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  1. #16

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    Thumbs up Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Excellent article, ranks up there as my favorite. Cheers!

    Oh - the other day, I stumbled across a blog posting (with photos) of the real Hollywood Tower Hotel. San Simeon has always looked to me as more of a palpable inspiration, but thought you and your readers might fancy taking a look-see.

    One of the comments, from a former tenant (the hotel was later converted into apartments) is especially notable:

    "I lived ther when I first moved to Hollywood in 98.It was an experience that’s for sure! Lets just say after about 6mon. into living there I spent the next year and 6mon. sleeping with all the lights on Many other people experienced similar things and knew exactly what I was talking about. You only truly know if you have lived ther. It had great patios with amazing views. I could sit up there forever! I did enjoy living there…even though I never took the elevator and wouldn’t do laundry alone"

    The Real Hollywood Tower Hotel

    UPDATE: Recalled an older piece of Imagineering concept art that looks exactly like the Hollywood Tower Hotel: Early concept art

    Here's another photo of the real hotel, you can see some of the sign in this one: Hollywood Tower with partial sign

    Finally - the sign lit up at night: Hollywood Tower sign by night
    Last edited by Flaming Monkey; 11-16-2007 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Updated with yet another link
    - Bill

  2. #17

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Thank you so much for the great article. I love looking at architecture and know that there is always a story behind every structure - especially at Disney.


  3. #18

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    This was wonderful.. thanks!

    Is it just me... or does the "SCHMOOZIES" building in DCA look like the building in the lower right hand corner of the crossroads picture?

    "SCHMOOZIES" in DCA:


    Werner's picture from the yesterland article:
    Last edited by TheDude; 11-17-2007 at 09:41 AM.




  4. #19

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Lite-Snack View Post
    Hi Werner - Great article. While the 6424 Santa Monica Blvd. Bldg. may not be known to a lot of people; the building is very well known to those of us who work in the post production industry.
    Thank you for the information about the post production company at 424 Santa Monica Blvd.

    I just wish I knew when the building was built, what its original use was, and who designed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDude View Post
    Is it just me... or does the "SCHMOOZIES" building in DCA look like the building in the lower right hand corner of the crossroads picture?
    Great observation! Thank you. Now I wish I had taken a picture of that building from a different angle. (Maybe next year...)

    Also, thank you to everyone who commented on the article, "Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios," in this MiceChat thread. I had fun putting the article together. It gave me an excuse to drive around Los Angeles, which I haven't done in a long time. (I live in the Chicago area.)

    I'm planning another article that involves three theme parks and two defunct Los Angeles businesses. And I hope to do a "Real Buildings that Inspired the Hollywood Pictures section of California Adventure" article next year (but I need to come up with a shorter title).

    If I win the lottery, I'll do an article, "Real Buildings that Inspired World Showcase at Epcot." That would involve traveling to destinations in the eleven real countries represented in World Showcase. I think this article is highly unlikely.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  5. #20

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    So the ugly facades in DCA are based on real-world buildings, too?
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

    On Track for Weight Loss!


  6. #21

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by BassBone View Post
    So the ugly facades in DCA are based on real-world buildings, too?
    In my opinion, most of the facades on Hollywood Boulevard in the Hollywood Pictures area of DCA are very nicely designed — and not at all ugly. Whoever designed the period facades for DCA's Hollywood Boulevard did a great job creating facades based on real buildings — just like at Disney-MGM Studios.

    But whoever designed the signage and whoever approved it were clueless about how to design a convincing, immersive environment. Most of the signs are completely inappropriate for those facades.

    Then there's the out-of-place facade of the Animation exhibit. And Hollywood Boulevard is supposed to be a movie set of Hollywood Boulevard, not a real street.

    The result is that Hollywood Boulevard at DCA lacks the "magic" of Hollywood Boulevard at Disney-MGM. Let's hope that this deficiency will be corrected as part of the re-do of DCA.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  7. #22

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    [quote=Werner Weiss;2334777]

    I've had more trouble identifying the buildings on Sunset Blvd. at Disney-MGM Studios (except for the movie theaters). Any ideas?

