Friday, June 10, 2022

Father's Day In The Parks: Downtown Los Angeles Edition (& "L.A. In The "Future")

Father's Day is still a little over a week away, but I am celebrating it early with some photos taken by my dad, back in the 1960s. 

First up, we have a few shots of Los Angeles' City Hall, from August of 1965:

I will apologize for the color on all of these.  It's improved over what it was in the original scans of the slides, but I can't seem to make it any better than this.

This distant view of City Hall was taken from the Los Angeles Music Center, which would have been completed only 8 months earlier.

For a modern day (2019) comparison, I took this photo, standing just a few feet to the right of where my dad stood, in 1965.

The building pictured below, is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, one of several performance venues at the Music Center.  Based on photos and film footage that I had seen in the past, I always thought these reflecting pools and water fountains were a part of the Music Center.

Years later, when I visited the Los Angeles Music Center for the first time, I was surprised to see that the fountains are actually located across the street, and are a part of the area surrounding the Department of Water and Power building.  The DWP building was also brand new at this time, having been completed in 1965.  An interesting feature of the pools and fountains is, that they are located on the roof of a parking garage (as seen below).  The parking lot in the foreground, is the property on which the Walt Disney Concert Hall now stands.  (Ford Mustang alert!)

I took this photo of the DWP building, in 2014, while standing in a raised garden area, on the backside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

And I took this one at the street level.  The fountains around the building were turned off at this time.  I believe that they only turn them on now, for special occasions.

Here are a couple more close-up shots of the fountains, taken by my dad.

My dad took this next photo, while standing in front of the DWP building, and facing the Music Center.  It shows a sliver of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and a sign advertising Hello, Dolly!, which was being performed at the Music Center.  Carol Channing was starring as "Dolly," in this 1965 touring company of the show.  She had originated the role on Broadway, just one year earlier.

I took this picture of the same street corner, in 2019.  The frame for the sign had been updated at some point, and was advertising The Mariinsky Ballet.  The Walt Disney Concert Hall would be just out of frame, to the right.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Walt Disney Concert Hall, here's a photo I took of it in 2019.  The building was designed by architect, Frank Gehry, and opened in 2003.

I'm including this Los Angeles Times article, just because I think it's pretty interesting.  It's dated June 17, 1999.  At that time, there were some ambitious plans for a new tourist attraction in Downtown Los Angeles.  It's centerpiece was going to be a tower taller than the Eiffel Tower, and topped off with a statue of an angel, which itself was going to be taller than the Statue of Liberty.  Apparently, the plans fell through!

And to close out this post, here's a vintage Father's Day card that my brother and I had given to our dad, when we were kids.

Happy "early" Father's Day, to all of the dad's out there!

(To see some of my Dad's other vintage photos, taken at Disneyland, Knott's, Universal Studios, etc., click here:  Father's Day In The Parks.)


 ****Post Update - June 15, 2022****

I've decided to add this extra shot of City Hall, also taken by my dad.

I was curious about the poster on the side of that bus.  About the only thing that I could even remotely make out, was possibly the name, "John Wayne."

I looked up John Wayne's filmography, to see what movies he had made in 1965.  It looks turns out the poster is for his film, The Sons of Katie Elder:


****Post Update - June 19, 2022****

I've decided to go ahead and add the rest of my dad's photos, from this batch.  I'm not sure why I chose to edit these out of the post.  I guess I initially thought there were too many pics of the Music Center and the DWP fountains!

Here's one more shot of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  This would have been taken while standing on the property, where the Walt Disney Concert Hall now sits.

After realizing that my dad took this from the same spot as his photo of the Department of Water and Power building, I thought I would try to merge the two photos together.  It didn't turn out too bad, I guess, although it looks like both buildings are tilting a bit.

This is another shot taken from the DWP building, looking across the street towards the Music Center.  City Hall can be seen peeking out from behind the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

And these last two shots are of the DWP fountains.

This one shows a bit of the 101 (Hollywood) Freeway in the background, just as it goes over the 110 (Harbor) Freeway.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Star Wars (1977) - 45th Anniversary Mega Post!

Forty-five years ago this month, a little film called Star Wars was released.  The film became a pop cultural phenomenon and spawned two sequels, a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, two anthology films, a holiday television special, an animated series, and a whole lot more.

If we tried to list all of the Star Wars-related merchandise that has been produced over the years, it would be almost impossible. I was a pretty big fan of Star Wars when it first came out, and I did collect quite a few items related to that very first film. Today, I am going to share some of those items with you.

First up, we have a couple of pinback buttons:

Next, we have two MPC models, their original boxes, and their assembly instructions.
Model of R2-D2:


Model of C-3PO:


I used to collect Topps brand trading cards (and their "Wacky Packages" stickers, as well).  In 1977, Topps released a series of Star Wars trading cards.

Series I:

I saved the wax paper wrapper from one of the "packs" of cards.

Here is the complete set of cards, for Series I:

I asked the clerk at my local "Stop-N-Go" convenience mart, if I could have the empty display box that the individual packets of cards had come in.  I would later do the same thing, with the "Disney's Black Hole" series of trading cards.

Series II:

The wax paper wrapper:

Series II - the complete set of cards:

In January of 1978, both MAD and Cracked magazines, featured parodies of Star Wars:

Cracked included an "extended" poster version of the cover artwork, inside the magazine:

This next item is the Spring 1978 issue of FOOM, which was a "fanzine" published by Marvel Comics, and was the brainchild of Stan Lee. The name "FOOM" stands for "Fans Of Ol' Marvel."

The artwork on the front cover, continued around to the back cover:

The reason that the film was being featured in a Marvel magazine, was because the company was currently publishing a series of Star Wars comic books.

I missed the first two issues of the Marvel comic book.  I guess a lot of people did, because it wasn't too long before they published "reprints" of the earlier issues.  These first two covers have "Reprint" printed near the upper left hand corner.

Here's a sampling of a couple pages, inside:

The original story of "Star Wars" (Episode IV) was spread out over six separate issues.

Issue #3 is the first issue I purchased, which was not a reprint.

Again, the retelling of the original 1977 film ended with issue #6.  Marvel continued to publish the Star Wars series of comics, but the issues that followed included new storylines, and introduced new characters.  I continued collecting the series through issue #23, and will include those covers in a future post.

I saved this Star Wars advertisement, from the "Calendar" section of The Los Angeles Times.  It's dated December 25, 1977:

The reverse side of the Star Wars ad shows other films which were released that year, including Walt Disney Production's Pete's Dragon:

While going through my vintage TV Guide collection recently, I came across this advertisement in an issue from September 1977.  R2-D2 was making a "guest appearance" on Dinah!:

And just for kicks, I'm including this previously posted TV Guide advertisement for the Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired in November of 1978:

Princess Leia made her singing debut, in the holiday television special.

And speaking of "music," the film's soundtrack was released in a double album set, in 1977:


Back cover:


 The record sleeves:


 One of the two records:

 This T-shirt order form was included inside the album:
This "Story of Star Wars" album featured audio taken directly from the film:
 Back cover:

  The story book inside:

I have more Star Wars merchandise from 1977, but I will save it for a future post.