Disney Studios, 1959

Last month Burbank city officials removed a 50-year-old miniature time capsule that was encased in concrete in the Magnolia Bridge in 1959. It contained a roll of 35mm film with 47 black and white images of Burbank landmarks. This week, the local newspaper The Burbank Times has posted all the images on their website. In addition to shots of City Hall, NBC Studios and Burbank Airport, there are two photos of Walt Disney Studios on Buena Vista Street. To see enlargements of the Disney Studio shots, click here for the Gate, click here for the Animation Building.

Floyd, can you spot your car??


  • JJ

    Who’s “Floyd?”

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    Yeah, I think I can see it.

    I loved that parking lot. Ub Iwerks parked his snazzy sports car here as well. For an old codger, Ub was pretty cool.

    Then, they built the Roy O. Disney structure and blocked this great view of the Animation Building. Of course, with the Michael Eisner Building added, the Disney lot is uglier than ever.

  • Jules

    Who knew the shooting of Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer was ruled by a coroner’s jury as justifiable homicide? This is a valuable time capsule indeed. One clearly evident Burbank thing in these photos is a thriving middle class. And 27 cent per gallon gasoline.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I think some of the predictions included with that capsule are positively hilarious. Moving sidewalks, underground atomic power units, arcologies (described here as a “giant continuous building over the whole area”) and a dozen more screamers. Lockheed still operating out of the area. 150,000 residents, yet traffic jams will be a thing of the past!

    It’s one of those moments where you wish you had a time machine so you could go back and tell them how wrong they got it.

  • Angry Anim

    The first 2 pages of predictions of what the year 2009 will be is amazing. According that that, we are now traveling on moving sidewalks, metropolitan areas are connected by a network of monorails, and there’s a standard 30 hour work-week…

    … so, in other words, we blew it! What the hell happened!

  • http://www.milowerx.com Mike Milo

    Awesome photos! That ninth photo, any idea what street that is? Is that Olive or is it Burbank? Also that’s so cool that they got a pic of the YMCA, I along with many animation artists pass that every day on the way to CN.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Mike Milo – If you are asking about the shopping street I believe it is San Fernando Blvd. looking northbound from Olive.

  • Trevor

    Awesome photos! What do you think was going on in there at that time? 101 Dalmations?

    I can’t wait to add my mark to Disney’s rich history. I had hoped to be working there as an apprentice in the Talent Development Program, but I got the call saying that they had completely canceled the program this time around. Anyone else in the same boat?

    As an aside, I just heard the news from Wondercon about Disney’s plans of continuing to release 2d films every other year. Awesome news, especially for me!

  • Pedro Nakama

    Hey there’s a cop on the street giving someone a jaywalking ticket. Wow! Nothing has changed in Burbank!

  • Matt Sullivan

    Wow! Look how new everything looks. Very cool!

  • droosan

    Having lived in Burbank for 15 of the past 50 years, it’s amazing how much of the city is still recognizable; particularly the municipal buildings and the power plant. Aside from the cars parked on the streets, those photos might well have been taken last week.

    The commercial district photos along Magnolia and Victory also look much the same. Even the gasoline price at the Standard Chevron station seemed somewhat familiar — until I realized it was actually displaying 27.9¢ per gallon, rather than $2.79 ..! o_O

    The Disney and NBC studios look very different now — at least from the street. The views of Warner Bros. from Barham seem familiar, though — even though Oakwood doesn’t yet exist.

    It’s interesting to see the Lockheed complex at the Burbank airport in its ‘heyday’. It was abandoned and crumbling when I’d first moved here, and is completely gone now (replaced by a parking lot and a strip mall). But the main terminal still looks the same (aside from now sporting “Bob Hope Airport” signage).

    Thanks for posting these! ^_^

  • Jorgen Klubien

    Classy times! It pretty much looked like that when I first arrived in “Duckburg” 20 years later in 1978… and can you spot that ahead of it’s time Burbank shoppe “Business Machines Co.”? Perhaps the very first computer store in the hood? Everything looks like it was designed by Kem Weber… always have loved Burbank!

    Oh and one more thing… looking down at Warner’s from Barham Blvd. can you spot the still there landmark “The Smokehouse” restaurant? Great photos.

  • http://www.milowerx.com Mike Milo

    Thanks for the answer Jerry!

  • Bugsmer

    They were right about the 30 hour week. Some people are lucky to be getting even that. Nowadays, you need two jobs to make those kinds of hours.