Friday, March 11, 2011

Universal Studios Tour - "Adam-12" Show (1973)

It was the summer of 1973 and I was eight years old. My grandmother was here visiting from out-of-state and we took her to Universal Studios. My family had been to Universal Studios once before (I've previously posted a few slides that my dad had taken in 1967), but being only two at that time, I had been left at home (hopefully not alone!), so this was my very first Universal visit.

I can recall a few things from that first visit, like the Flash Flood effect, the submarine that fired a torpedo at our tram, and the parting of the Red Sea, but the thing that I remember the most about that visit was that my dad was chosen to participate in The Stage 70 Show. This was the show where audience members were chosen to act in scenes from the television show, "Adam-12." The scenes were filmed, edited and then played back at the end of the show. Guests could also purchase a copy of the film and of course, since my dad was in it, we had to buy it.

The real stars of "Adam-12," Kent McCord and Martin Milner.

I remember my dad showing the souvenir film, whenever he would get out our "home movies." I have since been given most of the family slides and home movie footage, but this is one that I did not have and had not seen in over 30 years. Well, my dad recently located this film and had it transferred to DVD, so I am posting it here. Oh, and my dad was chosen for the Martin Milner/Pete Malloy part, so he is the one behind the wheel of the police car and in the later scenes, he is the police officer wearing the white patend leather shoes. Universal provided the costumes that the policemen are wearing, but they didn't provide shoes and my dad was wearing white dress shoes that day! I've posted the film below, and here is the link for watching it in a larger format on YouTube: Universal Studios - Adam-12 Show

The thing that actually sparked my memory of this show and led me to ask my dad to look for it, was seeing this slide posted over at Gorillas Don't Blog, last July.

The slide is reposted here with permission from Major Pepperidge (thanks, Major!) You can see the set for the exterior of the bar on the far right with the telephone booth to the left of the front doors. The set of the bar's interior is visible on the left side. People chosen to be patrons in the bar can be seen sitting in the chairs and one of the policemen can even be seen standing next to them. One thing that my brother recently pointed out to me is, that they didn't try to alter the lighting for the indoor shots, so when you are watching the film, the indoor set is just as bright and sunny as the outdoor set (both sets were located outside as you can see in the photo.)

Here are two vintage postcards showing wider angles of the Adam-12 set.

This photo of the Stage 70 Show was taken from a 1974 Universal Studios brochure.

By 1975, the Stage 70 Show was re-themed to the television show, "Emergency!" Here's a postcard showing what the new sets looked like.

A few years later, the show was re-themed yet again, to the movie, "Airport '77." At this time, the name of the theater was also changed from Stage 70, to the Screen Test Theater.

I remember seeing both the "Emergency!" and "Airport '77" versions of the show on multiple occasions, but I was never with anyone that was picked from the audience. The last incarnation of this show used a "Star Trek" theme, which I remember being surprised to see at Universal Studios, since "Star Trek" was a Paramount television show and movie franchise.

***Post Update***: Shortly after posting this, I realized that the "Emergency!" version of the Stage 70 Show and the "Airport '77" version are both available on YouTube (unfortunately, neither of them include the audio). Here are those films:


Major Pepperidge said...

This is awesome! Your dad is like DeNiro, only better. The white dress shoes paired with the cop uniform is classic, that's what cops should really wear! ;-) The narrator is trying like hell to sound like Rod Serling.

I remember seeing a friend's video from Universal, he and somebody else were in an old biplane that turned upside-down at some point (a terrible video effect). I'll have to ask him if he remembers what that was supposed to be (since it doesn't fit with "Adam-12", "Emergency", "Airport", or "Star Trek").

Major Pepperidge said...

My friend said he didn't remember any such video! But I know there was one. I wonder if they did a "Wacky Races"-type show?

Daveland said...

That film of your dad is fantastic - what a great vintage souvenir. We used to watch Adam-12 every week.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

What an awesome post! "One Adam 12, One Adam 12, a 211 in progress, handle code 3" I can still hear that womans voice in my head....

My first time at Universal we saw McCails Navy (on the the PT boat) man that was bad, then the next year my friends mom got picked to be in "Ironsides" I swear both of those shows were long off the air. Too bad I missed the Airport 77 version, that looks cool!

Dan Alexander said...

Your Dad did a great job! I think the shoes made his performance that much more memorable. That is a one-of-a-kind home movie!

I've only been to Universal Studios Hollywood once (in 1990) and we did not get to do anything like that!

I do remember seeing an old home movie of my Grandma's trip there---it was back when the original "Battlestar Galactica" was on TV. The robot dog creature from that show came out on stage and it was revealed that it was a chimp in a costume!

I don't know if you saw, but there is a video on YouTube showing the earthquake at Tokyo Disneyland right before a parade on March 11. Everyone stayed pretty calm, but it was still very unnerving. The news later showed that the parking lot got hit pretty hard with damage from "liquefaction."

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you everyone, for the comments!

Dan, I remember seeing the dog/chimp from "Battlestar Gallactica" at Universal. It was a part of their Animal Actors stage show. Before that, I remember seeing Fred, the Cockatoo from "Barretta" in that show. I did see the TDL/TDS earthquake footage and pics. Really scary stuff....and obviously, they didn't even get the worst of it.

Nancy said...

this is so cool. Adam-12 was also a favorite show of mine in the day.

Unknown said...

Cool beans! What a great job he did! ADAM 12 is one of my favorite shows of all time. those old images remind me of our trips to Universal in the 70's. (They also reminded me of that Hardy Boys episode that took place at Universal studios) LOL

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this page. My dad is the "director" of Stage 70 shown in the photos (blue/white sweater). I didn't know the video existed! I almost cried when I saw all his buddies in the video. I hung out at the studio when I was a kid, and appeared in the crowd scene a lot b/c my dad would "pick" me from the audience.