21 June 2013

South Seas Club

Twenty-two years ago today, The Rocketeer first donned his jet pack and set off across silver screens across the country. I’d love to say he, that is The Rocketeer’s alter-ego, Cliff Secord, rocketed to box office success, but the film actually sputtered through the summer of 1991. The film was based upon the comic works of Dave Stevens, and has subsequently found a cult following.

Once upon a time, The Rocketeer could be found everywhere in Disney-MGM Studios. From flying about during fireworks to the Bulldog Cafe living along the Backlot, guests could not avoid the jet pack clad defender. We’ve uncovered a lot of props packs, recreated blueprints and helmets, and even blast prints in the pavement before, but today we’re looking for something a bit more subtle.

The Rocketeer takes place in 1938, at the height of Hollywood’s golden age to glamour and lavishness. No scene in The Rocketeer better encompasses this ostentatiousness than the South Seas Club dinner between Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly) and Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton). The art deco nightspot was filled with ornate décor and two-hundred and fifty gaudily dressed extra to make up the denizens of this era.

One piece of the South Seas Club can still be found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios today. Just as you begin to board your tram for the Studios Backlot Tour, tucked away amongst a jungle of foliage, if you look closely you can spot this curvy silhouette. This dolphin was part of the club’s fountain. It may not have been crucial to the film, but it certainly is nice to still be able to track down props from The Rocketeer.

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