Thursday, September 12, 2019

Now and Then: The El Cortez in Vegas

OK, so it’s not a perfect match, but here are similar views of the El Cortez Hotel in Las Vegas from 1952 and 2018. Unfortunately, no vintage detail shots, as the photo is a bit blurry when you zoom in. Never heard of any of the “headliners” on the marquee.

The hotel itself looks very much the same on the exterior; it’s the neighborhood that has changed around it!

See more El Cortez Hotel photos at my main website.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Batman at the Chateau Marmont

As a kid, the 1966 “Batman” TV series was one of my favorites; as an adult, its appeal has only increased as I now appreciate even more the nuanced performances by Adam West and Burt Ward. Amidst the absurdity of the guest stars, the scripts, and the costumes, those two played the characters as if they were grounded in reality. Brilliant! It was a no-brainer during my recent illness that while relegated to the couch I would pull out my “Batman” blu-ray set and indulge in a little nostalgia. While doing so I noticed a few interesting details in the episode that originally aired on January 20, 1965 titled “The Penguin’s a Jinx.” Leslie Parrish has a bit role as a bored movie star, Dawn Robbins, who wishes something exciting would happen in her dull life.

Where is she staying while in Gotham City? Naturally at the Pelican Arms Hotel!

Batman & Robin race to save her from being kidnapped by the Penguin. As they pull up in the Batmobile, you can see a large billboard in the background.

What’s this? Holy Governess, Batman! It’s a poster for “The Sound of Music!”

Much of the 1966 TV series was shot on the 20th Century-Fox backlot. The studio owed a lot to that blockbuster musical; even a few years back when I visited Fox, they were still paying homage to the Julie Andrews movie with this mural on the side of one of their parking lots:

Back to Batman…as the camera shows an exterior shot of the Pelican Arms Hotel and Dawn’s penthouse apartment, viewers see...what’s this? Holy Hollywood, Batman, it’s the Chateau Marmont!

Who knew there was a Gotham City connection to my favorite hotel?

See more “Batman” photos at my main website.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Temple Tuesday: Tra La La La

In 1940, Shirley Temple made “Young People,” her last movie for 20th Century-Fox under the contract that reaped the movie studio millions. The final number in the film is a catchy tune called, “Tra-La-La-La,” with lyrics by Mack Gordon and music by Harry Warren. It was one of the first two songs composed for the movie according to Variety’s March 9, 1940 post. Nick Castle and Geneva Sawyer staged the dances for the film, including this one which featured Temple’s costars, Charlotte Greenwood and Jack Oakie.

Hedda Hopper attempted to drum up some enthusiasm for this lackluster project in her Hollywood column from April 15, 1940:

“The Young People” set is full of human interest these days. Of course, Shirley Temple is always human interest—and especially since she plays the adopted child of Jack Oakie and Charlotte Greenwood.…On the sidelines is the only dance directing team in the business. They are Geneva Sawyer and Nick Castle—a heck of a cute pair. Geneva’s more quiet than Nick—never takes her eyes off Shirley when she’s working. She’s as attentive as Mrs. Temple. Nick is all over the place, will talk about Shirley at the drop of a hat. I was ready to listen, so he went on. “She’s colossal—the greatest little trouper I ever saw. I’m telling you this kid—what’s her name?—” Even though he’s worked with her for months, he still calls her “What’s-her-name”. He thinks too fast to remember names. “Why, she does an Astaire in this picture that’s better than the master himself.” When I asked Nick if she jumps over chairs and tables, he snapped, “No! Just over Oakie and Greenwood.” So, if anyone thinks Shirley hasn’t learned her business A to Izzard, you should have seen her directing the still man how to make pictures of her routine, and I’ll be darned if he didn’t take her advice.

