Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Party Like It's 1937



If it were 1937, you might be getting ready to spend New Year's Eve at The Hollywood Plaza Hotel where Bette Davis once threw a party that was snubbed by its guest of honor, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. How embarrassing.

Since it's not 1937 though, you probably won't be going to this place as it looks like it has fallen on hard times:



This once classy hotel played host to the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Howard Hughes, and Babe Ruth. Today, it is a retirement facility.





If you look closely at the first vintage shot, you'll see from the banner that the hotel also was home to the short-lived Clara Bow's It Café. Below is a shot of the famous 1920's movie star:



I hope your New Year's Eve plans help kickstart you into a fabulous 2015!

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Meet Me At The Tower



The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair lasted from April 22 – October 18, 1964 and April 21 – October 17, 1965. Today's featured shot is from June 1964 and shows two of the seven dwarves on top of Rolly Crump's Tower of the Four Winds. You can just barely see the yellow of Snow White's dress at the far left of the frame. The 120' tall tower was a landmark at the Fair and spawned the phrase, "Meet me at the Tower."

The Tower was torn down at the end of the fair; this model in the Walt Disney World Contemporary Hotel is the best way to see it up close and personal.



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See more Daveland 1964/1965 New York World's Fair photos at my main website.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Central Plaza Madness!



It's a two-fer-one special as we spend today (virtually speaking) in Central Plaza. A 1955 negative is the source of the first photo for today, showing a gent and his son on the Horse-Drawn Streetcar. Zooming in, we can see some kind of utility structure in the background. The Skyway under construction?



Busting out in full color is this 1957 view of the Chemical Wagon dumping a load of guests at Central Plaza in front of Tomorrowland.



Let's hope the driver has some hand sanitizer with him.



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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Welcome to Tomorrowland, April 1968



Hailed today as Tomorrowland at its best, this area of the park is seen at its peak in this April 1968 photo. One shot has it all, from guests exhibiting subversive behavior:



patriotism:



classic versions of thrilling attractions that are now not so thrilling:



vintage signage and sponsors that are no longer in the park:



a Mary Blair tile mural that today is waiting to be uncovered and restored:



and a classic case of style vs. no-style. I'll let you apply the labels to the proper person.



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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dining in Fantasyland, August 1960



This quartet of snapshots from August 1960 shows guests wearing souvenir Disneyland paper hits sitting near the Fantasyland Food and Refreshment Center. This color shot from June of the same year should help you get your bearing. Not sure if the walls with posters are construction walls or just barriers to divide Fantasyland and Frontierland. I am sure there is a knowledgeable reader out there who knows.



Back to black and white land…



Zooming in, it appears that they might be writing postcards to send home.



A better shot of the Food and Refreshment Center:



Are those phone booths in the back?



Somebody better explain to the youngsters what those are.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Corinne's 14th Birthday, September 1, 1967



These two images from September 1, 1967 were marked as "Corinne's 14th Birthday." That would make Corinne 61 years old now; I wonder what happened to her. I also wonder which girl she is; most likely the smiling brunette in the pink striped top. She looks like she's having a great day!



Thanks for the great photos of Nature's Wonderland, Corinne!

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Movies



Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, surely you enjoy these two classic movies that get trotted out every year around this time. First up is the Vincente Minnelli directed gem "Meet Me in St. Louis." MGM makeup gal Donnie Ponedel helped transform Judy Garland into a beautiful young woman who actually gets the guy in this charming turn-of-the-century tale.



The second to last sequence in the film takes place during the Christmas season and is highlighted by Garland's rendition of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," sung to Margaret O'Brien.



Although the song is meant to cheer the characters up, the impending threat of having to move the family from their home in St. Louis to the big city of New York casts a bittersweet sadness over the scene.



"It's a Wonderful Life" barely broke even when released over the Christmas holiday of 1946, but has since become a beloved favorite of many.



Overcome with financial troubles, George Bailey (expertly played by Jimmy Stewart) forgets all of the blessings he has had throughout his life and wishes he had never been born.



Thanks to Clarence, the guardian angel, George gets his wish and is able to see just how much of a positive impact he had by being around.



The emotional final scene around the Christmas tree is one that is hard to forget, as friends and family descend upon the Bailey home to repay the kindnesses that George doled out over the years.







A ringing bell on the tree lets the audience know that Clarence has earned his wings.



No matter what your situation is today, may the spirit of the season take over and let you know just how much YOU are valued!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas at Convair



In honor of Christmas Eve, I am posting a few more shots from my Stepmother's days at the San Diego Wind Tunnel (aka Convair). These gems from the 1950's show her and her friend/coworker with the rest of the gang that worked there. First shot is from 1951, followed by 1952.



Decorating the tree for 1952:



Moving ahead 2 years to 1954, we see an unexpected office shot; no computers…just a typewriter. Anyone out there heard of those?



Zooming in for a closeup of the Pinup Calendar on the wall; sure wish the person who took the photo had a steadier hand!



In the next two group shots from 1955, my Stepmother is the one in the festive Christmas Tree skirt:





Gotta' zoom in for a closeup of that skirt. This could be the new trend, replacing the recent Christmas Sweater craze!



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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Julie Reihm: Modeling the Model



For Disneyland's 10th Anniversary, Walt recruited Julie Reihm as his sidekick for a January 1965 episode of "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." Here, Walt tells the dark-haired Disneyland Ambassador (the very first one) about the Plaza Inn Restaurant, which was in the process of being remodeled from its original incarnation, The Red Wagon Inn.

The master storyteller also showed off his upcoming projects including it's a small world, New Orleans Square (visible in the above photo in the painting behind Reihm), Pirates of the Caribbean…



and the Haunted Mansion.

Below, Imagineer John Hench, the one in charge of the Red Wagon Inn remodel, takes a gander at the same model with Walt.



Reihm came back to the Plaza Inn to cut the cake for the Tencennial Press Party on July 18, 1965:



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Monday, December 22, 2014

Monorail Below!



How about this April 1979 overhead shot? I am digging the side-by-side view of the Monorial and The PeopleMover.

Uh oh…yawning? Not good! Don't let this cast member work any of the controls. This could result in a safety hazard!



Zooming into the upper left hand area of the photo, you get a SECOND Monorail. This photo is just chock full of Tomorrowland-goodness!



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See more Daveland Disneyland Monorail photos at my main website.