Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Studio Theatre That Never Was

In our earlier post on the Academy Theatre, we mentioned that its architect, S. Charles Lee, had done a rendering of a proposed theater building for the Disney Studios in Burbank. Lee's conception was an elaborate design in the Streamline Moderne style that unfortunately was never realized. This annotation from the UCLA library described Lee's intentions for the building:

"Lee’s concept shows a glistening exterior of shiny materials, perhaps glass or ceramic tiles. To add height and presence to the building, Lee set the entrance up on a podium and accented the semicircular Streamline Moderne facade with vertical tower forms. A broad overhanging marquee echoes the circular form of the facade; its recessed lights illuminate the glass-walled foyer and the area around the entrance."

The theater that came to be built at the Burbank studio is little more than two entrance doors and a small sign. Function and budget likely trumped aesthetics, and Lee's original design subsequently joined the ranks of the always fascinating Disney That Never Was.
Special thanks to Jeff Kurtti for providing current photos of the Burbank studio theater.