Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Photos From Kathy J.!

Many months ago, I shared some 1962 photos of Disneyland that our friend Kathy J. found. Those were fun, and Kathy sent me some scans of other non-Disney photos that were in that same batch of black and white negatives. So I'm sharing those, finally (apologies to Kathy for the long wait).

We all recognize this familiar building! It's good old Grauman's Chinese Theater, on Hollywood Boulevard. One of the great Los Angeles movie palaces, and the site of many movie premieres. You can see some of the terrazzo stars inlaid into the sidewalk as part of Hollywood's "Walk of Fame". And a few tourists mill around looking at the hand and footprints of celebrities in the theatre's forecourt.

I have no idea where this flamingo pond is located. I thought it could be Busch Gardens in Van Nuys, but that can't be right - there's no buildings visible. Could this be the Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay? Those clouds and that flat horizon make me think of Florida.

Jack Benny's famous (and decrepit) Maxwell automobile was on display at Universal Studios. At least the sign says that it's Jack's. This car doesn't look that decrepit to me! Looking at publicity photos of Jack online, it appears that he rode more than a few different Maxwells over the years.

I have to assume that this backlot photo is also from Universal Studios, but there were several other lots that allowed tours, maybe this is Warners, or MGM, or Paramount. Does anybody know?

The last two photos are from Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale - a surprisingly popular tourist destination. It's a lovely place with lots to look at, and many celebrities are interred there. The statue in this photo is called "The Republic", by Daniel Chester French, who is most famous for the sculpture of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. It is a copy of a sculpture that originally appeared at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

I can't find much about this sculpture, though one site calls it "Monument to Family". No artist is attributed. Chime in if you have any info!

MANY THANKS to Kathy J. for sharing more photos from her collection!


Nanook said...

That sculpture at Forest Lawn is called "Family Protection" by Leone Tommasi. Interesting photos, here.

Thanks, Kathy.

"Lou and Sue" said...

The lady in the "Family Protection" sculpture resembles Lana Turner, especially in THIS PICTURE.

Great photos! Thank you, Kathy and Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

Even though that pic of Grauman's Chinese Theater was taken from across the street, I can still tell that John Wayne's block is loose.

I can't identify the location of the second pic, but I like it. I want to go frolic with those flamingos! ;-)

I believe the structure behind Jack Benny's car, is the Crusader's Tower from The War Lord.

For the longest time now, I have been intending to get over to Forest Lawn, and check out all of their artwork. I haven't been since I was a kid, even though I have family members who are interred there. Maybe while I'm there, I'll pay my respects to Walt Disney.

"Lou and Sue" said...


Chuck said...

I think that backlot photo is of the Little Europe/Court of Miracles area at Universal. These sets burned in 1967 but were rebuilt to the same design.

If this is 1962, that can't be the War Lord Tower, which was added to the Universal Upper Lot area in 1965. The curve of the structure somehow doesn't look right, either, nor does it seem to have the same surface details as the tower. That said, I have no idea what else it might be. I referenced a photo of Jack Benny's Maxwell from my 1971 trip, and it's in front of a plain block wall, not where it is in this photo.

I thought the flamigno pool might be at the San Diego Zoo, but I just watched a 1962 home movie of the SDZ on YouTube that showed the family in front of the flamignoes, and it's definitely not frm the SDZ.

Thanks for sharing, Kathy J.!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I never made the connection that these pics were from 1962 and that the film didn't come out until 1965!

I forgot to thank Kathy J. for sharing her pics, and the Major for posting them......THANKS!

Pegleg Pete said...

Interesting photos today – thanks Major and Kathy J! I've just had a look at some early brochures from Busch Gardens in Tampa and the flamingo enclosure doesn't seem to match up there either. I'm not overly familiar with West Coast attractions – were there possibly flamingos at Sea World in San Diego? The thought of flamingos certainly brightens up a freezing snowy morning here in London! Thanks again, Major and Kathy J.

DrGoat said...

