Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cinerama Dome

6360 W Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

Opening on November 7th 1963, the Cinerama Dome is a terrific piece of Hollywood history. A 2002 restoration allowed this theater to play three projector "Cinerama" features, making it one of the last theaters to do so. But beyond all of the technical aspects of the place, it just looks so dang cool! Motion picture enthusiasts fought long and hard for the preservation of this example of recent history. Like all great architecture from the 60's, developers wanted to possibly tear it down. Today it is part of a Pacific Theater Multiplex, but the main theater is mostly unchanged.

A small detour had me on Sunset boulevard sitting in traffic. I was able to get these two pictures. I love the design of this building. The first of the concrete panels was laid on August 29th, 1963. So today is an anniversary of sorts.

Visit Pacific Theaters website here.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Movieland- A Fistful of Dollars

Clint Eastwood stands in a scene from A Fistful of Dollars. This is the same set that Alan Ladd stands on, and that once housed the typical western Scene with WM. S. Hart, Tom Mix, and Ken Maynard.

Clint portrays Joe, a drifter of sorts who plays two rival families against each other in order to cash in. Released in 1964, this film is not considered to be the best of the "spaghetti" westerns that Clint filmed, but still earned itself a spot in the Movieland Wax Museum because of the star power of Clint Eastwood. Basically, any of his westerns could have been chosen because the focus is more on the actor than on the movie.

Here is a close up Clint, with his menacing face and stern look. I wouldn't mess with him.

Here is a close up of the clapboard sign. Notice how it says "A Fist full" instead of "A Fistful". It also shows the original Italian title. The wax figure was not auctioned, but was instead sent to the Coex Wax exhibit in Korea. The World Wax Museum is supposed to open a permanent exhibit in Pusan, but I have no information on it yet. The set Clint stands on Sold for $1500.

Many of the figures moved to a sister wax museum at fisherman's wharf in San Francisco. Find out which figures moved by visiting the Wax Museum's website here.

Visit Clint Eastwood's Filmography here.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Old Towne Mall

Without a doubt, my favorite place to go(Apart from Disneyland) as a kid was the Old Towne Mall. Similar to Old Chicago, Old Towne (The mall part came later) was designed to recreate a time long past. Built in the early 1970's (I don't know the actual date) it began as a place that shunned chain stores and focused on small family businesses. But when I started going there as a kid, in the 1980's, it had changed a bit. I remember a Federated electronics store, Movie theater, Waldenbooks (or maybe it was a B. Dalton), and arcade.

There were still plenty of small unique places though. I really liked a shop that sold plastic cartoon figurines, among other things. I spent so much time looking at the smurf figures there. I remember so many small details of the place, like seeing my first Rubik's cube keychain hanging in a store window, riding the double decker carousel, and going on the Fantasia dark ride. How many malls have a dark ride?! There was a model shop, paint your own ceramics shop, a juice place that had a large display of animatronic type figures milking cows and turning wheels and such, and many other places.

Old Towne, Torrance, California

By the time Old Towne was remodeled into a large strip mall in the early 90's, the place was basically dead. Many of the shops were gone and had temporary walls around them. They renamed the mall Torrance Promenade and the carousel was moved to the south side and stayed there in a new food court next to the now $3.00 second run theater. Eventually, that last part of the mall became a Linens N' Things. Recently they opened a Sam Ash music store and a radio spot announced their grand opening at the Old Towne Mall!

View all my Old Towne Mall posts here.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Green Brier Resort

I found these photos among my grandmother's old stuff and thought that they were pretty interesting. The Green Brier Resort seems to be a modest little place. It would have to be if my family was there. I could not find much information on this place other than it is in Grove Oklahoma, and that it is not the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. The Green Brier is a Mobil Home community near Grand Lake, and I found many pictures of my Great Grandmother at a mobil home, so it may be the same place.

I am thinking that this photo was taken at a different time than the previous one because of the different landscaping (That, or they have two beautifully similar signs). Unlike the first photo, the subjects here decided to stand directly in front of the sign. How would the younger generations know where they stayed at?


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Huntington Library

One of the great treasures of Southern California is the Huntington Library. Housing many priceless works of art and literature, the library is much more that a museum. It is a research facility and botanical garden that rivals even the Getty Center. The library building here has been featured in movies and commercials for some time.

Here is a close up of two statues that guard the entrance of the main library building. Other buildings include the former residence and an art gallery which houses such paintings as Pinkie and Blue Boy. So many priceless artifacts grace the Library that it is impossible for them to display them all at one time. I went a few years ago, and I can't believe I only took four pictures!

View the Huntington Library's website here.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Movieland- Shane

Standing tall and proud is Alan Ladd as Shane, former gunslinger who settles down with a homestead family. Unfortunately, he ends up in the middle of a dispute and cannot retire just yet. Or that's what they tell me. Shane here looks strong and honest, just like the hero he is.

Another view shows some of the typical western set. The set, which also housed a Clint Eastwood figure, once displayed WM. S. Hart, Tom Mix, Ken Maynard, an Indian, and a dead cowboy in "A typical Setting". It is unknown when the display changed, but even the chair that Ken Maynard propped his foot on was still in use until the end of Movieland.

These signs once held a label that would say something like "As he was XX years ago" A picture I have of Alan from an old guide book said "eleven years ago", so that would date the picture as 1964 (assuming they updated every year). He was standing in a different, though similar, location. Alan Ladd died the same year. The figure of Alan sold at auction for $1400. The set sold for $1500, which is surprising. I have no idea what ever happened to WM S. Hart and Ken Maynard, but Tom Mix moved to another location in the museum.

Many of the figures moved to a sister wax museum at fisherman's wharf in San Francisco. Find out which figures moved by visiting the Wax Museum's website here.

View Alan Ladd's filmography here.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Sequoia Before and After

As Promised, I have some before and after pictures of Sequoia. I was surprised to see how much some places had changed, and how others had stayed basically the same.

Here is the old postcard depicting the Tunnel Log as it was many years ago.

And here it is from August of 2006. It has basically remained the same. I think that the reason is because of its isolated location (past Moro Rock, not on the way to it as I first heard). The road is very narrow and pretty dangerous at places.

Here is a close up of a car driving through the tree. The tunnel is fairly large, so even a 4x4 could make it through the tree.

A more artistic shot of the tunnel. People would stop their cars and have somebody take a picture of them under the log. I am guilty of that too.

The sign giving information of the tunnel.

Here is the postcard showing Tunnel Rock as it was a long time ago.

Here it is in August of 2006. Notice that the bypass is the only way you can go now. I can see how this might be dangerous if it was still open, especially because of how crowded the park gets now. This is on the main road through the park, and an accident or anything unexpected could have serious consequences.

People can still get out of their cars and walk through the tunnel, as seen from this picture I took through our car windshield.

View the official Sequoia National Park website here.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sequoia National Park

I will be heading off on Thursday to Sequoia National Park, so no new posts until at least Monday. Here are a couple pictures of vintage park fun. The place here, called "tunnel Rock", had a bypass that one could take if he did not want to brave driving under the rock. Now nobody can drive through the tunnel as that part of the road has been blocked off and people are forced to use the bypass. The road has been expanded, and it is actually easy to miss the rock if you're not looking for it.

I wasn't sure if this attraction, "Tunnel Tree", was still around, because I had not seen it on my previous trips. However, this year we plan on going to Moro Rock, which this tree is supposed to be on the way to. Hopefully I will be able to take some comparison shots to these pictures and other old postcards I have of Sequoia.

Visit the official Sequoia National Park website here.