Monday, May 31, 2021

1955 Dumbo Details

This 1955 image of the Dumbo Flying Elephants attraction at Disneyland caught my attention for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is that it captures the mechanism that allowed Dumbo’s ears to flap while the attraction was in motion. Apparently it was problematic, and guests today will see that the ear is now part of the overall mold rather than a separate piece.

Even modern day technology couldn’t make it work.

The biggest “wow” for me in the 1955 shot was this phone booth; very jarring. I don’t think it must have lasted long, as in my VERY quick search, I couldn’t find it in any other shots from my collection. Any way, what would you have needed a phone booth for? “Hey Ma, I’m at Disneyland! You won’t believe it...Dumbo’s ears actually flap!”

I also enjoyed seeing all the little gadgets at this refreshment stand:

The one mystery to me is this little area which looks like a vintage coffee can sitting in a recessed area.

Here are some previously posted shots that show the same area and the refreshment stand:

Leave it to “Anonymous” to see the same phone booth in my shot from December 1955:

Now if only “Anonymous” could solve the mystery of the coffee can. Waiting…

See more Disneyland Dumbo Flying Elephants attraction photos at my main website.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Blue Monorail and HOJO

Not wanting Disneyland’s Blue Monorail to feel left out, here’s a Summer 1970 shot of it circling the Matterhorn.

When I zoomed in to get a closer look at the bubble, I noticed the sign for the Howard Johnson across the street on Harbor Boulevard:

A previously posted shot from my collection showing the Motor Lodge itself with its cute little trolley. Wonder what happened to it?

See more Disneyland Monorail photos at my main website.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Evolution of a Depot

Adding a new shot of a location I already have allows me to do a photo timeline, which my detailed self loves to do. The Frontierland/New Orleans Square depot has always been a favorite of mine, and a recent acquisition inspired me for today’s post. Image #1 shows the structure and how it looked when Disneyland first opened in 1955, followed by a shot from July 1959. The side covers had been added by this point and the paint scheme had changed.

April 1960:

November 1961, which is the new acquisition. I was excited to obtain this one as it shows a broader view of the building than my other vintage shots.

Get that “E” coupon ready! NO CASH!!

Sometime around 1963/1964 the Depot was moved across the tracks to make way for New Orleans Square. Here’s a semi-recent shot of the Depot, which still remains a favorite of mine:

A few from when the railroad was closed for trains but this particular station was open for guests to actually walk right up to it!

See more photos at my main website.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Temple Tuesday: The Marx Brothers and The Big Store

Although Shirley never starred in a movie with the Marx Brothers, she was very much connected to their final MGM film, “The Big Store,” released June 20, 1941. Crooner Tony Martin played the romantic lead:

Five years previously, he had an uncredited role as The Barry Baritone in “Poor Little Rich Girl” with Shirley:

Had Shirley been in “The Wizard of Oz,” she would have co-starred with Clara Blandick (Aunt Em), who had a cameo as an elderly lady who wants to have a record made by Tony Martin. Look at the sweet smile on her face as Tony sings to her; you didn’t see that smile too much in “Oz.”

When the camera changes angles, you can see the sheet music rotating on a display behind Blandick and Virginia Grey:

The sheet music behind Grey is from “Young People”:

…and the real thing:

Over in the toy/baby department, look what’s behind Virginia O’Brien, who is singing in her usual deadpan method:

Yup, that’s a Shirley doll. The art director should have positioned the doll a little better so that she wasn’t giving a spread-eagle shot of her onesie!

In this shot from the music department, you can see the “Young People” sheet music AND music from a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movie (on the left side of the carousel).

A closeup:

Looks like the music was for “Nobody’s Baby” from “Andy Hardy Meets Debutante” (released July 1940):

In a very labored not-so-funny scene in the bed department of “The Big Store,” Henry Armetta runs into his old friend Chico Marx:

In “Poor Little Rich Girl,” Armetta played Tony the organ grinder with Shirley:

Eagle-eyed Shirley fans might recognize Russell Hicks on the left, who plays a wealthy businessman who wants to buy the Department Store that Margaret Dumont’s character owns:

He also played Shirley’s father in “The Blue Bird” (1940):

Never missing a chance for promotion, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney’s “Strike Up The Band” (released September 1940) is the movie on the MGM backlot theatre marquee in this scene where Harpo and Groucho “help” Margaret Dumont out of the car:

Since Shirley was filming “Kathleen” for MGM at the time, it’s not surprising that she was sprinkled throughout this MGM released Marx film.

Phew. Did I catch all the Shirley connections in that one?

See more teen Shirley photos at my main website.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Vintage Hollywood Bowl

This vintage 1940’s shot of the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl screams art deco in the best way possible. Anyone out there able to figure out what the neon sign at the edge of the frame on the left was for? It’s probably something obvious, but not to me. Too much birthday celebration last weekend. The statue at the entrance was still fairly new when this photo was taken; designed by sculptor George Stanley (designer of the Oscar statuette), it was installed in 1940.

This vintage 1965 image shows a guest posing with the bandshell behind her. The 1928 bandshell concentric circle design was by Lloyd Wright, Frank’s son. Unfortunately, it wasn’t built for the ages and had to be replaced a year later by one that looked similar, but was apparently not quite as good acoustically. Oh those Allied Architects; if only they had consulted with Lloyd. Mercifully, the 1980s Frank Gehry designed fiberglass spheres were removed in 2003 when the entire shell was replaced.

Can you believe the entrance is still there? Or at least it was when I snapped this 2015 image:

UPDATE: Thanks to Darryl for finding this 1948 shot from the USC Digital Library of the mystery neon sign which says “Auto Park Full”:

See more Hollywood Bowl photos at my main website.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Monorail Details, 1965

So much to see in this August 1965 Disneyland Monorail shot. Let’s start with the two paper cups in the trashcan. They look like they’re ready for Valentine’s Day.

Next up you can see the Yachtsmen Quartet down below performing for guests. One is either dreamily looking up at the singers or dead tired and resting on the balcony. You decide.

Last detailed view shows the bubble, my favorite part about these old Monorails!

See more Disneyland Monorail photos at my main website.