February 8, 2019 – “Parks and Attractions of Yesterday”

Hello, everyone!

Until recently, the footage examined and reviewed from the Home Movie Collection included sites from the Orlando area. I am very familiar with some of the depicted attractions, monuments, and memorials the Richters visited. Now,  a real treasure appeared with footage of Disneyland from the late 1960s and footage of Barron Richter visiting Euclid Beach Park. Some of the attractions Richter rode at Disneyland and Euclid Beach Park itself no longer exist, so these films represent a window into a bygone era. The details of this entry shed more light on the subject.

Among the first films of the day include footage of Euclid Beach Park. Built along the southern shore of Lake Erie in the Collinwood neighborhood Cleveland, Ohio in 1895, Dudley S. Humphrey, Jr. stressed the amusement park be a family-friendly place. Thus, Humphrey made some rather controversial decisions including limiting the visitation days of African American guest that eventually led to race riots in 1946. In Richter’s footage, he featured a couple of African American families enjoying themselves at the park.

Nonetheless, the park closed on September 28, 1969. In Richter’s footage, a sign indicates that the family visited the park prior to the first of September of that year. Essentially, he managed to get footage of the park in its last year of operation! Richter filmed or even rode several attractions such as The Flying Turns, The Racing Coaster, and the Rocket Ships carousel. Other notable places from the park filmed in the beachside pier and the dance hall.

Unlike Euclid Beach Park, the park still exists today. In his travels, Mr. Richter visited Disneyland! Immediately, several attractions that no longer exist at the park came into camera range. Most notably, the Submarine Voyage in Tomorrowland.

At first, I thought the ride included a glass bottom and live fish. While guests could look out the windows of the ride, the footage revealed that the fish did not move. Apparently, later incarnations included animatronic mermaids. Submarine Voyage remained part of Tomorrowland until its permanent closing on September 9, 1998. After their trip on Submarine Voyage, the Richters took the Skyway to Fantasyland.

Like its Magic Kingdom counterpart, the Skyway transported guests to the various different parts of the park. Along the way, the Richters filmed the Submarine Voyage from an overhead position, the PeopleMover transporting guests, went through the Matterhorn, witnessed the Casey Jr. Circus Train, and eventually ended their trip at Fantasyland. The Skyway continued to transport guests until November 9, 1994.

The Richters enjoyed more attractions that Disneyland offered such as the Casey Jr. Circus Train, the Jungle Cruise, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (with José the Parrot), and the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant. Interestingly, Chicken of the Sea dropped their sponsorship of the restaurant in 1969 and the ship became Captain Hook’s Galley. The restaurant retained its original moniker in the Richter film. The restaurant permanently closed in 1982.

Eventually, my shift came to a close as I finished reviewing these film files. After returning the collection materials, I bid the remaining staff farewell and left for the weekend. Before I left the building, I realized I forgot some paperwork and retrieved them. Thankfully, some of my colleagues remained to open the door.

In review, I continued to examine more of the Home Movie Collection. I counted less than five files remained to be reviewed from Barron Richter and I believe I can finish them next week. Until then, enjoy the weekend and stay safe! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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