Friday, June 18, 2021

Flying Saucer Friday

It’s not truly a Flying Saucer, but it sure looks like one! Here’s a vintage shot of Theme Building at LAX from April 1962, less than a year after it opened. Dig that Mercedes Benz in front!

The original airport design was created by James Langenheim of Pereira & Luckman in 1959, but was apparently too ambitious. William Pereira, Charles Luckman, Paul Williams, and Welton Becket stepped in with the revised plan, which included the Theme Building built on the spot that was intended for the original airport terminal, as a reminder of the initial design. The futuristic Theme Building was dedicated on June 25, 1961 by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Contrary to reports, the building’s restaurant never revolved. The structure was dedicated on June 25, 1961, by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Interestingly enough, Disneyland’s Flying Saucer attraction opened about the same time, August 6, 1961.

Saucers must have been on the brain in 1961! Thanks for the memory jolt, KS!

See more LAX photos at my main website.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Disneyland Has Character, Pt. 2

I’m still basking in the glow of 1970’s Disneyland, which is when this March 1971 image of Pluto in Fantasyland hails from. Standing outside of the Peter Pan attraction, Pluto is mobbed as a little varmint gets ready to squeeze his nose. Squeeze this, pipsqueak!!

The original costumed characters at the Park were borrowed from the Ice Capades; although Mickey and Minnie looked like zombie-eating beasts…

Pluto wasn’t too bad:

I shot this one of Pluto in 2011 when “On Stranger Tides” premiered at Disneyland:

As a dog lover, Pluto has always held a special place in my heart.

See more Disneyland characters photos at my main website.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Shirley’s Lost Block

Besides the mystery drumhead, Shirley Temple also signed a cement block when she performed “The Blue Bird” on Christmas Eve 1939 as part of The Screen Guild Theater with Nelson Eddy. What happened to Shirley’s bird jewelry is a mystery, as it didn’t show up at any of the family estate auctions.

What isn’t a mystery is where Shirley’s performance took place, which was the Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Boulevard:

The Theatre was known for its Wall of Fame, which included signed cement blocks from the era’s biggest celebrities, such as Joan Crawford and Clark Gable.

This 1940 Ansel Adams photo shows the position of Shirley’s block, which was located on the bottom row between Earl Carroll and Ronald Colman.

The Wall of Fame even made the cover of LIFE magazine, February 14, 1944, which technically means Shirley was on the cover four times (also in 1938, 1942, and 1958). As the years went by, her block was obscured by the fence and the hedges in front.

The theatre changed hands in 1968 and the blocks were removed and stored in the basement. Not all of them came off very easily and some were broken during the removal process. I located the owner of approximately 80 or so of the blocks; unfortunately, Shirley’s is not among that grouping.

Apparently Milt Larsen, founder of the Magic Castle, once had a large grouping of the blocks. Here’s the response I received from a representative of Milt’s when I attempted to see if he still had Shirley’s:

Milt does not have any of the cement blocks; the broken ones were taken by the late Gene Autry. Milt did piece them together and did tracings, which were mounted on styrofoam blocks, that looked like cement, which were mounted at the old Variety Arts Building in downtown LA. They were removed when he gave up that location. They are in our storage unit.

The rep had no idea if Shirley’s had ever been in Milt’s collection, nor did he seem to have an easily accessible inventory list. I hate dead ends.

On a related Shirley note, here’s a vintage ticket from the Earl Carroll Theatre which just happened to be on Shirley’s 14th birthday, April 23, 1942:

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Disneyland Has Character, Pt. 1

A June 1970 shot of the Three Little Pigs. This version of the Pigs is special to me because this is exactly how they looked when I met them at my first visit to the Park, December 1970.

Here’s a closer look at one of them:

Here I am, posing with my cousins:

…and how The Pigs looked during the early years, circa 1959:

See more Disneyland Character photos at my main website.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Disneyland Pack Mule Entrance, 1961

I’m all about capturing that sense of entrance, and finally I have a decent color shot of the queue for the Pack Mule attraction. Yes, these are the things I am fueled by. This October 1961 shot also captures a man sitting patiently with his crutches. Maybe he had fallen off one of the mules already.

Here’s the undated shot I already had in my collection. Yes, I’m all about the upgrade.

