Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Anaheim Convention Center, May 1984

Today's images are something of a departure from the usual, but that's OK! They are from Lou and Sue, so you know they'll be good. As I have learned from recent conversations with Sue, Lou really did take pictures of nearly everything, and in May of 1984 he decided to stroll over to the wonderful Anaheim Convention Center, which is just south of Disneyland.


Right out front is this giant "A" which also conveniently serves as a sign board. Anaheim loves their giant A's, since there is a "Big A" outside of Angel Stadium as well.


This striking building, looking like a flying saucer that has just touched down, was designed by Adrian Wilson and Associates, and construction was completed in 1967. We can sometimes see it under construction in the distance in photos such as this one and this one. It opened on July 12th of '67.


I am taking notes about details of this building, it is giving me inspiration for my Palm Springs compound.


I really wish you wouldn't buy those artificial dairy products. Buy real ones! No more hyper-yogurt or astro-cheese, please. I see that the Amway Corporation will be at the convention center on June 1st, so you'll know where to find me.


I'd love to know what other designs might have been considered, but I'm glad that they settled on this one. Over the years the convention center has undergone many expansions, and it is now the largest exhibition facility on the west coast. The last time I went there was for the first D23 Expo in 2009, though that was held in one of the newer additions. Apparently this building stood in for Star Fleet Headquarters on "Star Trek: Picard".


The architectural style of the old convention center is known as "Populuxe", a portmanteau of "popular" and "luxury". The style evoked a sense of luxury with the design of consumer goods such as radios and clocks typically featuring pastel-colored plastic in curved and angular shapes and metalized plastic trim that simulated chrome. Structures commonly used pastels geometric shapes, and surfaces of stucco, sheet metal, and often stainless steel.


MANY THANKS to Lou and Sue!

Monday, May 30, 2022

It's a Small World, April 1973

Happy Memorial Day! Please take a moment to think about the sacrifices that so many men and women have made for us.

People sure loved to take photos of "It's a Small World", especially the outside (the inside was trickier because it was dark). Some say that if you took all of the pictures of IASW world and laid them end-to-end, they would wrap all the way from Los Angeles to Oxnard. Unbelievable! 

There it is, in a possibly POSTCARD WORTHY™ photo (I could see this on a postcard, can't you? Or maybe as a two-page spread in a souvenir guidebook). I can see the Leaning Tower, and a Shinto shrine, and an onion dome from someplace in Russia. And a windmill from Windmillvania. Let's all put on our floppiest sun hats and enjoy this picture together. But don't snap your gum!


Our photographer was interested in those funny little side structures, which (I suppose) extended the fa├žade even further, and also gave the people aboard the Disneyland Railroad something to look at, since the bulk of the attraction would have been behind them. Notice the joy and excitement on the guests' faces in the lower left! 


It's not too busy today, we can ride IASW over and over, belting out the song at the top of our lungs, as we usually do (I do my Sinatra impression). That one boat only has two passengers, which seems borderline illegal to me. You know, local ordinances and such. I've always been kind of fascinated by those raised platforms where the folks who control the boats are born, live their lives, and die (the circle of life). I would have built them to be hundreds of feet in the air just because it would be funny.


Either they had a visitor from The Netherlands, or that woman is a cast member. I didn't think that they still had the women dress is approximations of foreign costumes in 1973, but clearly I am mistaken. I've never been mistaken before, what a funny feeling! Notice the plaid skirt and red stockings of a tour guide, mostly hidden behind that observation platform.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Shoulda-been-rejects

It's always a bit of a bummer to scan vintage slides, only to find that they are flawed in ways that were not apparent when I just held them up to the light. Usually the problem is that they are out of focus, like the following shot. Imagine if that one had been nice and sharp! It's certainly an unusual angle showing the little Rainbow Caverns Mine Train passing through the dangerous tumbling rocks of the Painted Desert. I wonder where the photographer was? On a Pack Mule, perhaps?


This next one would have been nice, but it has that darn light leak. It was perhaps the first photo on the roll of film, or maybe the last, but it would have been a very nice view of the Moonliner.


Just for fun I thought I'd try to restore the image, and it looks OK. Not perfect, I realize. Still, it's nice to not have that blown-out section at the top!


