Here it is! The lobby of The Hollywood Tower Hotel, untouched since 1939, reopening in the early 1950s. Covered with spider webs and dust, it reveals suitcases left at reception, newspapers dropped and toys left behind… the abandonment of this icon was very quick indeed…
Soak it all in — the details, the furnishings, the ambiance…
Wall carvings, rugs, dead plants, statues, old chairs, the reception desk, stained glass windows, wall lights, hanging roof lights, an ornate wooden ceiling and beautiful floor tiles combine to create the view that will soon be taking the breath of every guest to enter the new attraction. Even with the highest price tag of any single theme park attraction ever to open in the whole of Europe, that’s money well spent.
These official Disney photographs were clearly taken recently, on a bright Winter day, with light pouring into the lobby area and lighting up the cobwebs stretching across almost everything in sight, from beautiful desk lamps, period handbags and magazines (also left in the hurry to leave), to the iconic reception bell itself.
The reception is lit by a diamon-shaped light hanging from above, decorated with orange and yellow stained glass and an intricately designed casing. Two lamps also sit on the desk itself — complete with ‘HTH’ lampshades. The pigeon holes behind are filled with letters and keys, whilst a hat and coat sit on reception, left behind on that fateful night.
Some details have yet to be finished with an appropriate aging, and indeed even more spider webs should be present by the time this haunting hotel officially opens its doors once again.
Beyond the lobby, along the passageway to the right and behind reception, through the library rooms where the pre-show video introduces the story, guests encounter the boiler room — the location of the service elevator which takes you high into the Tower above.
Upon the opening of this version of the attraction in California, the boiler room areas were highly praised for being arguably even more detailed than the lobby before — filled with tools, curios and left-over possessions from the workmen, to create a very informal and “lived-in” space, packed full of atmosphere and history.
The photos released from this area show an eclectic collection of clocks and dials (above left) and some of the rusted and oily dials on the boiler machinery itself (above right). What the photos don’t show is the spectacular show lighting, which we saw very briefly with the Filmparade TV special several weeks ago.
A workman’s locker in one corner completes the story, with hanging overalls and a pair of shoes. Unwanted decorations from the hotel are stored above, whilst period bottles and cabinets fill every corner of the room, pushed up against the crumbling plaster of the walls (above right).
At Disney’s California Adventure park, the Imagineers proudly revealed how many props and accessories — such as stopwatches — hinted directly to specific episodes of The Twilight Zone TV series. Whilst the new photos above might reveal many of the incredible details in the early portions of the Tower, no doubt many more are still to be found, the closer we get…
In related news: Look out for a brand new Tower of Terror section on DLRP Magic! soon, featuring everything from a tour of the hotel to videos, Imagineering secrets, histories, concept art and much more. Work is just beginning, so these photos couldn’t have come at a better time — thanks, DLRP!
— All photos © Disney.