Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday at Knotts

Here is a trio of images from June 1958 at Knott's Berry Farm. I love the navy blue polka dot dress of the lady in the first two photos. It is so "I Love Lucy"!

I can only assume that this is THE Doc Skinem in this photo.

He looks like the inspiration for Rex Harrison's Doctor Dolittle.

This photo of the guests posing with the dance hall girl statues just positively shouts vintage…in a good way!

See more vintage & current Knott's Berry Farm photos from my collection on my main website.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hooray for Hollywood: Pt. 4, Praying on Sunday

Continuing with my tribute to the nostalgic novels written by Martin Turnbull set in Hollywood, today's post shows the Hollywood United Methodist Church, originally known as The First Methodist Church. I guess it is better to be United than First.

The English Gothic United Methodist church is located at the intersection of Franklin and Highland Avenues in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Construction on the first building, the Recreational Hall, was started in 1927. The rest was completed on March 16, 1930. It was designed by Thomas P. Barber, and based in part on the English Gothic style of Westminster Hall in London. The structure is steel-framed concrete, with the sanctuary roof having an open hammer beam construction.

It has been the setting for many movies including the majority of "Sister Act":

…and "Back to the Future." If you don't remember a church scene in "Back to the Future," that's because the facility's gymnasium (doesn't every church have one of those?) was used for the Enchantment Under the Sea High School dance sequence, where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) performed with the Starlighters..

The Church celebrated its centennial in 2009.

See more vintage & current Hollywood photos from my collection on my main website.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday On The Strip

Welcome to the Las Vegas of long ago. Today, travel back in time with Daveland to see how The Strip looked back in September 1959. First up is a vintage view of the Stardust Hotel, accompanied by an October 1958 pool photo:

Slightly different from the pools one encounters in Las Vegas today. Compare with this shot of Caesar's Palace, where apparently there is success in excess:

Slipping back to September 1959, singer/actor Tony Martin is appearing at Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn. Not sure if The Dancing Waters poolside show is related to the one that ended up at the Disneyland Hotel, but there's a good chance that it is. According to what I found on Classic Las Vegas, "Dancing Waters" was a series of rising and falling fountains in the figure-8 shaped pool that were set to pre-recorded music and lit by colored lights."

This street shot looked boring until I zoomed in.

You can see the billboard for The Dunes Hotel with Roberta Sherwood and Frankie Vaughan:

The Dunes itself:

Love that Sultan statue atop the hotel; wonder where it is now?

Last one for today shows The Sahara Hotel, with Dan Dailey and Mitzi Green on the marquee:

See more vintage & current Las Vegas photos from my collection on my main website.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flying Saucer Friday

Yet another new acquisition for my Disneyland Flying Saucer collection. Today's image from March 1963 shows the unbridled joy (and possibly frustration) for guests that were able to ride this Tomorrowland attraction.

The joy: those who were able to get the hang of the vehicles and glide effortlessly around the arena. The frustration: those who couldn't, and found themselves stuck in one area.

This previously posted image was most likely taken by the same photographer, as it features some of the same guests.

See more vintage Disneyland Flying Saucer photos from my collection on my main website.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hooray for Hollywood: Pt. 3, Ciro's

Continuing with my tribute to the nostalgic novels written by Martin Turnbull set in Hollywood, today's post shows a few views of the Bullock's Wilshire Tea Room. One of Martin's websites features an A-Z list of famous Hollywood hangouts, including this description of the Bullock's Tea Room:

Opened January 30, 1940 by Billy Wilkerson (who also owned the Trocadero) on the site of the old Club Saville at 8433 Sunset Boulevard, on the Sunset Strip. Much like the Trocadero, Ciro’s really put itself out for its film business clientele; publicists arranging photo op dates could count on a good table and just the right light. Like the other smart clubs on the Strip (and the speakeasies and gambling parlors before them, Ciro’s attracted the local gangster crowd, star gangsters like Tony Cornero, who owned the gambling ships anchored off of Santa Monica beach, Bugsy Siegel, and Mickey Cohen.

Here Shirley Temple cuts a rug with Rock Hudson's agent, Henry Willson, at Ciro's, with Bob Hope visible in the background, March 1945:

Ciro’s had the longest run of any of the old clubs; its original life (it closed in 1957) plus another 20 or more years as the Comedy Store. It’s not all laughs at the Store, though. According to a number of people who worked at the Store in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, parts of the building are home to some rather unusual guys. Employees at the club have reported seeing a group of ghosts in the backstage areas. These ghosts are all men, dressed in the height of 1940′s high new-money style: wide lapels, loud ties, French-cuffed shirts and shiny wingtips. They hover in the back rooms in the early hours of the morning, after the club has closed. There are rumors that a local ‘banger, allegedly Mickey Cohen, arranged a hit on some rivals after- hours at Ciro’s. If this is true, then the shades of ‘bangers past are still very much at home.