    [quote]

    Hi Werner,
    If you have Jeff Kurtis great WDW history book SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN, he lists quite a few of the studios buildings real world counterparts in the chapter on the studios, including addrresses, sadly quite a few of them even at that time had already disappered under the bulldozers, I think there is another book that mentioed a few others but I cant find my copy of it right now it *might be* the Deth Dunlap (or,was it dunlop?) book on Disney Arcitecture, anyhow if you have either of thes books this might point you in the right direction, if you don't have them let me know and I can find the pertinant information in my copies of the books for you.

  8. #23

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbrian-nc.com View Post
    if you don't have them let me know and I can find the pertinant information in my copies of the books for you.
    I have Since the World Began by Jeff Kurtti and Building a Dream by Beth Dunlop, but didn't find anything in either book about the inspirations for the Sunset Boulevard facades (except for the movie theaters and the Farmer's Market). If I overlooked anything, please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  9. #24

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Looking over them myself I see now what you are saying, but then again there aren't all that many buildings on Sunset as the text aludes with this passege (Since the World Began p.143) Sunset Boulevard is actually a sparsely occupied coridor leading to the looming Twighlight Zone ™ Tower of Terror. It does go on to mention that theatres you mentioned, as it the Theatre of the stars is the Disney Version of the Hollywood Bowl and of course the replicas of the Carthay Circle,and Academy theatres it also mentions that the Sunset Ranch Market pays homage to the 1934 Farmers Market on the corner of third and Fairfax. So I guess that doesn't leave a whole lot af additional structures and now that you mention it I think I DO remember somebody, somewhere mentioning those bathrooms, so it's only a matter of time before someone who really knows reads this and replies, in the meanwhile I'll keep my eyes open and see if I can find anything about it.

  10. #25

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Werner - I havea partial answer re: 6424 Santa Monica Bldg. It was built by Technicolor as the first three-stripe lab in Hollywood. Unfortunately - I do not know the year it was constructed or the designer / architect.

  11. #26

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Hi guys I checked over at studioscentral.com and it turns out that Matt Hochberg had touched on some of this same material too heres the thread he mentions it in.

    http://www.studioscentral.com/board/...pic.php?t=4598

    and here are links to some of the articles he mentions:
    http://www.studioscentral.com/column/why10.html

    http://www.studioscentral.com/inspirationholly.html

    http://www.studioscentral.com/inspirationsunset.html

    http://www.studioscentral.com/inspirationholly2.html

  12. #27

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbrian-nc.com View Post
    Hi guys I checked over at studioscentral.com and it turns out that Matt Hochberg had touched on some of this same material too heres the thread he mentions it in.
    Thank you for the links.

    The links include some comparisons that I didn't include in my article. Very nice! (However, the author is mistaken about the Max Factor building being the inspiration for the first Mickey's of Hollywood facade.)
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  13. #28

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Readers/subscribers of this thread, I need your help please.

    Please take a look at Help Needed: Mystery Buildings at Disney-MGM Studios.

    Thank you!
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  14. #29

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    I live about 1/2 a block from the building that inspired The Darkroom on Hollywood Blvd in Florida. The camera shaped windows are still there, but are now a tapas bar. They have a new fish aquarium that shows up in the window at nighttime. It's always weird to me when I'm at the Studios in FL looking at a building that's 2,500 miles away but 1/2 a block from my apartment.

    FYI, the original building is on Wilshire Blvd 1 1/2 blocks west of La Brea. If you type in 5361 Wilshire Blvd, 90036 to Google Maps and then enable street view you can see it if you spin around to the south side of the street, right by a large yellow and white awning.

  15. #30

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    Re: Nov. 16, 2007: Real Buildings that Inspired Disney-MGM Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by ex-wdi View Post
    I live about 1/2 a block from the building that inspired The Darkroom on Hollywood Blvd in Florida.
    My tentative Yesterland update schedule calls for an article about The Darkroom and the Brown Derby on Friday, November 30. (It's also possible I may wait until some time in December.)
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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