Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Main Street 1920's concept early draft and construction panoramic pictures

I thought that yesterday's article would have been my last D&M article but I had last evening a great surprise in my mail box with a mail from Eddie Sotto, show-producer of Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland Paris.

In the Disneyland Paris that never was Part 2 and 3 articles Eddie explained wonderfully what would have been Main street U.S.A 1920's first concept. Eddie found back the early draft of this 1920's version who describes in details what Eddie envisioned, back in 1987. It's a fascinating document as we discover what could have been Main Street shops, restaurants and attractions if this 1920's version has been chosen. In addition, Eddie also found great and never-seen-before panoramic pictures of DLP Main Street U.S.A's construction and the rare artwork above showing the EL Station, Main Street Station for the elevated tramway that never was. Here is the kind email from Eddie Sotto:


I was going through a box of old papers and ran across this 1987 memo and some photos. You have written so much about the Disneyland Paris that never was, I thought you'd enjoy sharing this early draft of what the 1920's Main Street could have been! there were many more drafts after this for sure, but it's fun to see what was being talked.

Here are some images from the summer before we opened from one of those kodak single use panoramic cameras. You'll notice the elevator cab for Walt's Restaurant was being threaded (brown box on it's side) through the doorway , stained glass and all, long before the doors went in to seal the space. The white surfaces you see are the ornamental pieces and primed moldings, some made of MDF, a pressed board material that although inexpensive, expands in the rain and bursts apart. So a year later much of that was to be replaced.

Eddie Sotto

Let's begin by the Main Street 1920's "script". Click on each image to see the three pages in larger scale.

Let's have a look now to these never-seen-before panoramic shots of Main Street's construction. Eddie shot the pictures in summer 1991, approximately 9 months before opening day. The first panoramics shows Town Square, the castle in the background is still under construction.

Next panoramic seems to have been shot from what is now the Walt's Restaurant, the Disneyland Hotel is in the background.

The two next panoramics are extremely rare pictures showing the arrival of the Walt's Restaurant elevator. It is so big that they had to wait to put it in place before they put the doors of the restaurant.

The last panoramic is vertical and is a rare view of the castle under construction!

I would like to thanks again Eddie Sotto for these great documents, i'm sure you were as fascinated as i was to discover them.

Tomorrow will be Disney and more "Grand Finale", and i have a last and great surprise for you, so make sure to come on D&M tomorrow!

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Artwork and Main Street draft: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc

Panoramic pictures: copyright Eddie Sotto


Massimo said...

Dear Alain,
i just wanted to tell you I'll be missing incredibly your wonderful blog. Your blog has become in the years of the ones I check everyday looking for your updates and the one who always managed to keep up my expectations. You did an outstanding job. Thank you very much.

Matt said...

Wow - another great article! Eddie has to be the kindest designer out there - his contributions to the Imagineer-loving community are incredible!

Thanks Alain & Eddie!

Robert/Cologne said...

Really fantastic pics and info.I hate reading the updates knowing that now its only one last day for your blog.
What am I going to do without it :-(
I log on everyday and will miss you dearly.
One of the best reads on the internet and one of the best books on Disney EVER.
I only hope you are working on a new book.

Anonymous said...

It's clear DLP's original Main Street was developed alongside MGM Studios' Hollywood Boulevard, and many of these ideas can be found there. Even the "Sid Cuehenga" character shows up there, as does a gas station, the Darkroom, and Disney and Company, along with a few other ideas.

It's kind of cool to see this connection, as I tend to forget DLP was not the only thing being planned by Disney at the time, and that ideas were indeed shared between the two,