Saturday, May 28, 2022

New York World'sFair, September 1965

I'm always happy to take a detour to the New York World's Fair - this time the photos are all from the second season in 1965.

Sure, these days every other house looks just like that giant egg, but back in 1965, the IBM pavilion was pretty stunning. The "egg" contained a theater with steep grandstands that lifted guests up into place in order to watch an amusing 12-minutes show projected on 15 screens that showed how computers and the human mind solve problems in much the same way. Beep.


The Illinois pavilion is best-remembered for Walt Disney's audio-animatronic triumph, "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln", but it also had the largest collection of Lincolniana ever assembled for an international exposition, including copies of every known photo of the 16th President, and an original manuscript of the Gettysburg Address.


We're looking west-ish along what I believe was "New York Avenue", with the Maryland pavilion to our left, along with the Singer Bowl, an open-air stadium, which hold 15,000, is scheduled for a variety of events - U.S. Olympic trials, folk festivals, Judo and Karate exhibitions, and so on. It is paved in green macadam, has lights for night use, a movable stage 60 feet long and dressing room facilities for 200 performers. It is now "Louis Armstrong Stadium". Notice the Greyhound "Glide-a-Ride" tram, and the Brass Rail's giant moonberry.


And finally, there are the two familiar towers of the New York State pavilion; at 226 feet high, the tower on the right was the tallest structure at the Fair. You can see one of the capsule-like yellow elevators climbing up the side of the column. I love the color and energy of this photo. And the luminaires!


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the New York World's Fair.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Bear Country, 1973

Here are two more beauties from a batch of photos taken by Mr. X! These are "Souvenir Guidebook-Worthy" for sure.

On March 4th, 1972, a new land (its seventh!) debuted in Disneyland - Bear Country! Built on the site of the old Indian Village, it only had one attraction, the Country Bear Jamboree. And for a while, the CBJ was extremely popular - Disneyland had two identical theaters side by side to handle the enormous crowds. I love this bright, sunny view with the C.K. Holliday crossing the trestle to our left, and all of the folks in their groovy 1970s fashions.


The covered bridge near us was the entrance to the entrance, if you will; you can see the turnstiles and actual entrance in the distance to our left. The Great Stroller Infestation has begun!


 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Columbia and River, 1979

Here are more photos from my friend and person guru, the Mysterious Benefactor; yes, it's more photos of the Columbia, but they are very pretty, so I think you'll like 'em. Circa 1979, yo.

Thar she blows! I say that about anyone (or thing) that I recognize out in the world. The Columbia is gleaming with a fresh coat of Simoniz wax (for that showroom look!) and nautical flags that spell out something rude. I hope. 


Ever since the addition of the Haunted Mansion, the Columbia somehow manages to move, even without sails. Yes, I am saying that there are GHOST SAILS. Maybe not that scary, but maybe a little scary?


Here's a pretty view of the river, with Canoes and a Keelboat to our right (both hibernating for the winter), and a fantastically lush Tom Sawyer Island to our left. Was this photo taken from the Mark Twain?


Hmmm, maybe not the Mark Twain. The Columbia is rounding the bend (what a sight), and now the Hungry Bear Restaurant can be seen to our right. Even though it only serves grubs, berries, and partially pre-chewed salmon, the Hungry Bear has been one of my favorite places to dine because of the location right on the water.


 Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Matchbooks

I have a pair of vintage matchbooks for you today - one with a direct Disneyland connection, and the other  one is a bit random fun.

First up is this matchbook from Aunt Jemima's Kitchen, with Auntie J. on one side, and a drawing of the Disneyland restaurant (which eventually became the River Belle Terrace) on the other. I used to find these at collector's shows for practically nothing, but it seems that they have increased in collector value considerably in recent years. I sold a bunch off, but still have a few!


This next one is an interesting find... "Evans and Reeves Nurseries". According to one website, The nursery sold exotic plants and then expanded to offer design services. It became renowned for its unusual species and high-quality stock and supplied a clientele that included plant enthusiasts, as well as Hollywood celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor. Walt Disney had originally hired Evans and Reeves to landscape the backyard of his Holmby Hills home (the one with the famous Carolwood Pacific miniature railroad), and then he brought them on board to help with the landscaping for Disneyland (along with Ruth Shelhorne and Joseph Linesch). I wonder if this matchbook pre-dates the company's work for Disney?

