Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hump Day On A Stagecoach

How about a ride on a Stagecoach for Hump Day? I can’t think of any better way to cruise into midweek than hopping aboard this unpredictable mode of transportation that once was available at Disneyland’s Frontierland. This view is from 1957. I’ve said it before, and obviously, here it comes again…it is so wild to see guests sitting on top of the coach, not even buckled in. AND THEY SURVIVED!!! Forget global warming; how about global stupidity? Yup…somehow people have become exponentially less intelligent as our computers and devices have increased their complexity.

A closeup of the art on the side of this coach:

This August 1958 shows the coach barreling through the Nature’s Wonderland scenery:

While it can feel safe and comforting to have everything taken care of for you on a vacation, there is something thrilling about the unexpected. Today, the Park sure could use a few more of these thrilling unexpected attractions.

See more Disneyland Stagecoach photos at my main website.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Shirley in the Kitchen

In the November 1939 issue of the Swedish magazine Vecko-Revyn (which translates to “Weekly-Revue”), there was a one-page article on Shirley titled “Little Princess In The Kitchen.” The name of the story was timely as Shirley’s movie, “The Little Princess” had recently been showing in theaters; the photos for the story were not so timely, as they were shot two years before in 1937.

Here are the photos from the story along with the translated copy:

First, Shirley takes a look at the cookbook - so often does the most skilled cook, they say.

Wow, should it be this smeary? Maybe I read it wrong, Shirley thinks.

If you take a little more flour, it will soon be better…

You can get too much of that, too!!!

Rolling out the dough is just about the most fun of all.

And punching out the biscuits with a round cutter is not so bad either…look! Here they are and not a single one was burned!

A child who knows everything is usually a horror to their peers and is called a little old and stuffy by the older ones. Little Shirley Temple is in any case a delightful example of the opposite, even though she knows most things already at the age of 10: she sings like a happy lark, she dances and steps better than most, she acts in front of the film camera so naturally, that one could say a lot of Hollywood's adult stars would benefit from taking some private lessons from her. And besides all this, she's so cute! What more can you ask of a lady at that age? And now there are new pictures, which show that the little artist can bake too! But for all Swedish children who get inferiority complexes from seeing this, her latest triumph, and become jealous. Whisper this in their ear: we do not think Shirley baked all this alone - her mother was certainly  there and helped when the photographer was not looking.

A few pages later, the magazine reported on Shirley’s recent trip to Hawaii. Once again, they used a photo that was from many years before to illustrate.

While the Swedish audience enjoys Shirley Temple as "Little Princess,” so she herself has had a vacation and gone with mom and dad to Honolulu.

 See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Viewliner Sits Empty

Here’s an undated shot of the Disneyland Viewliner, the attraction known for its extremely short lifespan at the Park (June 1957-September 1958). The poor cast member driving the Tomorrowland Viewliner in the photo looks extremely bored.

In 1959, the Tomorrowland Viewliner station was demolished to make way for the Monorail, The Matterhorn, and the Submarine Voyage attractions.

Wonder what was on the other side of that billboard we see from the vantage point of the Skyway bucket?

UPDATE: It pays to have readers who aren't lazy like me OR have a better memory. Thanks to Darryl for pointing out that in a previous post I showed the front side of what is most likely the billboard in the previous shot:

See more Disneyland Viewliner photos at my main website.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Mrs. Voorhees Goes To Palm Springs

Betsy Palmer, best known as the mother of Jason from the “Friday the 13th” franchise, posed here at the Palm Springs Biltmore Hotel in 1955:

FUN IN THE SUN — Betsy Palmer, Columbia actress and New York TV star, enjoys the desert sun while in California for Columbia’s Cinemascope Technicolor story of West Point, “The Long Gray Line,” in which she makes her film debut. Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara co-star and John Ford directed. Location scenes were photographed at West Point.

One year earlier, it was actress Virginia Mayo doing the same, revealing a bit more skin:

Virginia Mayo poses for the still cameraman beside the pool at the Biltmore Hotel in Palm Springs, where the company stayed while on location for desert scenes for THE SILVER CHALICE, a Victor Saville production for Warner Bros. Virginia co-stars with Jack Palace and Paul Newman in the film.

On the site Palm Springs Lost Buildings site, comes this info about the hotel which has since been demolished:

Once again the City of Palm Springs has had little regard for the City’s architectural history and stood by and let an important landmark be destroyed. The Biltmore Hotel designed by architect Fred Monhoff in 1948 and the last remaining grand hotel in Palm Springs went under the bulldozer [in 2003]. In a flagrant violation of California State Law, the City allowed Nexus Properties, who…purchased the Biltmore in bankruptcy court, to start demolition without so much as a permit to do so. The City claims that an abatement order issued in 2001 that required the then current owner to take action to resolve issues of neglect and vandalism was enough to allow the demolition even though the abatement specifically stated that a permit must be filed before any construction or demolition occurred. The California State law that the City violated, specifically the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), requires that historic structures must have an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared prior to issuing a permit for renovation or demolition — this was not done. The EIR specifically requires that alternatives to demolition be considered, including rehabilitation and/or adaptive reuse. The Biltmore Hotel was a well-known historic site, having been featured in several books on mid –century architecture including “Palm Springs Weekend;” a book that chronicles the unique mid-century modern architecture that has made Palm Springs famous. The Biltmore was also listed in the Riverside County Historic Resources Survey prepared in the 1980s and more recently in a 2001 Palm Springs Historic Structures Inventory. So claims by certain City officials that “they did not know” that the Biltmore was of significant stature architecturally are totally absurd.

I don’t know; I wouldn’t have messed with a property that had once been visited by Mrs. Voorhees.

