidently folded and gave way to…
— Ken/United Artists: For a long time the ugliest box art on the market, but titles ranged from Bugs Bunny to horror pictures to an old Red Skelton short to … Star Wars (Escape from the Death Star in B&W).

In those pre-internet days you either found them in racks, or ordered by mail from the little brochure/catalogs you found in the stores or sent away for from an address on a box.

Blackhawk Films was the big deal: A mail-order house that carried, in 8mm and 16mm, a then-jawdropping range of genuine silent shorts and features (full length!) and sound oddities. This is where you got genuine Laurel & Hardy, the Phantom of the Opera, and much more. There were a few other catalogs that catered to the serious collector, but they were way beyond my allowance. For a while our public library stocked a bunch of Blackhawk films, including the 12-reel "Lilac Time".

Disney was conspicuously absent from the shelves until the late 60s as described in the article (I’d heard about antique Mickey Mouse titles but never saw one). My first exposure was when Sears published a Home Movie Catalog, which felt like a condensed version of the Blackhawk Bulletin (perhaps Sears outsourced to them). There it was, a full page of Disney cartoons and feature clips, all 150’ silent, in B&W for $7 and color for $14. I don’t remember Sears offering the sound versions, or any films of Disneyland.

The color titles were impressive and occasionally stunning. I got maybe four or five total, but by then I was in high school and realizing girls weren’t impressed by home AV geeks. I cut back, only getting the classier 1920s stuff.

For a while the Magic Kingdom Club magazine would include new 8mm releases among their news items.