Here are Ava Gardner and Howard Duff enjoying an evening at Ciro's:

How about a look at that Wine List; see anything you'd like?

See more vintage & current Hollywood photos from my collection on my main website.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hooray for Hollywood: Pt. 2, Bullock's Wilshire Tea Room

Continuing with my tribute to the nostalgic novels written by Martin Turnbull set in Hollywood, today's post shows a few views of the Bullock's Wilshire Tea Room. One of Martin's websites features an A-Z list of famous Hollywood hangouts, including this description of the Bullock's Tea Room:

Opened 1929, closed 02 APR 1993 – Located on top of the department store…Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were frequent shoppers… The dining area originally included a Tea Lounge, Club Room, two private dining rooms, one semi-private dining room and a Tea Patio. By the late 40s, the area was modified into the Tea Room and remained in place for 40-plus years. From opening day, fluffy coconut cream pie, baked daily, was a teatime specialty. At lunch, women shoppers favored sandwiches and dainty fair, including the Bombay Salad (mainly shrimp and crabs with a poppy seed dressing). During the run, the maitre d’ Humberto Lara became an institution. Pompadoured and polite, the dark suited man was the Tea Room’s ultimate greeter and hand-kisser for more than 30 years.

The buffet luncheon was 85 cents (in the 30s) There was also a table d’hote luncheon and a diet special for about the same price. By the way, this tea room is something you must be sure to visit. The desert motif is so very restful and the copper cactus on the window grating sets the tempo, which is so well carried out that even the slats on the Venetian blinds are painted alternately in pink and green and ivory to keep the decor! Even the vegetable plate is well-planned and will restore the good humor of the most unwilling dieter; grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, string beans, peas, asparagus, squash and celery – all of them delicious and you can do your duty by your stomach and enjoy yourself. There are such things as stuffed zucchini, cream cheese ring with assorted fruit, fresh strawberry dressing, and always orange bread and date and nut bread and cheese bread (ambrosial!) and a list of desserts to make one’s mouth water. Tuesdays there is a fashion luncheon at $1.25, which is slightly more than the usual $I.00 affair, or a salad special at 85 cents or thereabouts. Out in the Desert Lounge, are cannily displayed the most decorative baskets of stuffed fruits, and the show case is always filled with delectable cookies; little fancy cookies which tempt the weak sisters anew, as well they may, with their enticing shapes and nutty goodness. The fruit cake is one of the house specialties at $1.25 the pound, and is very gay with its top dressing of candied fruits. At the moment, they are featuring agar-agar candy, again for the diet-conscious, which sells for $1.00 a pound and is simply extraordinary – ask them to let you taste it, and you’re as good as sold.

Bullock’s Department store was at 639-657 S. Broadway from 1906 to 1907 – then at 401-423 S. Broadway from 1912 to 1914 – then at 630 S. Hill.

If Bullocks wasn't your cup of tea (pardon the pun), you could have visited the Tick Tock Tea Room.

Once again, from Martin's site:

Located at 1716 North Cahuenga Avenue, the Tick Tock Tea Room opened in 1930, by Norwegian Arthur Johnson and wife Helen. Closed 1988. On the day they opened for business, they installed an old clock, a family treasure on the wall; hence the name. The final tally was 48 clocks plus the neon one out front.

The Tick Tock was a well-liked restaurant serving heaping portions of comfort food to the aspiring actors and studio craftspeople who could afford to dine in the city’s tonier restaurants. In the 30s and 40s the restaurant was popular for it’s 3-course dinners; in those days the Tick Tock served 2000 people a day. Only complete dinners were available, and came complete with a basket of beloved Sticky Orange Rolls, sweet enough to be desert. Dinners were usually canned fruit cocktail or tomato juice, sherbert, meat loaf, fried chicken, fried beef liver and onions with some sort of homemade pie or cake for dessert.

See more vintage & current Hollywood photos from my collection on my main website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hooray for Hollywood: Pt. 1, Carthay Circle

This series of posts pays homage to a trilogy of books written by Martin Turnbull that I recently stumbled upon. Set among some iconic (and sadly many no longer existent) buildings, shops, and restaurants that were part of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Turnbull's novels feature fictional characters woven into the fabric of real-life Hollywood, taking the reader through a nostalgic journey. The three titles include, "The Garden on Sunset," "The Trouble with Scarlett," and his most recent, "Citizen Hollywood." HIGHLY recommended!

Built in 1926, The Carthay Circle Theatre at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard was designed by Carleton Winslow and A. Dwight Gibbs in the Spanish Baroque/Spanish Colonial Revival style. With its iconic octagonal high bell tower and neon sign, it made a famous name of the newly developed Carthay residential district in the Mid-City West district of Los Angeles, California.

