Walt’s Laugh-O-Gram Studio Damaged By Car Crash
The Historic Kansas City building housed Walt Disney’s early forrays into the entertainment business damaged by an errant car…
However, did you know that the small production house produced versions of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cinderella” as early as 1922? Would it surprise you to know the building is still standing? Even after a car crashed into the building?
Well, of course, there’s a story to all of this, as covered by The Kansas City Star’s Aaron Torres and Cortlynn Stark. They interviewed Butch Rigby, chairman of the local nonprofit “Thank You Walt Disney Inc.“
“We’ll fix it,” Rigby said to the Star. “I have a background in building renovation; I’ve done 25 buildings, so I’m very familiar with it, and this is something that can and will be repaired.”
There will be plenty of work to do.
The paper explained that just after 4:00 AM Saturday, a car smashed into the building at 1127 E. 31st St. The vehicle took out electrical poles and collided with the north side of the building, and “broke an opening and knocked out bricks.”
In terms of the site’s importance, according to Thank You, Walt Disney Inc., the building served as the genesis of a relationship that would eventually produce Mickey Mouse.
“As [Walt] slept there at night [as he could not afford rent], he heard mice come out looking for the crumbs from his employees’ lunches which were tossed into a wire wastebasket,” explained the nonprofit’s website. “He began to put out food for these mice, luring them closer to him each night.
“As he slept there at night, he heard mice come out looking for the crumbs from his employees’ lunches which were tossed into a wire wastebasket. He began to put out food for these mice, luring them closer to him each night.”
Later, with Laugh-O-Gram bankrupt, Walt headed to Los Angeles to find his fortune. And, well, we know how that story turned out.
But before he left, Walt let his mouse friend loose in the countryside (to avoid some nasty cats). In 1928, Mickey Mouse could find his origins traced to the mouse who kept Walt company during lean times in Kansas City, Missouri.
All of this history remains omnipresent to Rigby, who told reporters, “this area has its best days ahead of it.
“And this is something that can be saved. It’s a setback… But on the other hand, I want people to come here, be a part of Troost Avenue, visit this area and see the great things that are going on around 31st and Troost.”
Tell us: When the facility in Kansas City goes online, will you visit? Let us know in the comments below.
Feature Image: Disney