The red tree (a coral tree?) reminds me of the red-leafed Disneyodendron semperflorens grandis that supported the Swiss Family Treehouse!


There is an interesting article about the Evans brothers at The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and the D23 website has an article about the Disney Legend also.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tomorrowland, May 1981

May, 1981... somehow that was forty years ago. I'd say that means that these photos qualify as "vintage"!

There's Tomorrowland, of course, still looking great at this point. I feel like the Disneyland version of Space Mountain has only appeared on GDB a handful of times (though it has probably been more than that), it was only four years old in '81. The Peoplemover was still painted in its original colors (the BEST colors!), and the Rocket Jets still impressed, even if you were just looking at the attraction from afar. 


Next is a view taken from across the Submarine lagoon, though the submarines have all activated the cloaking devices. The warm light of the late afternoon and the spots of bright color all help to make this a very pleasant scene indeed.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Wonderful Tomorrowland, November 1959

I have some excellent slide scans from photos taken by Lou Perry, and shared with us by his daughter, Sue B.! These are from November, 1959, when Disneyland's newest additions were truly new. Not many people realize that the price tag was still on the Matterhorn when it opened. What a faux pas! 

It is plain to see that Lou was mighty impressed with the Submarine Voyage and Monorail (even if he did lament the removal of the Viewliner the year before). And who can blame him? This was like no other amusement park. Even the queue area and the loading dock is a sight to behold. Look at the lack of crowds, only months after the debut of these attractions!


I love this beautiful view looking across the lagoon toward the red Mark I Monorail (Li'l Stubby), with only three cars because it was just a baby. There's the waterfalls, and the Monorail track, and the Autopia roadway... there's nothing I don't like about this picture.


Before Lou passed through the nostrils of the Matterhorn he snapped one more shot of that blue-green lagoon with its coral reef. Too bad there's no merms, but I guess you can't have everything.


THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Funky Frontierland

As I have mentioned before, I recently scanned a rather large lot of 1950s Disneyland slides. And while most of them were A-OK, some were mysteriously murky. Perhaps our visitor went to the park on more than one day, and experienced some extreme June Gloom? One can only speculate. 

This first one is still worthwhile, mostly because we can see one of the short-lived Conestoga Wagons ("Westward Ho") and a Stagecoach (equally short-lived) as they rumbled along the shores of Frontierland (our photographer was standing at the river's edge on Tom Sawyer Island).


Next is this view from up in Tom's Treehouse, looking north. There's the Canoe landing, and a Raft landing, and we can just see part of Fort Wilderness, but Frontierland was still pretty wild and undeveloped at this stage. Some of the elk and deer that populated the shores can be seen, since the landscaping hadn't had time to flourish yet. 


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Times Square, October 1954

I have some scarce night shots from New York's Times Square, circa 1954 - with the slow film speeds of those days, these are kind of a miracle. Sometimes called the "crossroads of the world", Times Square was (and still is) famous for its gigantic neon signs and movie marquees - some of them were the largest in the world at the time. Here we have ads for Canadian Club whisky, Admiral television and appliances, and Pepsi Cola. To the left, the movie theater is showing "The Adventures of Hajji Baba", which debuted on October 1, 1954. To the right is a huge billboard for "Suddenly" starring Frank Sinatra and Sterling Hayden.


Also in Times Square was this large billboard for Kleenex, featuring the then-beloved comic character "Little Lulu". Lulu debuted in the Saturday Evening Post in 1935 as a character from artist Marjorie Henderson Buell, but became even more well-known when John Stanley began writing and drawing comic books with Lulu and her friends in the 1950s. She is largely forgotten today, but those comics are widely regarded for their clever writing.


Here's an old ad for Kleenex featuring Lulu and her dog Rover. They sure love Kleenex!


There was even a Little Golden Book with Lulu and Tubby showing you "things to make and do with Kleenex tissues"! Synergy.


