Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Old Santa Rosa Chapel

Anyone who has traveled with me knows that I typically seek out old cemeteries as I think they are a slice of history, art, and storytelling. For this Halloween, I am featuring The Santa Rosa Chapel, located in Cambria, California. I stumbled upon it during my first visit there in 2010 and returned again this year.

How about that doorknob?

The chapel was built in 1970 for the local Roman Catholic community by Henry Williams and was the first church built in the county after its establishment in 1850.

Its congregation included guests of William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies, Gary Cooper and Bing Crosby. Why would friends of these celebrities be found here? Because William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon property (aka Hearst Castle) was just down the road.

How the same headstone looked 8 years before:

The final Mass at this cemetery was celebrated in the Chapel on May 26, 1963.

From the Chapel’s website:

After its closing, the chapel and cemetery fell into a state of neglect and disrepair with both the chapel and cemetery incurring vandalism. In 1978, Cambria natives Marina Curti and Clementine Newman formed the Santa Rosa Chapel committee and spearheaded the restoration project for seven years. The chapel was rededicated for community use on September 16, 1984.

While there, I encountered this beautiful animal:

See more Old Santa Rosa Chapel photos at my main website.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Janet Leigh on the Monorail, 1962

Back to 1962 when Janet Leigh was taking the kids to Disneyland. Sporting an angora wrap, I believe Janet and family are at the Disneyland Hotel in this shot. Anyone know the name of the shop they are standing in front of?

They patiently wait for the Monorail to arrive.

In this shot, you can see the sign for the Disneyland Hotel Golf Centre:

The family arrives safely in Tomorrowland, as Janet helps daughter Jamie Lee Curtis off the Monorail.

Angora must have been “in” at the time. Note the two cast members at the left of the image.

First stop in the Park is the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry.

The balloon seller can’t believe he’s looking at a real movie star!!

Last shot shows the family passing by the flag poles with the names of all the states.

Here are Indiana and Louisiana:

See more Janet Leigh at Disneyland photos at my main website.

Monday, October 29, 2018

MGM on a Monday

Before digital movie magic reigned supreme, the scenery for most of your favorite films was painted right here in The Scenic Painting Building at MGM (now Sony Pictures Studio). Built in the 1930s, at one time, over 5000 paintings were stored here. During the day with the sunlight streaming in, you can see why this would be the ideal place for an artist to create these masterpieces of illusion. Here's a vintage shot from LIFE magazine showing an artist at work:

One of the side walls where the gigantic paintings were raised up and down through a narrow slot in the floor:

In this un-cropped photo also used in LIFE Magazine, you can see the top of the painting of Munchkinland from “The Wizard of Oz”:

Can you imagine the history in all of these paint drops?!?

In researching this building, I came upon this fantastic article which talks about how all of the backdrops were removed and catalogued in the last year. Here’s a shot of one of the backdrops from “Singin' in the Rain” being photographed:

...and the “Fit as a Fiddle” number with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor where it was used:

During my visit, the building was vacant awaiting its next purpose. I probably don't want to know what’s going to happen to it next.

See more MGM/Sony Studios photos at my main website.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Disneyland Christmas Bowl, 1956

You know you have too many vintage Disneyland images takes you eight years to publish an image that you scanned at that time! I couldn’t believe it when I found this shot of an empty Magnolia Park Bandstand ready for the next Christmas Bowl program from December 1956.

Here are two previously shown shots from the actual program:

See more Disneyland Magnolia Park photos at my main website.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Vintage Frontierland

These two fashionable 1956 ladies are posing in front of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon at Disneyland’s Frontierland.

Looks like there’s an ABC Radio Show being broadcast here. Anyone know who Reed Browning is?

NOTE: I was contacted by the daughter of Reed Browning who gave me this excellent background information:

Your blog has a vintage photo of the Saloon at Disneyland in the first year that it opened. You asked who was Reed Browning. My late father, Reed Browning was there for ABC to cover the opening of Disneyland and had a show from the saloon for at least the first year. His actual name was Bill (William) Livesay. In those days, many celebrities used names that were easier to pronounce and remember than their birth names. My Dad was a major announcer and star of shows at ABC. He interviewed the televised premiers of major movies including, "Oklahoma", "Moby Dick" and many others. He starred on The Reed Browning Show and "Beat The Record" TV shows. He started the first talk show on ABC talk Radio. Unfortunately, at the age of 45, he was diagnosed at the Mayo clinic with Peri-Arteritis Nodosa, a rare auto-immune disease and died a year later in October, 1962. Joe Pyne took over as the commentator of the Talk Show “Night Line.”

Had to zoom into the Slue Foot Sue sign. Sure do love that piece of vintage design!