The truth of the matter was that the Temple family was tired of Fox, and Fox was just as tired of them, especially since 12-year old Shirley’s box office receipts had begun to dip. While it was solid entertainment, “Young People” was not of the caliber of Shirley’s previous films. Still, “Tra-La-La-La” remains one of my favorite musical numbers from a Temple film. Shirley’s voice and dancing have matured, even if the song and Castle’s choreography do not push their limits. The cute little jumper that Shirley wears was designed by Gwen Wakeling, who did most of Shirley’s wardrobe at Fox.

Wanna’ see what that dress looks like today?

Thanks to Melissa (aka “The Colonel”), you can see it in all its detailed glory.

This was one of the items originally sold at the “Love, Shirley Temple” auction back in 2015. Shirley also wore it for publicity shots, including this one taken at Universal Studios with their resident superstar, Deanna Durbin.

But back to the jumper…and the beautiful embroidery:

That’s Temple sweat you can see on the blouse; you can be sure she put her all into that number!

AND her name on the label!

Button detailing:

The construction featured a combination of buttons and hook and eye closures:

And finally a puffed sleeve detail:

I hope you enjoyed this inside look at Shirley’s final Fox film costume. MANY thanks to Melissa for generously allowing us to have a peak at this treasured piece from her private collection.

How fitting that the last shot of today’s post shows Shirley singing that final note from “Tra-La-La-La”:

See more Shirley Temple “Young People” photos at my main website.

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Monday, September 09, 2019

The Best Seat for The Mine Train!

For these two little boys from March 1962, there is no better seat on The Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland than the ones they are occupying right now. Look at those smile!

A closeup for all gear-heads!

This detailed view shows guests on pack mules riding by some of the buildings in the quaint town of Rainbow Ridge.

This previously posted shot, also from the 1960’s, shows another family that is also very happy about their seat on the attraction. And how about those hats!!

See more photos at my main website.

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Friday, September 06, 2019

Childhood Issues

At first glance, I thought this April 1965 shot was taken at Knott’s Berry Farm. Very rarely do you see one of the Native Americans outside of the Indian Village at Disneyland. This was one of those rare cases, as the Frontier Trading Post and iconic Wooden Indian Statue are also clearly visible in the photo. The gent on the right seems incredulous, too. I obviously am not alone!

Just seven months later, my family visited Disneyland in honor of my oldest brother’s 8th birthday. I got stuck at home with Grandma. What a raw deal; no wonder I visited the Park so much in my adulthood!

Everything stems from those childhood issues!

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, leave it to David from Gorillas Don’t Blog to know the answer about the mystery Fantasyland poster. He immediately contacted me with info AND images. The best!

The poster in your blog post is from a set of six litho posters (25" X 38") that were sold in the Park; I wasn't sure if they went on sale in 1965 or 1966, but your photo is from 1965, so that solves that.

I'm not sure I've ever seen another photo in which you could see one of these posters for sale!

I remember in my early poster collecting days, you could acquire the whole set of six for around $800 to $1000. Now they can fetch several thousand dollars EACH.

The Van Eaton auctions have had many of these posters for sale, sometimes referred to as "near attraction posters."

See more Disneyland Frontierland photos at my main website.

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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Lost and Kinda' Found!

I have been “lost” for awhile...with a bout of E. coli. I DO NOT recommend it. Still on the road to recovery but thought it was time to start blogging again. Just one “new” shot today, showing Mickey standing outside the Guided Tour Office door, circa April 1965. Of course I wanted to get a closeup of the Guided Tour and Lost and Found signs!

Mickey wore this style of tie for a few years before it became a regular bowtie in the late 60's. Here’s a previously posted shot of the same Mickey from May 1967:

Naturally I had to zoom in for some details, like the Bank of America lettering on the window and the lady on the bench who appears to be holding a brightly colored souvenir bag.

Panning right is the souvenir kiosk:

At first I thought the poster said “Disneyland,” but it appears to say “Fantasyland.” I don't recall ever seeing this one before.

I may still be a bit sporadic for awhile. Thanks for your patience!

See more Mickey Mouse photos at my main website.

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