Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Room With A View

I recently discovered this neighborhood in Los Angeles that overlooks the Universal Studio's back lot. The people who live here have a great view of Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" set and the back side of the "Psycho" house from the Alfred Hitchcock classic.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Walt Disney Studios: Then and Now

The site of Walt Disney's original animation studio at 2719 Hyperion Avenue in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles is now a grocery store called Gelson's Market. Only a small building from the original studio survives and it now sits on Disney's Burbank studio lot.

I'm sure that most of the people that shop at Gelson's probably don't realize that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was created on this site.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

More "Roger Rabbit" filming locations...........

The fictional cartoon studio of "Maroon Cartoons" in the film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is in reality the Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood. It's located at 846 North Cahuenga Blvd., just North of Melrose Avenue. From 1953 to 1967 it was called the Desilu Cahuenga Studios, and shows such as "I Love Lucy" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show'' were shot here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Toon Town Tunnel

The actual tunnel used as the entrance to Toon Town in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" can be found in Griffith Park on your way up to the Observatory. To reach it turn off of Los Feliz onto Hillhurst. Drive up into Griffith Park, pass the Greek Theatre, wind up the road until you reach the tunnel. (It looks slightly different since they dressed it up for the movie) Roger Rabbit director, Robert Zemickis also used the tunnel in one of his other films, "Back to the Future II". Look for it in the scene where Biff chases down Marty on the hover board. The length of the tunnel looks huge in that film so I'm not really sure how they shot it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Child Stars

Turner Classic Movies aired a documentary tonight called "Private Screenings: Child Stars" and it featured actresses Jane Withers and Margaret O'brien. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love meeting old time Hollywood actors. Jane starred in "Bright Eyes" with Shirley Temple and with James Dean in "Giant". For 20 years she was "Josephine the Plumber" in Comet television ads. I've met Jane a few times, most recently when I was sitting across from her table at the old Smokehouse restaurant near Warner Bros. Studios.

As for Margaret O'brien, she was in "Jane Eyre" with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine, and she won a special Oscar in 1944 for her role as Tootie in "Meet Me In St. Louis" with Judy Garland.