Walking Around Hollywood Studios & Hollywood, CA
So, recently, I started reading a series of fictional novels about the “Golden Age of Hollywood” as written and researched by the author and historian, Martin Turnbull.
The first of his series, The Garden on Sunset, contains a scene from inside “The Brown Derby.”
And, with The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios being my favorite dining spot at WDW, I wondered if Mr. Turnbull had ever visited DHS.
Boy, did he ever!
Martin Turnbull’s Hollywood (Studios)
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.
So as to not steal Martin’s thunder, let’s just check out three of his entries:
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…)
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.
And, of course…
Their neon signage at night is particularly effective:
In another post, Turnbull actually wrote about The Vine Street Brown Derby, describing the building on which the Hollywood Studios Brown Derby was based:
This Brown Derby had two levels – there was the lower level for general seating and on the upper level were the booths. The booths were positioned for see-and-being-seen’ing and were reserved for the prominent customers: Katherine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Jean Harlow, William Powell, Joan Crawford, and the like. On the walls behind the booths were hung the famous Brown Derby caricatures drawn by artist Eddie Vitch who, one night, asked the owner if he could complete some caricature drawings of the stars in the Derby that night in exchange for a meal. Cobb [Note: as in the salad] liked the results and a tradition was born.
You can see the two levels of Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby; as well as the replica caricatures in my own photo from Hollywood Studios.
And, of course, there’s much more to be had at Martin Turnbull’s website! Look for an interview with the author about his knowledge of Hollywood and Disney here on MickeyBlog.com very soon.