This one does give a better view of the signage though, which is also high on my priority list. I would just barely make the weight limit of 195. Good thing I skipped dessert last night.

See more vintage Disneyland Pack Mule attraction photos at my main website.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

The Wrong Mouse at Disneyland, 1958

Here’s a happy little tot aboard the Disneyland Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, February 1958. Somebody needs to tell him he’s promoting the wrong mouse.

This September 1961 image shows the recently added Skull Rock Cove area, which ranks close to #1 for my favorite “lost” areas at the Park. Great for exploration, relaxation, hiding, and pretty durn cool photos.

What the area looked like before Skull Rock:

What a snoozer!!

See more vintage Disneyland Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant photos at my main website.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Temple Tuesday: No Parking at the Bungalow

This adorable shot was taken in 1936. From the publicity caption:

SHIRLEY TEMPLE PROUDLY DISPLAYS HER OWN CAR — before her bungalow on the 20th Century-Fox lot, the famous child actress is enjoying many thrills with her midget speedster, a birthday gift from the Knickerbocker automobile works of New York and Bill Robinson, the famous tap dancer. The car is powered by single cylinder motorcycle engine with a top speed of ten miles an hour. Shirley conquered its mechanism in a single trip around the block.

In this 1940’s shot, it appears that the hood ornament had bit the dust; maybe Shirley figured out how to increase the speed over 10 mph.

When the car came up for auction in 2015, it came with a hood ornament. Looks better with it, don’t you think? Whether Shirley had a replica made or not is unknown.

What IS known is that the car survived in better shape over the years than Shirley’s Fox Bungalow.


See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, June 07, 2021

View from the Hill, 1968

This 1968 image shows your typical early morning smog view of Hollywood taken from what I believe to be the Yamashiro Restaurant. Here’s a vintage postcard with a reverse view:

I went up to this area once, and for whatever reason never took a shot looking down the hill. Perhaps the trees now block the view, or perhaps I was just not thinking. Probably the latter.

Back to the 1968 shot, which provides a typically unseen angle of the Roosevelt hotel. It is extremely difficult to see the entire front fa├žade unless you’re standing on Hollywood Boulevard. My neck just hurts thinking of looking straight up.

The back is much easier to capture:

See more Hollywood photos at my main website.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Daveland Blog Anniversary: 15 Serendipitous Years

It’s hard to believe that fifteen years have gone by since I wrote my first blog post, but yes…that’s the case. Like all things, the blog has changed over the years, going from seven days a week to M-F (or less if I decide it’s time to disconnect).  It’s called Daveland after all, so I have allowed the blog to reflect the multitude of interests I have held through the years, rather than strictly Disneyland content. Being a Gemini who truly believes in serendipity, I have found that when I allow the Universe to take control, amazing experiences can happen. As a result, I plan to put out a book within the next year, featuring vintage images from my personal collection alongside the photos I have shot myself. There’s been a lot of travel, wall climbing, and exploration of hidden places going on the last 40 years or so and it’s time for me to celebrate it!

I have the book segmented into chapters about Disneyland, James Dean in Indiana…

and in Hollywood:

My work as a tour guide for the restoration of the West Baden Springs Hotel in Indiana:

I will probably work in my love for Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture (just not sure how, yet).

and some of the cool peeps I have gotten to know along the way, like Tippi Hedren:

The Chateau will take up a few pages I am sure, as it is my home away from home.

The book wouldn’t be complete without my obsession for Shirley:

And my faithful companion, Willis, who brings me joy every day.

Stay tuned for updates. See more photos at my main website.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Behind The Storybook, June 1958

Sometimes I have to look at a photo a few times to catch all the wonderful details, like this one shot from the Disneyland Skyway showing the Storybook Land attraction. Zooming into the background, you can see the Fantasyland Viewliner station as well as the Junior Autopia. Yes, back in the day there were multiple Autopias.

I was not aware that there were TWO bridges for the Viewliner with the Santa Fe sign. Or, quite possibly I knew at one time and forgot over the years. I’m sure “Anonymous” will let me know my error.

Here’s the one that spanned over the Motor Boat Cruise attraction:

See more Disneyland Storybook photos at my main website.