Monday, January 08, 2007

Overhead View of Disneyland December 17, 1954

The property is eight months away from opening and structures are starting to appear. One of the first buildings was the Main Street Opera house as it served as the lumber mill and was needed for the construction of the other buildings. Also Main Street is taking shape as well as the ride buildings in Fantasyland. I have circled the camera tower where all the overhead time photographs were taken (and which Walt climbs in one of the Disneyland TV shows) and also circled the Main Street tunnels in blue. Here is a Disneyland Satellite View image from the Disney Pix website for comparison.

To finish off today's post an image of the Main Street Cinema when it showed true silent films including such stars as Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle. I have heard a story that Jimmy Starr, who was a movie and entertainment reporter in the 1920's to the 1960's, lent a bunch of early cinema items to Disneyland for their use. Jimmy also ran a store right next to the Main Street Opera House selling Hollywood souvenirs. When he was evicted along with most of the other small businesses, Disneyland did not return the cinema items. Jimmy in turn sued Disney and received a nice settlement for the items. In later years, the early cinema items were dumped when the Cinema went to showing just Mickey Mouse films.


Anonymous said...

Wow, really fascinating. I always loved the fact that they put those camera towers's neat to see the time-lapse footage today.

I kind of wish that the Main Street Cinema still showed Mabel Norman and Charlie Chaplin. I love Mickey Mouse, but the original theater concept was more "real", making Main Street feel less like part of an amusement park.

Bob said...

This pic made my day since I was born that day, that year. Thanks for sharing.