Stay Puft Marshmallow Store

I spent the past week on vacation with my family in sunny California. We visited and saw quite a few things that were decidedly “non-retro,” but a couple of things we saw were — one of them being this Stay Puft Marshmallow Store.

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Located inside the Hollywood and Highland Mall, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Store was just one of several candy-themed stores in the area. Unfortunately for us this store was closed as we made our way through the mall, but that didn’t stop me from trying to eat my way through the locked doors!

Here’s a link to more information about this area known as Sweet Los Angeles: LINK

Gorgeous stock footage of LA during the 1940s

Because where else could I say something like “Guys, check out this exiting STOCK FOOTAGE!!!” and not be laughed at?

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t like Archive.org’s embedding options, so you’ll have to click on over there to check it out.

It was apparently shot in the Bunker Hill area of Los Angeles for an unidentified feature film. If anybody knows the origin, let the Internet Archive folks know.

A Trip To The Griffith Park Merry Go Round

Maybe more vintage than retro, but I really wanted to share this.

Nestled in the heart of Griffith Park is another hidden gem of Los Angeles – an original 1926 Merry Go Round. It’s open 11 AM to 5 PM everyday and it’s great for kids or vintage enthusiasts. There is a small display in the ride where you can learn all about its history.

The highlight is the wonderfully cool and eerie Stinson Orchestra – a mechanical work of art. Here is a gallery from my trip.

Tuff Turf : Required 80s Film Viewing

So, one of the shows I produce in my regular rotation of event television is The American Cinematheque Tribute. I’ve worked on the past 3 specials that honored Julia Roberts, Samuel L. Jackson and Matt Damon. The Cinematheque is a wonderful film preservation society that runs some fantastic film programming at The Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. I really enjoy working on the show and THIS year’s honoree is Robert Downey, Jr.

One of the perks is that we get ALL the films from the honoree’s body of work to make notes on what clips we plan on cutting together and how we are going to thread them into themes.

Well, I can tell you that when you watch one actor’s ENTIRE library of films, you run across some gems you might normally not think to watch. And last night, I found one such gem. A diamond actually.

Tuff Turf (1985)

The film stars James Spader as the new kid in a rough school. Spader is a preppy who has had great opportunities, however he’s a misunderstood troublemaker who has squandered those chances. And when he falls in love with a gang leader’s girl (played by Kim Richards, who is currently a Real Housewife Of Beverly Hills), he’s in for a ruff time. This is, after all, tuff turf.

RDJ plays a rebel punk at the school who befriends Spader. He even gives him his first switchblade. That’s the kind of friend you need around these tuff parts!

The film’s tone is all over the place. It wants to be funny, then serious, then violent and then…a musical? There is actually a somewhat coordinated dance scene in the film.

It’s also a great slice of 80s Los Angeles life. Enjoy the trailer. Then get the movie.