18 November 2013

Tinsel Town Treasures



A star has gone out in tinsel town. You will be miss Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind.

Okay, so that may seem a bit of an mellow-dramatic, but Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques and Curios being closed for good, it does seem as if something of that old Hollywood feel will be missing in the future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Sure, the collectibles for sale inside will still be available for purchase at the AFI Showcase Shop, but there was something to be said about this opening day venue.

The Hollywood-style bungalow served up autographs, memorabilia, movie posters, movie press photos, and entertainment books, but I’m not sure I know a single person who ever actually purchased something from the store. Perhaps this is part of the reason that closing the shop makes sense, but to me there was so much more to the shop.

For starters, Sid’s gave us Sid Cahuenga. Sid was a streetmosphere character portrayed by Danny Dillon from 1989 until 2005. His larger than life exuberance welcomed guests to Hollywood day in and day out and, having spent so much time rubbing elbows with the celebrities that signed autographs for his home turned shop, he had a keen ability for impersonations.

One of the hidden gems of magical moments is when you are able to complete a round of Hollywood trivia written out on the chalkboard positioned on Sid’s porch. Some questions were easy, some were truly difficult, but they were always fun to try.

Sid’s fit into that Hollywood that never was and always will be mentality of the park, a theme that has been slowly diminishing in Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the past couple of years. I can understand wanting to put a MyMagic+ service center and shop near the entrance to the park, it makes complete sense. Yet, Disney has to understand that it is going to concern longtime enthusiasts who have a love of that vintage Hollywood feel when you say that the next technological advancement is going to call the 1940’s home. I’d love to say I’m certain the signage and any imagery outside will blend seamlessly into the surroundings, that there may even be some neon that brings the bungalow to life after the sun has set, but I’m having nightmares of swishy modern logos. Then again, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom seems to have found a nice balance in Main Street, U.S.A.’s fire station.

I’m not a purist by any stretch of the imagination, I understand and want the parks and resorts to continue to grow and change, but Sid’s just seems like a perfect piece of well-loved, well-worn Hollywood that could have and should have been left alone. Merchandise can be moved, and trivia can darken another doorstep, but there will never be another Sid Cahuenga’s, it was one of a kind.

1 comment:

Ashley Haymond said...

I, for one, was so bummed to hear this. Like you stated, yes, we can still find the merchandise elsewhere, and yes, I understand the need for a Fastpass+ kiosk near the park entrance, but Sid's was one of a kind. I just recently listed to a podcast about the legend and backstory, and had my first visit a few weeks ago. I was hooked. These are the small details that make us Disney-philes love the parks so, and Sid's will truly, truly be missed. Guess I'll have to go to the new Brown Derby lounge and pour one out for Mr. Cahuenga.