A different and interesting bunch of photos. That is a spectacular flamingo exhibit, TM. You could do some serious frolicking. Lots of space and flamingos. On one of my trips to LA in the late 70s, I met up with my sister and friends and decided to visit Forest Lawn, Valhalla Memorial Park and one other I can't remember the name of. Also paid respects to Walt and a bunch of others. Stan Laurel is the one I remember the most. That's what prompted a visit to Valhalla to give respects to the other half of my favorite duo. Ended up in Chinatown and ate the most spicy hot food I've ever eaten (or tried to eat) in my life.
Neat set of pics. Thanks Kathy J. and Major.

Melissa said...

Flamignos! Flaming O’s!

You can tell it’s Jack Benny’s car because when you start it up it sounds like Mel Blanc.

When I saw the first picture, I immediately thought it was the replica at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

What a beautiful setting for the Republic statue!

JC Shannon said...

Really nice shots today. When I was 16, I got rear ended by a Mustang in mom's car in front of Grauman's. My first fender bender. All that's missing from the backlot shot is a Sherman rumbling down the road. Lou and Sue, I think you are right, it does look like Lana Turner. Maybe that's Johnny Stompanato by her side. Thanks to Kathy and Major.

JG said...

Grauman's is quite a piece of design, very appropriate for Hollywood.

I love flamingos, wherever they are.

I remember sharing Youtube video of Jack Benny with a co-worker from abroad who had no idea who he was, and watching him laugh himself silly. The jokes never get old.

One more vote for the Universal back lot. Don't ask me why, but it looks familiar for some reason, and Universal was the only studio I visited. I've told you all the story about my Dad growing up in the San Fernando Valley under the studio in the late 20's, and hearing the studio zoo lions roaring early in the morning, so I won't repeat it here. Er...

It's never occurred to me to visit Forest Lawn, but these photos and the commentary are making me re-think that. After all, I've gawked at many an East-coast burying ground with the likes of Betsy Ross and Ben Franklin. Time to consider the West Coast, especially with these lovely monuments.

Thanks Major, Kathy J, and the gorilla gang.


SunnieDaze21 said...

I thought at first the flamingos might be at the LA Zoo. In this video they have on Facebook, the pond-to-beach ratio seems similar (albeit the trees are much larger today). I even thought the rocks behind the fountain in the photo seemed similar to that in the video, but the dates don't line up. On their website, it says the LA Zoo opened in 1966.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I looked and looked, I am ashamed to say. And you found the info! Thank you.

Lou and Sue, ya gotta love Lana Turner. I’m trying to think of a male star who looks like the man in the sculpture, but nothing is coming to mind.

TokyoMagic!, well, it’s come to this; I get the “I Love Lucy” references because I’ve heard them all now. Every one! By the way, you can abbreviate the name of the show as “ILL”, which seems appropriate. The only reason anybody remembers the movie The War Lord is because the tower remained at Universal Studios for years! Otherwise it would be a completely forgotten film. Like you, I have never gone to Forest Lawn, even though I have driven by the one at Griffith Park hundreds of times (it sort of sounds like the Glendale version gets most of attention though).

Lou and Sue, :-(

Chuck, that poor Court of Miracles, I knew it had burned down at least once, and maybe more than that. Fires at Universal Studios are not rare, sadly. As for the War Lord Tower, I am unclear as to whether these negatives are necessarily from the same date as the Disneyland negatives that Kathy J. shared with us before. I almost feel like Kathy’s photo has to show the War Lord tower, though I can find no other pictures with Jack Benny’s Maxwell nearby. I’m starting to think that the flamingo photo really is from Busch Gardens in Van Nuys, although I really would expect to see at least some taller buildings nearby.

TokyoMagic!, negatives are undated (unless somebody put them in an envelope and carefully marked it), it wouldn’t surprise me if these are from later than 1962.

Pegleg Pete, ha ha, OK, so much for my final decision that the flamingos were from Busch Gardens. I did research months ago when I first wrote today’s post, but have forgotten most of that, as usual. Sea World doesn’t seem to be a match. Who knows! A snowy morning in London sounds very picturesque - though it’s probably a pain for you.

