21 December 2012

Susceptible to earthquake

Tucked away on the shelves, hidden in plain sight on signs, and even built into the architecture of the Hollywood Tower Hotel are a plethora of nods to some of the timeless tales from The Twilight Zone. Yet, not every nod in the once luxurious resort belong to Rod Serling’s beloved television fright-fest. While there are various notes scattered about the hotel, today we’re examining one that rests on a desk in one of the libraries.

The penmanship (not to mention the photographer’s lack of skill) may make it a bit difficult to make out, so let me help you. The note reads: Porcelains of Europe, although susceptible to earthquake damage, are an important element in films and attractions of Hollywood.

This note may seem oddly specific, but there is a reason for it. A shipment of antique porcelain, destined to be set dressing for the Hollywood Tower Hotel in Florida, was being held in California in early 1994. Just prior to being shipped out, the Northridge earthquake, a 6.7 on the Richter scale, rocked the state and was felt as far away as Las Vegas on January 17, 1994. Needless to say, the porcelain was severely damaged. Imagineers repaired what they could and replaced everything else in order to complete The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on time.

Once they arrived in Florida, the Imagineers felt the bump in the road should be commemorated and did so with this note. After all, the Hollywood Tower Hotel is, indeed, a film worthy set and a top notch attraction, and it is most certainly made to feel more at home with the inclusion of the porcelain pieces.

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