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.


Anonymous said...

I'll vouch for that. It didn't revolve when I was there a couple times in the late 90s while waiting to board flights to Australia for work. Now I had thought I was going to see the Flying Saucers of Dland...which are also a cherished memory. However, I had the opportunity to enjoy the restaurant far fewer times than my rides on the Saucers. Both were a treat! KS

DBenson said...

"How to Steal the World" (1968) was a sort-of movie created from a "Man From Uncle" two-part episode. It's pertinent to this post because they shot some footage around the Theme Building, and used a matte painting to show it as part of the villains' desert compound. They evidently assumed it was not instantly recognizable.

A little like scifi shows and movies that would offer sleek malls and office building lobbies as the cities of tomorrow.

Daveland said...

KS - Thanks for the reminder; I just "plussed" the post!

DBenson - Never knew that. Always interesting living in socal to see locations used for filming that most elsewhere in the country would not recognize.

Anonymous said...

Good on you Dave! The best of both!! KS

Fifthrider said...

A good tribute to that building is in this music video on YouTube

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Theme - Music Video by Jet Set Unlimited"

Until now, I never knew why but based on DBenson's input, now I get it.

Anonymous said...

I love this building and have never been inside.

Thanks for the informative post, Dave. Always something more to learn.