Friday, February 24, 2017

Starlight Musical Theatre



Although I've walked/driven by it many times, it wasn't until this month that I actually ventured a closer look at the Starlight Musical Theatre in San Diego's Balboa Park. Constructed for the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition, it was originally named The Ford Bowl because the auto manufacturer sponsored the outdoor concerts that occurred there.



The venue has sat empty since 2011. Falling into disrepair and decay, it has been a blight on the landscape of San Diego's jewel.



And here you can see the largest reason why this unique theatre did not do well over the years.



Touring the area with my mom who was visiting from the other coast, there was a steady stream of noisy planes flying directly over the stage.



Not really good for hearing music or dialogue. Still, it does appear that hope is on the way in the form of "Save Starlight," an organization that is working to restore, revive and revitalize Starlight Bowl by using creative technology to address opportunities and challenges for its location and architecture.

More Balboa Park photos at my main website.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

La La Land and Hermosa Beach



I just crossed another one off my list of locations used in the film "La La Land." The Lighthouse Cafe is a real place, near the Hermosa Beach Pier. It really looks about the same from what you see in the movie.



What you see though is the back of the location; here's what the front looks like:



And here's the Pier as seen in the movie:



versus reality:



I think I'll take fantasy...and not just because Ryan Gosling is in the shot. I have read that the city is considering putting vintage lights on the pier to make it look more like the movie. That would definitely be an improvement as the pier looks fairly sterile in its every day incarnation.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Old Time Photo Mystery



Within a recent batch of vintage Disneyland slides comes this July 1958 image of an old time photo "booth." I have no way of knowing if this is an interior of the Kodak shop on Main Street...unless someone like Beachgal comes forward and solves the mystery for me! Along with this interesting photo I also obtained this interior view of the Dutch Boy Paint Gallery in Tomorrowland. Leave it to Walt and the Imagineers to create an interactive/futuristic looking display for paint.



See more vintage and current Disneyland photos at my main website.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Temple Tuesdays: Behind the Storybook Pt. 1



From a batch of vintage negatives come these behind-the-scenes shots of Shirley Temple rehearsing her anthology television show, "Shirley Temple's Storybook."



Running on NBC from January through December 1958, it was a mix of color and black and white episodes. I tried to zoom in to be able to read Shirley's script, but to no avail. However, check out the ice on her fingers!



Although the golden curls had straightened out and gone darker, that famous dimpled smile was still around to charm.







I believe the gentleman with the cig and his back to the camera is Mitchell Leisen, who directed three of the series' episodes.



More 1950s Shirley at my main website.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Myra for President



With all of the turmoil over our new President (yes, I know...many claim he's not their President), why not get ready for 2020 by voting for Myra Breckenridge? Clad in her patriotic red, white, and blue, this statue apparently toured around Los Angeles to promote Gore Vidal's book and the upcoming movie that would star Raquel Welch and Mae West.



I don't know anything about these November 1968 photos other than they were shot in California (according to the trailer's license plate) and that the statue was also featured on the cover of Vidal's book.



These three images were part of a collection of a man who worked as a cameraman and Technical Director at NBC in Washington DC at WRC-TV-4 from 1947-1978. Apparently he passed away in 2004.



UPDATE: This statue is either the same or an homage to the one that once twirled on Sunset Boulevard near the Chateau Marmont Hotel from 1957-1966. My personal opinion when comparing the two is that they are different, and it's more than just a coat of paint. The one on the flatbed looks more like a temporary/cheaper construction version.



More vintage movie and television photos at my main website.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Union Station Hotel



Built in 1900, Nashville's Union Station became a luxury hotel in 1986. I love a good adaptive reuse that preserves historic detail while finding new life for something that might have been torn down instead.



Last year, a $15.5 million renovation was completed that helped bring the property into the modern age while retaining its history.



The lobby is really a stunner:





Vintage tile: check.



Handcrafted stained glass windows: check.



An impressive staircase: check.



An inviting fireplace: check.



This was one of the few things that made me wish I'd had more time to linger in this city.

More Nashville, Tennessee at my main website.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Welcome to Puckett's



Sporting five locations, I was completely unaware of Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant until my recent visit to Nashville. The location I visited was brand spanking new; in fact, it wasn't even officially open yet. Thanks to my very persuasive friend Michelle, we were able to crash their soft opening and enjoy their amazing (yet fairly unhealthy) menu. Starting out as a grocery store back in the fifties, Puckett's focuses on "providing friends new and old with great food and Southern hospitality." I'd say that they succeed.



Even though things were still a bit new and there were a few bugs to iron out, the staff was super friendly and the food was delicious (definitely worth the wait!). I also really dug the decor, which was an eclectic mix of vintage signage and antiques.







We were all a bit creeped out by the little guy poking his finger in the bread.



Check out the cool ceiling!



Now bring on the food! Fried green beans were a great appetizer:



I chose the Piggy Mac and Cheese for dinner. Gouda cheese...barbeque pulled pork...and fortunately it was appropriately sized. Otherwise, my arteries might have clogged on site.



And for dessert...nothing less than the deep fried brownie sundae would do. And yes, that's a huge slice of candied bacon on top.



This is why I run and work out.

More from Puckett's at my main website.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Praying on the Matterhorn



I could not resist when I saw this vintage photo of actor Robert Crawford Jr. and his girlfriend on the Matterhorn. Her face and praying hands say it all. Crawford had a bit part on three episodes of the Disney "Zorro" television show in 1958 as well as a part in the "Little Men" episode of "The Shirley Temple Show" in 1960.



Here he is with Shirley herself!



Robert's brother Johnny was one of the original 1955 Mouseketeers.

More vintage and current Disneyland Matterhorn photos at my main website.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Temple Tuesdays: 1950s Shirley



Shirley Temple helps us usher in Valentine's Day with a color photo showing Director Mitchell Leisen zipping her up in one of the Don Loper gowns that she wore on "The Shirley Temple Storybook," circa 1957. The edge of another one of her dresses can be seen to the left. Oh, hey...here she is with Producer Alvin Cooperman wearing that very dress on set, December 1957.



But back to the original image, here are some detailed shots:



Here is her famous blue diamond ring that she received in 1940; currently estimated to be worth between $25-35 million. That sure would make a nice Valentine's Day gift!



More 1950s Shirley at my main website.

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