I almost threw this one away, but figured I'd post it just for kicks. Besides giant ads for Budweiser and the Capitol Theatre, we can just see the enormous electrified ad for Camel cigarettes to the right. It changed over the years, but always had a character blowing real smoke rings. It was there from 1944 to 1966.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Times Square!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Fantasyland in the Fitties

I have two swell views of Fantasyland from the early days, they are colorful and fun. Let's start with this shot - an unusual angle - from just outside of the Snow White dark ride (the mural is barely visible to our right), it looks like it was a busy day. The haze gives the scene a dreamy quality, don't you think? As busy as it was, the wait to board your mine cart couldn't have been too long, although those Fantasyland dark ride queues could be deceptive. 

I absolutely love these scenes from the classic 1950s Disneyland!


Nearby there was the Mad Tea Party ride, caught in mid-spin. The present of the Skyway tells us that this is at least 1956 - if I had to bet, I'd gamble that the photos are from that very year. It's nice to see the wonderful Skyway Chalet; while it sat unused for years, I'd always hoped that they might find a use for it. No such luck.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Scenes on the Plaza, October 1967

Here's a pair of slides taken by a photographer as he/she strolled around the Plaza on an October afternoon. Sorry the color is a bit odd, these slides had turned sort of purple, and I had a hard time restoring them to anything that looked normal.

First up is this nice shot of the Plaza Pavilion had been there since opening day, and, like many Disneyland eateries, was originally sponsored by Swift and Co. That oval sign to the left originally said "Swift". All of that gingerbread decoration is impressive, presumably all done by hand by old-world craftsmen who learned their skills building sets for studios. It's amazing that there is not a single person eating, or even standing around twiddling their thumbs!


Here's an odd one; a group of men, in suit jackets or shirt sleeves, seems to be walking alongside Baloo and King Louis. Maybe all of them are heading toward the Plaza Inn for a nice lunch. Could those men all be Disney "suits"? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Town Square, March 1962

I have two nice ones for you today, circa 1962. The place: Town Square.

I particularly love this first one, with a tour guide leading her baby ducks through Town Square. That gentleman appears to be smitten! It looks like they are headed toward the Opera House, which might have contained the sets from "Babes in Toyland" at that point. I'm especially proud of this one, because it was initially a reject - there was a bright orange light leak right up the middle of the picture. But (through the magic of Photoshop) I was able to fix it, though you can still see evidence of it if you look closely.


Speaking of looking closely, we can see two other tour guides in the distance, one framed by the archway of the Police Station to the left, and another at the extreme right. They must have just released them from their enclosure!


This next one was taken around the same time, with the clear early morning light making everything look so pretty. There's an Omnibus waiting for what might be its first compliment of passengers; we also get a Surrey and a Horse Drawn Streetcar at no extra charge.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Sue's Birthday!

 I'd like to wish our good friend Sue B. a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! I told Sue that I'd like to post something special for her, if she was willing, and she scanned some fun family photos to share.

Awwwww! There's little Sue, in her frilly bonnet, held in the arms by her mother Donna. I love the expression on her face! She's a happy baby.


Here's Donna and Sue again. Sue is looking very dramatic, I think she might be quoting Shakespeare. "Now is the winter of our discontent!". When I look at my own family photos, it's always so amazing to see my mom when she was a new mother, she looked so young.


And here's LOU AND SUE! What an awesome photo, with Lou proudly holding his daughter, they will be pals for decades to come. Thank you for sharing these wonderful images, Sue!


I do have some Disneyland images for you today as well; not "Lou and Sue" scans, but still pretty nice in my opinion. Both are from April, 1959.

A good photo of the original Moonliner is always a thing of beauty; even though it was half-scale, it still looked like you could climb aboard (maybe you'd need a jet pack to fly up to the cockpit?) and take that baby for a spin. It had an AM radio, so you know they spent all the money. I like the little family gazing at the sign at the base of the rocket.


Next we have the wonderful Monsanto House of the Future, where "wood" is a four-letter word. Plastic is where it's at, baby! It's always fun to see it juxtaposed with the castle - Disneyland is a kooky place. I told Walt that the Monsanto house should rotate, and suggested 45 rpm - a good round number. As usual, he ignored my brilliant idea.