Sunday, April 06, 2008

600th Post Anniversary, 1956, & Disney Concert Hall

In honor of my 600th post, I am re-posting one of my favorite images with a little bonus: a detailed closeup. This shot shows the lowering of the drawbridge; not on opening day, but the day after: July 18, 1955. I love the overall shot; a small group is nearby watching intently as the drawbridge comes down and opens up Fantasyland for all to enter. Meanwhile, over on the left, we have a group of guests relaxing, probably watching something over at the bandstand, totally oblivious to what is happening behind them. Note the hill on the right behind the castle; Snow White’s waterfall is yet to be built.

My next series which I am unveiling today is one from 1956; some of these shots are a little grainy/dark, but they are still purty darn cool in my humble opinion. Let’s start with a semi-blurry shot of the entrance, complete with a retro-green Vespa and the E.P. Ripley pulling RETLAW 1, just pulling into the Main Street Train Station. Talk about a sense of arrival! I love seeing the train just pulling up first thing in the morning; it’s always a challenge to get through the ticket line in time to make it onto the Ripley!

Looks like our photographer made it in the gate just in time; with a lively step he might be able to board! I have also included a detail train/attraction poster shot:

Seems like his attention was caught by Vesey Walker & Company, passing by the announcement sign for International Street.

Here’s a nice empty shot of Town Square, facing the Opera House:

Rounding the corner we have two showcasing the Wurlitzer Shop and Maxwell House:

Many more to come from this series! Sometimes people change their opinions; even ranters and ravers like me. I remember when I first saw the drawings and models for the Walt Disney Concert Hall before it was built in downtown Los Angeles. I thought it was an ugly monstrosity and couldn’t believe it was going to bear the Disney name. After it was constructed, I saw it as I was driving through LA one day and decided to stop and take a gander. And you know what? It didn’t bother me so much. Now, years later, I was in the area again and took a much longer look. It’s actually pretty cool...I love the different finishes on the panels (due to complaints from neighbors about the reflectiveness of the original finish), and how the metallic surfaces catch the light & shadow. Quite amazing in person.

There will be more shots from the Concert Hall as well. To see more Town Square photos, visit my website.

Add to Technorati Favorites
Add me to your network


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Congratulations on 600 awesome posts! Today's post is no exception. The draw bridge still up on 7/18/55 WOW! Great set of pictures, I can't wait to see the rest. Hmmmm Maybe I will have to check out the Disney Concert Hall....

Thanks Dave, Keep up the fantastic work!

Progressland said...

It's obvious from these photos that Disneyland is never going to make it financially...


Major Pepperidge said...

CONGRATULATIONS! 600 posts is somethin'. That first photo is definitely a neat one, especially because it refutes the legend that the drawbridge was only raised and lowered twice.

I also love the shot showing the sign for International Street. It's fun to imagine what it would have been like if it had really been built!

Chris Merritt said...

Congratulations! 600 - amazing - that's a hell of a lot of work. Thanks again for sharing!

outsidetheberm said...

Those early shots just capture the imagination, don't they? You just want to climb right into them and walk around.

600 more, please! Thank you!

Ron Schneider said...

Congratulations on 600, Dave!

And thanks for all the great pix. Especially the ones of DL on 7/18/55... since my Dad did some air-conditioning work on the old Opera House/Mill, we had first-day tickets and I was there with my family.

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Way to go, Dave!


Amazon Belle said...

Well I too must jump on the band wagon and wish you a very happy 600th post. I remember back in the day when it was one picture at a time. Dave you never cease to amaze me with the photos you find. Here's to another 600 posts. And like our good friend Tagaroa says, "Thank you for sharing!"