DrGoat, one of the things about that flamingo exhibit is that it is so huge. I can’t find any photos of anything like it. And that fountain in the middle of the pond is distinctive. I sure hope somebody eventually solves the mystery once and for all! A friend of mine seems to like to go to some of Los Angeles’ older cemeteries to look at the graves of celebrities. I think he said that both Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks have gigantic monuments, but I’ve never looked them up. When I was in Burbank, I happened upon Valhalla Memorial Park, entirely by accident (I made a wrong turn and saw the most amazing Moorish monument). My friend and I went in just out of curiosity, and I happened upon Cliff Edwards’ little headstone - he did the voice for Jiminy Cricket. Supposedly he was destitute when he died and the Walt Disney Company paid for his burial. Other famous people are buried there, including Bea Benaderet (voice of Betty Rubble, among many other things) and Arthur Q. Bryan, voice of Elmer Fudd. And Yakima Canutt!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I used to download old episodes of The Jack Benny Show, and always got a kick out of hearing Mel Blanc’s voice. Mel had his own radio show too! I wonder how many replicas of Grauman’s Chinese Theater have been built? There was one at the 1964 New York World’s Fair too.

Jonathan, I have witnessed several minor car accidents on Hollywood Boulevard, and I don’t even drive down that street that often. I think folks from out of town are too busy looking around at all the craziness and NOT looking at the traffic. Why would Sherman be rumbling down that road, was Mr. Peabody in trouble? Johnny Stompanato, I like it.

JG, when you think about it, flamingos are just elongated chickens. I used to especially love listening to the WWII era episodes of the Jack Benny Show, when they performed at various military bases around SoCal. Those guys were the best audiences! I’ve been to Warner Bros. Studios about 10 years ago, and that was fun; Paramount supposedly offers some sort of VIP tour, but I think it’s pretty expensive (the Warners tour was pricey too). Still, it’s neat to see a real working movie studio. I have friends who lived near Jungleland in Thousand Oaks, they have similar stories about hearing the lions roaring at odd hours. I guess there are just some people who like to go to cemeteries! I’m not against it, I just haven’t done it. Sometimes I’ve wanted to go visit my grandparent’s graves, but for some reason they chose a cemetery that is really far away from where they lived.

SunnieDaze, the L.A. Zoo isn’t a bad guess, but I’ve been to the zoo many times, and the old photo doesn’t look anything like it to me. I watched the video that you linked to (thank you), and still can’t decide for sure, but I think Kathy J’s photo was taken elsewhere. HOWEVER, the zoo is not far from Universal Studios, and is also not far from both Hollywood and Forest Lawn (in Griffith Park).

"Lou and Sue" said...

Jonathan, you ARE absolutely right! That does look like Lana's ill-fated lover, Johnny! See THIS PICTURE.


Happy Flamignos & Flaming O's Day, everyone!

Kathy! said...

Ooh, what a treat! No need for apologies Major, you post lots of interesting photos. Glad everyone is enjoying the pictures. I wish there was more info about them but there isn’t anything written on the envelope they were in. I’m enjoying the detective work for some of these!

SunnieDaze21 said...

I believe I've managed to prove myself wrong on the LA Zoo theory. According to LA Weekly, this photo is from the 60s (1969 if we go off the file name?) and it really doesn't fit the photo!

Alas, it seems like it's a no-(flamin)go on the LA Zoo! :)

JG said...

See you all at the Flaming-O pool.



Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, how many people today even remember who Lana Turner was, much less who Johnny Stompanato was? I saw a video where a woman didn’t recognize Abraham Lincoln from a photo.

Kathy!, I’m glad you checked in today! Thank you again for sharing these fun photos.

SunnieDaze21, yeah, even today the flamingo area at the L.A. Zoo is small-ish. It’s one of the first things you see as you enter the zoo! Hey, you tried, and I appreciate it.

JG, all I get when I paste in the link is line after line of code for some reason.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I was able to paste in the link and see the resort...a big flamigno pops up. Maybe try again later, in case the site was temporarily down.

Regarding Lana Turner and her lover, most of the Jr. Gorillas know who they are - and they (Jr. Gorillas) are the only ones who matter. ;)

Anonymous said...

Major, the hotel is being renovated, maybe you got a page under construction. I just tried it and it worked for me.

Now I'm imagining a flamingo dressed like a thanksgiving turkey except with the legs way up in the air with those little paper socks.


JC Shannon said...

Lou and Sue, Great mug shots of Johnny. He no look so good on the floor though. Say hi to Lou for me.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Will gladly do, Jonathan, thank you!