Movieland Mystery Photo – Clara Bow Edition

Mystery Department Store

What really got me wondering about “It” is the mystery department store. We have seen that the “The Public Enemy” and “Employees’ Entrance” used the May Co. Let’s take a look.

Mystery Photo

Those light fixtures look familiar.

Mystery Photo

Another angle of the store.

Mystery Photo

And overall view…. The light fixtures certainly look like the ones at the May Co.

Mystery Photo

Those are stairs in the background, not an escalator.

Mystery Photo

I wasn’t sure at first whether this was the store or a set.

Mystery Photo

No, I don’t think it’s a set.

Never mind the department store, look what we have here:


Where is this amusement park?

Mystery Photo

“Who’s Gatsby?”

Mystery Photo

I’ve never seen anything like this before….

Mystery Photo

Hm. I wonder what’s going to happen here.

Mystery Photo

Oh dear. I sense temptation ahead.

Mystery Photo

Obviously Mr. Waltham has missed his company’s eight-hour online course on “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.”

Mystery Photo

Oh, for those strong, traditional moral values that made America great in grandpa’s day.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1927, Downtown, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo – Clara Bow Edition

  1. Mary Mallory says:

    I think it’s Pacific Ocean Park. Some of these rides are seen in other movies, including a Thelma Todd/Zasu Pitts short, and the great silent film LONESOME.


  2. The amusement park scenes from It were filmed at the short-lived Jones Ocean Park Fun Palace in California – the same amusement park used for the fun house interiors in Harold Lloyd’s 1928 on-New-York location comedy Speedy. Even though Speedy featured actual exterior shots of Luna Park and Steeplechase Park at Coney Island, they used the Ocean Park Fun Palace for the interiors. I explain this all, with side-by-side frame grabs, in my Silent Visions film location book about Lloyd. By 1929, the Fun Palace was converted to a skating rink, so the smaller fun house on the Venice pier starred in the later Hal Roach Our Gang/Laurel & Hardy/etc. comedies featuring fun house scenes. The Venice fun house also was used in King Vidor’s The Crowd (again, represented as taking place at Coney Island, but filmed locally). The giant slide and human roulette wheel were noticeably different at each park, making each park identifiable.


  3. rob says:

    I rode that huge spinning roulette wheel and the tumbling rotating tunnel in Speedy as a kid at Steeplechase Park before it closed in 1964. Great place though it had fallen into shabby disrepair by the early ’60s.


  4. Gary Martin says:

    Photo #6: four men at bottom of steps. This is definitely a set …although they are illuminated from the front their shadows fall forward as there is a very strong backlight over the top of the set …see also her rim light as she comes down the same stairs. It is really a basic two wall set with a standard stair unit. Notice that the railing is below code: a hand rail but no pickets to protect the user from falling down and off the stairs. Last, the light through the transom is splashed on the back wall above the level of the door indicating that the sun is setting in the Pacific Ocean.(Look, ma, three suns!) The other shots might well be location but all of them occur in the same place but seen from different camera angles. It is usual on locations to be rstricted to a specific area or areas.


  5. Benito says:

    Saw “IT” recently on TCM. The giant slide in photo 11 and whirling chairs suspended by chains in photo 8 are exactly the same at the Costa Mesa Fish Fry and at the Orange County Fair every year.


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