See more Palm Springs photos at my main website.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Pylon on the Hill

The Matterhorn is a classic Disneyland attraction; not only because it’s been around since 1959, but also because it’s one of the attractions you can see from the I-5 Freeway as you approach the Park. As a kid (and yes, even as an adult!), it gave me that joyous sense of anticipation. We’re almost there! Before the Matterhorn was built, what was there? A mound of dirt (which had been repurposed from the excavation needed for the Sleeping Beauty Castle and its moat) and an unsightly pylon for the Skyway. Dubbed “Holiday Hill,” “Lookout Mountain,” “Lovers’ Lane,” and then “Snow Hill” (in anticipation of the Matterhorn), this area provided a place for guests to relax and breathe a bit from the excitement of the park. In these undated 1957/1958 images, you can actually see (gasp!) a garden hose as a Park employee is watering the plants.

A shot taken from the Skyway bucket as it soars over the hill:

A rarely seen angle of the Castle as we zoom in:

A wonderful view of the hill as the Skyway bucket approaches the Tomorrowland Skyway Station:

Zooming in you can see the tip of the Tomorrowland Viewliner Station as well as a little tot attempting to get in the way of the Park employee who is watering the plants:

What a charming area; the wooden rails and paths would have made for a lovely getaway. Today, there would be souvenir stands and vendor carts strewn along the way.

See more Holiday/Snow Hill photos at my main website.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Quiet on the set!

The typical moviegoer watches a movie to follow the story and characters. I am not a typical moviegoer. I LOVE to watch classic (aka “old”) movies while listening to the director commentary, gaining behind-the-scenes knowledge. I also try to figure out if the scene is a set, a matte painting, or a true location. This set still from Shirley’s 1937 classic “Wee Willie Winkie” shows her costar Douglas Scott and stand-in Mary Lou Isleib “at ease” while the set is documented for the director, John Ford. Art direction on this movie was by William Darling and David Hall (both were nominated for a Best Art Direction Oscar for this film), with Thomas Little doing the set decoration.

Based on the outfit Mary Lou is wearing, I would guess that they were about to film this scene:

In most of the set photos from the film, this little sign is visible:

Another set, photographed on the same day (February 17, 1937) that also shows Scott and Isleib (this time with their backs to the camera), about to enter the Quartermasters Stores set.

What a dream to be able to walk around the sets and examine every detail! Well, to me at least!

A crew member is on the roof, getting the set ready for…something.

This extra is relaxing between takes:

I believe it’s the same actor with Shirley shown here:

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Welcome to the Academy

After a number of delays (some COVID related, some not), the Academy of Motion Pictures has announced an opening date of September 30, 2021 for their new museum located on Wilshire Boulevard, aka Museum Row, aka the Miracle Mile. The building it will inhabit was originally the historic May Company store, built in 1939 and designed by Albert C. Martin, Sr. (designer of the Million Dollar Theater and Los Angeles City Hall). Sadly, the Academy’s website ignores the history of this building, which has been renamed “The Saban Building,” because apparently the wealthy donors felt their name was more important than honoring the original legacy of this Streamline Moderne classic. An additional slap to Martin is that the only designer credited on the Academy website is Renzo Piano. Since he was born in 1937, he obviously had nothing to do with the original May Company.

Maybe this funky little space-age pile at the back of the building is his?

Just across the street is Johnie’s Coffee Shop (circa 1956), an example of Googie Architecture. Closed since 2000, it is only used as a film location and apparently, a campaign headquarters for good old Bernie Sanders.

Also nearby is the Petersen Automotive museum, which was apparently redesigned with this “unique” fa├žade in 2015 as part of a $125 million renovation.  Huh.

If you want to get more information about the Academy Museum, you can visit the Academy website. Warning: it takes awhile to load, so if you don’t have a great internet connection, get ready for an exercise in frustration. See more Los Angeles photos at my main website.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Disneyland Monorail Red, July 1965

In this July 1965 image, you get the Disneyland Monorail, the Disneyland Hotel sign (which looks somewhat similar to the one that was on Harbor Boulevard), AND the Disneyland Hotel. Unfortunately, zooming in the sign is too blurry to read.

Don’t worry about it; in my collection I have a 1966 image that shows the Hotel sign:

Here’s the one that was on Harbor Boulevard, circa July 1965:

This view of the Park entrance was taken from the Monorail, July 1965:

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!

See more Disneyland Monorail photos at my main website.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Temple Tuesday: You Belong To Me

If the title of the Shirley Temple film “You Belong To Me” doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because it was changed before release to “Now and Forever.” Need more proof? How about this vintage still labeled as such:

The photo shows a deleted scene set in Paris between Carole Lombard’s character, Toni Day, and her husband, played by English film actor Jameson Thomas (better known as King Westley in “It Happened One Night). If you thought Gary Cooper played her husband, well…you’re kind of right. In the original treatment, which was written just as the Hays Code was being put together, Cooper and Lombard are living in sin and she still has a husband in Paris (Thomas).

Joseph Breen and company were not crazy about that and pressured Paramount to ditch the hubby and make Cooper and Lombard a respectable married couple. Breen also didn’t like Shirley’s attempt at suicide. What?!? Yup… that was in an outline from February 22, 1934:

That outline also included the original “Thelma and Louise” ending:

What the heck was Paramount thinking?!? This is one instance of where it was probably a good thing that Will Hays and Joseph Breen came along to see what the movie studios were doing. Based on the title and other things that were in the script, it would appear that the main emphasis of the film was to be the unhealthy and co-dependent relationship, between Cooper and Lombard. 

Shirley offing herself?!? Please tell me that wasn’t filmed. 

See more Shirley photos at my main website.