Its auditorium of 1500 seats was shaped in the form of a perfect circle, extended vertically into a cylinder, set inside a square that fleshed out the remainder of the building. Initially developed by the Fox studio, it was called the Fox Carthay Circle Theater and built as a silent movie theater, boasting an impressive Wurlitzer Theater Organ. The first movie played at Carthay was Cecile B. DeMille’s "Volga Boatman" (1926).

A rare interior shot of the theater's lobby:

Much of the theatre's art collection focused on the explorers of the wild west who settled California. A drop curtain featured an homage to the pioneer Donner Party, which perished crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains, called “An Emigrant Train at Donner Lake” by Frank Tenney Johnson. There were busts and plaques celebrating scouts, a man who carried mail over the Sierras, and Dan the Miner, which sat in the theater’s vast forecourt as part of a fountain (seen in the photo below). Murals of historic scenes 40' tall, painted by Pasadena artist Alson S. Clark, impressed guests as they traveled through the theater.

Often the street medians of McCarthy Vista, from Wilshire Boulevard south to San Vicente Boulevard, were decked out with sets from the movies for their gala premieres, such as Disney's "Snow White" (Dec. 21, 1937):

and the Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power drama "Marie Antoinette" (1938), for which the gardens around the theater were enhanced to resemble the landscaping of the Palace of Versailles. Only Grauman's Chinese Theatre could rival the elaborate premieres held at Carthay.

For Disney's "Fantasia" (1940), the most elaborate audio system in use at the time, Fantasound, a pioneering stereophonic process, was installed at the Carthay.

Mike Todd showcased his 1956 blockbuster movie “Around the World in 80 Days," which caused some of the interior of the auditorium to be destroyed to accommodate the huge new Todd A-O screen. At the time, only two other theaters had the ability to show Todd A-O movies: The Egyptian and the downtown United Artists.

This photo can be dated to 1947, thanks to the marquee featuring the Paulette Goddard movie, "Unconquered."

The last movie shown at Carthay was "The Shoes of the Fisherman" (1968), starring Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier. The theater was demolished in 1969 and replaced by two low-rise office buildings and a city park.

Fortunately, this theater will live on as one of the vintage settings for Turnbull's upcoming fourth novel. Stay tuned for future announcements!

See more vintage & current Hollywood photos from my collection on my main website.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monorail Monday

I am starting off the week with two new additions to my collection from March 1960. The Monorail was less than a year old when this photo was taken of it gliding above the Matterhorn Bobsled attraction.

This second image is a beauty, with the Richfield Autopia Eagle hovering over the foreground.

I had to zoom in for a look at its backside. I wonder if it survived in somebody's private collection?

Just for good measure, I am throwing in a few other Blue Monorail favorites to boost up today's post, beginning with this November 1960 shot:

Nothing to see here, folks; just a few mermaids taking a dip in the lagoon.

Even though it's a bit dark, I really like this January 1961 image of the Monorail, Yacht Bar, Skyway, and Matterhorn. So much to see!

Nosy me…I just have to see who is on the Monorail in this shot:

Last one for today is a February 1960 picture-postcard-perfect shot:

See more vintage & current Disneyland Monorail photos from my collection on my main website.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Santa's Village, December 1959

Santa's Village was a winter-themed amusement park in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead, California. Opened in 1955, it was the first franchised amusement park, one of three built by developer Glenn Holland. The other two were located in Santa Cruz and Dundee, Illinois.

Holland was born in 1918 and grew up during the Great Depression. His parents died by his eighteenth birthday, leaving him to care for his younger sister. As an adult, Holland dreamed of giving his children and other children the type of Christmas he only knew in his dreams.

"He wanted Christmas to be just magical," said Holland's daughter, Pamela Holland Reece, 63, of Fallbrook, California. "He always thought that children should have adventures and great happiness in their lives. He wanted to make that come true."

In 1953, Holland was inspired to create Santa's Village after reading a Saturday Evening Post story about a project in New York called Santa's Workshop in a town called North Pole. Working at his kitchen table, Holland sketched out his idea of a Christmas fairyland filled with enormous candy canes, animals, and gingerbread houses. Holland contacted Walt Disney, who was involved in building his own theme park at the time, and the two men supposedly corresponded for a time.

Opening for Memorial Day in 1955, six weeks before Disneyland, the 220-acre park was one of Southern California's biggest tourist attractions. It featured kiddie rides, including a bobsled, monorail, and Ferris wheel. There was also a petting zoo with live reindeer. Children enjoyed feeding the goats and other smaller animals that freely roamed the property. The shops included a bakery, candy kitchen, and toy shop. The park was constructed at a cost of approximately $1 million in less than a year by Henck Construction.

I had to zoom in to see what the box was for; hot chocolate. Yum!

Reduced attendance and revenue shortfalls caused Santa’s Village to close on March 1, 1998. The property sold three years later for $5.6 million, and now serves as a staging area for local logging operations. The park's faded candy cane signpost and dilapidated buildings have become a ghost town along the Rim of the World Highway.

See more vintage Santa's Village photos from my collection on my main website.