Golden-era Hollywood versus Disney’s Hollywood Studios – a side-by-side comparison

I’m freshly returned from a week’s vacation at the so-huge-it’s-almost-overwhelming Walt Disney World resort in Florida. As a Californian, I was curious to see how their Magic Kingdom measured up to the Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom that I’m used to — it’s much the same, but bigger. As a movie fan, I was keen to see their recreation of Pandora from the movie Avatar — it’s superb, especially the simulated thrill ride, “Flight of Passage.” But as a writer of Hollywood historical fiction, I was particularly keen to experience their Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

I was there in 1997, long before I started researching Los Angeles history for my Garden of Allah novels. This time around, however, I am much more familiar with the various landmarks around LA (as documented in my daily Photo Blog) and wanted to see how faithfully they had reproduced LA at its architectural peak.

I’m happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. With so much thought given to so much detail, I thought you might like to see some side-by-side comparisons of the best of the bunch. Each title will link you to more information.

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The Academy Theater in Inglewood

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Baine Studio Building, 6609 Hollywood Blvd (at Whitley Ave)

Harry Baine was a businessman and LA County Supervisor who created the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1928. This building was designed by architects Henry Gogerty & Carl Weyl, who designed many buildings including the Hollywood Playhouse on Vine St., Hollywood.

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Biltmore Hotel, downtown Los Angeles

The recreation of the Rendezvous Court at the Biltmore Hotel opposite Pershing Square is found inside the “Hollywood Tower of Terror” ride, which I thought was a clever touch. (Ironically, Disneyland here in California no longer has this ride–it’s now Guardians of the Galaxy. Don’t get me started…)

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Carthay Circle Theatre, Westwood

Note the old-fashioned semaphore traffic signal. There are several of them around this theme park. Nice touch, Disney!

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Crossroads of the World shopping mall, Sunset Blvd

Of course, the original Crossroads of the World doesn’t have a Mickey Mouse perched atop its iconic tower. Disney also lights this very well at night.

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Dr. Beauchamp Dentistry building at Hollywood and Cahuenga Blvds

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Security-First National Bank , 5207 Wilshire Blvd

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Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood Blvd

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Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, Vine St, Hollywood

Their neon signage at night is particularly effective:

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Max Factor building, Highland Ave, Hollywood

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Pan Pacific Auditorium, Beverly Blvd

It also lit up beautifully at night:

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The Darkroom photographic store, 5368 Wilshire Blvd

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Warner Brothers Theater, Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills

The original theater wasn’t painted in those bright colors, of course, but get a load of that Art Deco detailing!

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Ralph’s supermarket on Wilshire Blvd

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Oakland Floral Depot, 1900 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland

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Beverly-Poinsettia Commercial Building, 7290 Beverly Blvd

I’m not sure if this last building was modeled after a real-life counterpart so if you can identify ait for me, I’d love to hear from you.

 

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As I walked out of the park that night I thought, Until Elon Musk invents a time machine for us, this’ll have to do. Truthfully, it’s not a bad substitute.

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"Closing Credits" - Book 9 in the Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin TurnbullThe 9th and final Garden of Allah novel – Closing Credits – is getting closer to publication. I’ll be getting the manuscript back from my editor in the next couple of days. So we’re still on track for a November release…or maybe even earlier!

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Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels:

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

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The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles

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isit golden-era Hollywood with two free books!~oOo~

www.MartinTurnbull.com

Martin Turnbull on Facebook

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About Martin Turnbull

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels blog is by Martin Turnbull, a Los Angeles based historical fiction author writing about the golden era of Hollywood in his series of novels set at the Garden of Allah Hotel, which stood on Sunset Blvd from 1927 to 1959. Check him out at www.martinturnbull.com and Facebook: "gardenofallahnovels"
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One Response to Golden-era Hollywood versus Disney’s Hollywood Studios – a side-by-side comparison

  1. George Geary says:

    Very nicely done! Now take a pic of what the place looks like today..

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