Monday, April 11, 2011

T-Shirts at the Carthay Circle

The Carthay Circle Theatre was one of Hollywood's most famous movie palaces and will always be remembered as the location for the 1937 world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This historic landmark no longer exists, but the Spanish Colonial Revival stylized building design with its iconic octagonal tower is coming to Disney California Adventure as part of that park's $1.1 billion expansion plan.

But one does not have to wait. The Carthay Circle facade came back into existence during the 1994 expansion of Sunset Boulevard at Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando...

The elegant interior of the building houses a gift shop which among other things, sells appropriately enough--Snow White tees...

While many a guest may pass by the "theatre" without ever realizing its significance, inside there are a few clues to its past glory in addition to its historically correct architecture...

On the wall behind the check-out counter are three photographs. The images from left to right, include Walt and Lillian Disney on premiere night, the Carthay Circle all aglow in lights, and the odd-looking "dwarfs" mingling with VIP guests...

Zoom-ins on the three photos...

The Disney theme parks are certainly filled with enchanting rides and attractions, but it's interesting to think of how they also serve--in the name of entertainment--as a quasi-historical repository for a bygone era.


  1. I am hoping that they will eventually use The Carthay at DCA as an actual theater.

  2. Dave-- Yes, I'm with you on this idea. More than a facade, but a real theater with shows or movies or even animatronics!

  3. I wonder if the future Anaheim version will be on a larger scale than the Orlando one? I'm hoping it will be used for some sort of "E" Ticket attraction and that it won't be just an empty shell (yeah, give us animatronics!!!)

  4. Like I said before, it would be pretty cool if they showed Snow White in the theatre. Or I would settle for a 1930's cycle of Disney toons and Disney-related newsreels ^_^

    Isn't it going to be used to show an orientation film about Walt Disney himself?

  5. I've heard it might house a restaurant, a cafe and possibly also a private facility like Club 33. But I hope it will be more like a real theater and/or attraction rather than just another eatery.