Monday, March 26, 2018

Miami Monday: Art Deco



My initial interest in visiting Miami was to see the art deco architecture that it is known for. Throw in some vintage neon and that's a slam dunk for me. Because I did the red eye, my arrival meant there was quite a bit of time to kill before my first photo shoot and check-in at the hotel. What's a guy to do? Get the camera out of the bag and start snapping! Up and down Ocean Drive, I captured these photos before the sun began to peek out at dawn.



One of my friends begged that I not take the proverbial shots of vintage cars in Miami; however, I couldn't resist on this one.







While most of the buildings looked like vintage art deco, some of the signage seemed as if it hailed from the 1970s revival.





I believe The Carlyle was used in the Robin Williams movie "The Birdcage."



I got a kick out of this Penguin statue; straight out of Mary Poppins!



More art deco abounds on Collins Avenue:





Even the local dentist uses an art deco font for his signage!



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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Raquel and Farrah at The Chateau Marmont



I acquired two vintage "Myra Breckenridge" stills from Israel. Why would I want those from one of the most wacky movies in Hollywood history? Because this scene was filmed at the Chateau Marmont! If you still don't know why, then you obviously have not been reading my blog for very long. OBSESSED.

Here are Rex Reed, Farrah Fawcett, and Raquel Welch in Room 64 at The Chateau, aka the Howard Hughes Penthouse Suite. Here's a contemporary view of the same area:



I am guessing this vintage poster for "Hangover Square" was not part of the Chateau's decor, but rather a plug for Myra's studio, 20th Century Fox.



What the poster looks like in full color:



I am still not sure if the bedroom scenes were filmed at a studio or at the Chateau. If actually filmed on location, then I am cringing at the choice of headboard:



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Monday, March 19, 2018

Miami Monday: The Colony



From the outside, The Colony Hotel stands out on Miami's famous Ocean Drive. Its vintage art deco neon sign is a showstopper (despite a few letters not being on). The interior leaves a tad bit to be desired. In other words, once you enter the front doors, the show is pretty much over.



The art deco style is still visible in the lobby, but there is no "wow" factor that would draw you to the check-in desk. In fact, because I arrived so early in the morning and cleaning was going on, I had a difficult time figuring out where I was supposed to go. The place looked like a storage facility with chairs stacked all over.



In defense of the hotel, the space is small, and they do a pretty good job of utilizing it as best as they can. Love the vintage elevator that is still in service. However, I chose the stairs after my first slow ride up to the third floor.



My standard hallway shot:



The room itself was fantastic. Spacious with a gorgeous view of the ocean and Ocean Drive.





Bathroom was a bit small but definitely functional...once I figured out that the toilet paper holder was BEHIND the door and that the hot water was really the cold water and vice versa. All good.



The restaurant at the hotel was out front, called The Columbus. Definitely serviceable, but the main focus is getting patrons to buy the drinks. The wait staff was very good at drawing people off the street to sit in the shade with a great view of Ocean Drive.



What you typically see on Ocean Drive during the day:



And what you typically see from the hotel at night:



For location, friendly staff, and a well-appointed room, check out the Colony Hotel.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Palm Springs Weekend



This April 1962 vintage image shows the Riviera Hotel, back when it was home to the Rat Pack. And no...I'm not talking about vermin. It was also used as the outdoor location for the 1963 film "Palm Springs Weekend," starring Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens.



According to Troy Donahue, who was also in the film, what happened off-camera was a lot crazier than what happened on-screen: "I was there to drink and get laid."



The pool scenes were shot at the Riveria. Here are Donahue, Jerry Van Dyke, and Stephanie Powers:





Flash forward to today, and the Riviera has two pools:



Unfortunately, Robert and Connie are nowhere to be seen.



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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Back to Knott's, Pt. 4: Calico Mine Ride



When we last visited Knott's Berry Farm together, I left you at the entrance to the Calico Mine Company. Today, it's time to board the train!



Designed by Bud Hurlbut, this attraction has been entertaining guests since November 1960. And yes, guests of today need a simple common sense reminder:



Lighting can make all the difference:





These scenes with the animatronics look huge and are so impressive; would they be if the lights were on? Probably not, but that's all part of the illusion.



One of the almost fifty animatronic figures in this attraction:





My favorite scene: The Cavern/Heaven Room with the ethereal music playing in the background:





A brief trip back out into the sunshine:



Those vultures are just waiting for a snack:



And then back into the darkness...



for an explosive finale!



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Monday, March 12, 2018

Golden Horseshoe Mystery Solved



As fate would have it, 7 years after I posted about the painting in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, I get an answer about who painted it...from the son of the artist! Amazing how the internet (sometimes) works!

"Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Mark Schaeffing. The other day I was surfing the internet searching Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe saloon painting and I happened to stumble upon your post, dated August 3, 2011 titled April 1977, pt 7, I have the answer to who did the painting. It was my father, James Schaeffing. He was employed at Disney Studios during the 60's as an artist and worked on many Disney movies. Walt commissioned my father to do the painting."

When Walt saw the finished painting, he said, “Jim, this is a great painting but could you cover the top a little bit?” This finally solves my question as to whether the gauzy material draped over the woman's breasts was original or not.



Here's the picture of the painting and Jim, taken by Mark's brother-in-law.



Mark was also gracious enough to share a scene study illustration that his dad did for the opening scene of "Mary Poppins" showing her flying and holding her umbrella. Jim was also the one who painted the chalk scenes that Bert, Mary, and the children jump into for the Jolly Holiday sequence.



Jim also did paintings of one of my favorites, Tippi Hedren:







Many thanks to Mark for reaching out to me and sharing all of this amazing material!

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