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The Past, Present and Future of Anaheim

July 28, 2002

Despite current tragedies here and abroad, the article "Kitsch and Clutter Fading Fast in Anaheim" caught my eye. As a local baby boomer, I remember the excitement of the fascinating signage near Disneyland; the Peter Pan Motel's neon representation of that "never-grow-up child" was my favorite, though the Space Age Motor Lodge was a close second. I wanted so much to stay in their rooms, swim in their pools and take one of their motel shuttles to Disneyland ... even though we lived in Orange!

As for the destruction of Melodyland, it shouldn't have to be. Among the many wonderful productions our family attended at the theater-in-the-round were "The Music Man" with Miss America pageant emcee Bert Parks, "High Button Shoes" with legendary actress Betty Grable and "Finnegan's Rainbow" with "Mr. Ed" star Alan Young. We were sitting in the back row watching various grandchildren of "The King Family" sing when King cousin Tina Cole and "My Three Sons" actor Don Grady stood behind us.

Then, just as I was learning about British history and Oliver Cromwell's suppression of theaters, Melodyland was transformed into a church--and now this distinctive meeting hall is about to be turned into scrap. What an abomination.

Janet Whitcomb

Rancho Santa Margarita

*

Your article on the "Kitsch and Clutter" of Anaheim failed to delve deeply into the $6-billion financing of the "massive overhaul."

One small example: While residents of Anaheim have had to underwrite the immediate costs of underground utilities around Disneyland, they will not see the same underground utilities near their homes until well into the 21st century. And how about the money that the city has spent supporting Disney's utility upgrades?

Of course, when the rest of Anaheim suffered from a pileup of garbage during the trash strike, the city ensured that Disneyland's trash was removed.

And some wonder why Anaheim residents are not enthralled with the Big Rat.

Robert B. Evans

Anaheim

*

The age of kitsch and clutter is fading in favor of lush landscaping, tree-lined sidewalks and underground utilities, all of which have enhanced the Anaheim Resort as an international destination.

The L.A. Conservancy has always been critical of the way city officials have improved our resort, but all is not lost.

Googie [art] continues a new life, not only elsewhere and in the library, but also in pieces being stored for future display in a hoped-for museum devoted to Anaheim's wonderful past.

Donn Yvaska

Anaheim

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