Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Movieland- The Awful Tooth

Our Gang is one of the most popular short film series of all time, and its characters are all just as famous. The scene here at the Movieland Wax Museum is from the 1938 film "The Awful Tooth". In this picture we see Alfalfa, Painless Parker, Darla, and Spanky. Some trouble appears to be brewing.

Another view shows Buckwheat, Pete the Dog, Alfalfa, and Painless Parker. This was a fairly large set with six figures. It had terrific lighting and great atmosphere.

This clapboard sign shows the movie as being from 1937, but all the resources I've used says that it is from 1938. I would say that they are correct and this sign is not accurate. Antique props from the set sold for $3200, and the set itself sold for $1200 at the infamous Movieland auction. The group of four rascals and Pete the pup sold for $5000, while the dentist figure sold for $700.

View more information about Hal Roaches Rascals here.

Visit my other blog to view more pictures from this Movieland Wax Museum set, and many other wax figures here.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sea World Penguin Encounter

There is something about the design of the Penguin Encounter at sea World San Diego that speaks to me. The combination of rock work, plants, colors, and tile makes this a very desirable place to check out when visiting the park. Both the indoor, and outdoor sections really work together to create an informative, yet aesthetically pleasing environment (with that said, they will probably redesign the pavilion to remove those elements).

The tile outside the building is very simplistic, but pleasing to the eye. The blue goes well with the white and black color scheme. It reminds me of the late great Tomorrowland.

Just for kicks, here is a shot of one of the penguins that one can encounter here. This little fellow also matches the color scheme, how about that.

Visit the Sea World San Diego website here.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turn of the Century Wax Museum

Thirty-three years ago this week, the Turn of the Century Wax Museum opened inside the now defunct Old Towne Mall in Torrance California. It was Thanksgiving week 1973 when the museum opened, and it featured many scenes of old time entertainment and historical figures. This picture shows the Gibson Girl sitting at her window. Known for their hour glass shape and big hair, Gibson Girls idealized beauty during the turn of the century. I am not sure when the wax museum closed, but it happened before I ever went. Maybe before I was even born. Today, perhaps the most famous Gibson girl is the Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland's Main Street USA.

View more information of Charles Dana Gibson here.

To view more wax figures, visit my other website here.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Cabazon Dinosaurs- Part Five

In this last post about the dinosaurs, I'm showing the prehistoric turtle like creature that stands near Mr. Rex. In 2002, when these photos were taken, this turtle was all by itself near the rear of the property. It appears that there is a digging for fossils type of attraction there now. However, I am not sure because going to Cabazon is quite a trip for me nowadays. In any case, the creature here looks pretty neat as a small detail to the place.

Look at all that land behind the creature! This 3/4 shot shows a different side of the turtle. I always thought it looked a little too long, but I guess you could fit a whole family on this thing.

Visit the Cabazon Dinosaur's official website here.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Catalina- Via Casino

Here is a shot of the really cool and historic Via Casino entrance. It begins a nice walkway to the Casino building in Avalon on Catalina Island. The building marks the beginning of the way, and all of the hustle and bustle of the city fade away as the ocean and and scenery take over.

I'm not a big fan of Spanish Colonial revival architecture (or whatever it's called), but seeing how historic some of the buildings on the Island are, I really can appreciate these examples. The Island is filled with many old buildings that take people back to the golden age of Avalon.

Visit the official Catalina Island website here.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Cabazon Dinosaurs- Part Four

As my Cabazon posts wind down, only a couple of small details of the dinosaur attraction are left to share. Here, a large snake attempts to scare guests as they enter Dinny the dinosaurs gift shop. I'm not sure, but this snake was probably added sometime after the dinosaurs were completed, maybe after they paved the area and added grass, maybe earlier. Though not as detailed as the main dinosaurs, the snake does add a little more atmosphere on the same small scale as the guests who visit the attraction. Also, I did not notice it at the time, but the picture seems to show a camera or a light inside the snake's mouth. I suppose functionality plays a part in the snakes role on the site.

Visit the Cabazon Dinosaur's official website here.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Palos Verdes Bowl

24600 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, California 90505

The Palos Verdes Bowl is the best looking bowling alley in the South Bay area, and has been around since 1958. It showcases classic Googie architecture, a really neat sign, and forty lanes of bowling fun.

The cool sign I mentioned. It has seen better days, but a little restoration would make it come back to life quite easily. Unfortunately, just behind the sign is another sign that advertises the property as "Available". With all the redevelopment in the area, I would not be surprised to see the bowling alley close and replaced with another shopping center. I would be sad, but not surprised.

A side view showing off some of the great fifties design elements.

A closer look of the same area.

On the south side of the building is "Big" Daddy's pro shop. Here you can buy all the bowling supplies you'll ever need.

A nice little sign of the pro shop.

A reverse view of the south side entrance.

A close up of the large sign. The karaoke night is pretty fun, but I never had the courage to get up there and sing. But watching other people act ridiculous is hilarious.

Visit the Palos Verdes Bowl's website here.

View more photographs of PV Bowl here.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cabazon Dinosaurs- Part Three

Mr. Rex stands tall and menacing behind Dinny the dinosaur. Although he has a pretty significant belly, which may prevent him from chasing after your cars (or perhaps he has someone's car inside it), he still looks pretty awesome. On the day I visited, it was fairly cold and windy, which adds to the mood of the giant dinosaurs.

I mentioned in a previous post that these photographs were taken during a very uncertain time in the history of the attraction, and this picture shows just how easily another buyer could have purchased it and destroyed this piece of history. Thank goodness that they appear to be safe for the foreseeable future.

One last view of Mr. Rex to show his stature. instead of a car, inside the dinosaur is a museum which houses paintings of dinosaurs, and fossils. Touted as four stories tall, Mr. Rex is a truly can't miss attraction of the California desert.

Visit the Cabazon Dinosaur's official website here.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Movieland- The Merry Widow

Considered one of the most popular movie musicals of all time, the scene depicted here at the Movieland Wax Museum is from The Merry Widow(1934), which stars Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) and Jeanette MacDonald (1903-65). A film version of the famous operetta, the Merry Widow was so popular that Movieland created a set to honor the film in 1966. Chevalier was on hand to dedicate it, but Macdonald had recently died in January of 1965. The lighting on this tableau was pretty amazing, making it a very memorable scene.

Without the lighting, the scene does not have as much strength, and the paint job makes the figures look like burn victims. Lighting can turn an average set into a great set.

Of course all Movieland sets had these clapboard signs giving a description of the scene. Sometimes, as with this scene, an extra bit of information was provided. At the Movieland auction Chevalier's and MacDonald's figures sold for $600 each. The set pieces sold for $800, the set itself sold for $250, while the chandelier (bottom most part can be seen in picture number two) which hung above the scene sold for $950.

View Maurice Chevalier's filmography here.

View Jeanette MacDonald's filmography here.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cabazon Dinosaurs- Part Two

Dinny is the name of the big Brontosaurus-like dinosaur with the gift shop in it. It has housed such items as posters, toy dinosaurs, and pressed coin machines. So when you stop by and see Claude Bell's beautiful dinosaurs, take a while to check out the gift shop.

Here's another shot to give a little perspective on the size of Dinny. It is a massive structure, and it dominates the other buildings.

Visit the Cabazon Dinosaur's official website here.