This previously unpublished April 1962 image shows the walkway around the corner from the Saloon in front of the Pendleton Shop. Perhaps the plaid coat the fashionable lady is wearing came from here?

Back to 1956, these ladies are enjoying a little refreshment outside the Aunt Jemima’s Kitchen restaurant on New Orleans Street.

All I see are vintage cups; no pancakes. Darn!

Last one for today shows a girl feeding the ducks with popcorn from a Frontierland Popcorn Cart, circa April 1962.

See more Disneyland Frontierland photos at my main website.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Ciro's on Sunset

A shot of Ciro’s Nightclub on Sunset Boulevard circa November 1954. One of those most popular nightclubs back in the day for stars who wanted to appear in the gossip columns of Hedda and Louella.

Excitement and Enjoyment? Count me in!

You can make out my favorite hotel in the corner, The Chateau Marmont.

The Marquee shows that pop singer Guy Mitchell and Spanish ventriloquist Señor Wences are the headliners.

Señor Wences found fame with his frequent appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. A puppet from your own hand? Brilliant!

Today, this location serves as The Comedy Store:

According to the LA Curbed website, the place is now haunted by several hit men, as well as a woman who performed illegal abortions in the downstairs lounge and a woman who died getting one of those abortions.

See more Sunset Boulevard photos at my main website.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Temple Tuesday: Journey of a Dress

In the 1936 Shirley Temple classic “Stowaway,” the curly-haired moppet is ably supported by Robert Young and Alice Faye. Naturally she’s an orphan who plays matchmaker for her two costars. The costume shown here, designed by Royer, was worn by Ching-Ching (Shirley Temple) in the scene with Susan Parker (Alice Faye) when she changes from her Chinese costume to this dress, bought in the dress shop of the steam ship. Shirley exclaims, "I've never had a dress as nice as this" while twirling around, and then meets up with “Uncle” Tommy (Robert Young) where she exclaims, "I'm a stowaway, but I didn't mean to be."

This dress was also worn in a deleted scene and musical number that followed. There are many existing stills from this deleted scene which can be pieced together thanks to a vintage storybook tie-in published by Saalfield.

There is a knock at Susan’s stateroom door, and Tommy and friends enter. They’re singing “Happy Birthday” and carrying gifts. When Ching says it’s not her birthday, Tommy responds, “It must be mine.” He opens a package with a dress. “But it doesn’t fit me!” “You’re fooling,” exclaims Ching Ching. “It’s a party!”

In this vintage lobby card, it looks like Helen Westley’s character, Mrs. Hope, was breaking up this party!

The gang appears to be singing a song in this shot; it could be “All Aboard the Dreamland Choo Choo” or “I Wanna Go to the Zoo”, as both were mentioned in newspaper articles at the time as songs from “Stowaway,” and there was “Zoo” sheet music. No sheet music for “Choo Choo,” but there is a recording – but that may have been done later, as “Choo Choo” was also slated for – and deleted from – “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” Most likely it was “Zoo” that they sang here; later, Ching Ching and Tommy would sing a snippet of it as they returned to the ship.

This photo from the deleted scene shows Ching Ching with a pair of scissors. Most likely it came after the party, as she’s wearing her corsage.

Almost 80 years later, this dress came up for sale at the Shirley Temple estate auction held by Theriault’s in July 2015. First thing you’ll notice is that the person who tinted the vintage lobby cards wasn’t concerned with accuracy, as the original dress is blue, not red.

Lifelong Shirley Temple aficionado Melissa, aka “The Colonel,” was at the July 2015 auction. “I didn't even dream of owning a costume, let alone from one of my very favorite Shirley films,” she told me recently. The dress came up for bid and was gone, along with a number of other Temple screen-worn costumes. Who bought them? The Nate Sanders Auction House.

In this case, patience was a virtue as Melissa was able to obtain this costume the second time around directly from Nate. “I was elated but nervous about my was a big expense that took me four months to pay for, but it was a quintessential Shirley dress, worn in several scenes including a deleted musical number. As soon as it arrived I noticed the exceptional detail and craftmanship. And lots of snaps and hooks and eyes!”

Melissa generously shared these images of her prized acquisition which now resides in her Shirley “shrine.”

On a side note, The Danbury Mint released this 8" miniature Shirley doll wearing the “Stowaway” dress. The fact that Shirley Temple Black herself chose this outfit for the doll tells me it was a very special one to her...and they even got the color right!

A little more information on the designer of the dress. Louis/Luis Royer also did the gowns for “Bright Eyes” and “Baby Take A Bow” as well as the costumes for “Miss Annie Rooney.”

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.