At the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios you enter Hollywood's equivalent of Main Street: Hollywood Boulevard. This Disney World creation has taken authentic portions of real buildings from Hollywood, California during the 1930's and placed them together on Hollywood Boulevard. This creates a feeling of a place you know and recognize, but never actually existed in this form.
During the 1930's America looked to Hollywood to escape the reality of the Great Depression. People embraced the glamour and excitement that was associated in the city known for creating cinematic magic. This was Hollywood at its peak. The buildings were fresh and new and the excitement level was high. Disney Imagineers took elements throughout Hollywood and placed them together to make "their" Hollywood.
As you enter Hollywood Studios on the left you will find Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-Kind shop. The name comes from the Cahuenga Pass near the Hollywood Bowl, but the architecture of the shop represents the bungalow style that was popular in the 1920's in the Hollywood/Los Angeles area. The bungalow style appeared before the Craftsman style that came into fashion later.
On your right as you enter Disney's Hollywood Studios you will find Oscar's Super Service Station (and Classic Car Souvenirs) that mimics the Art Deco Gas Stations that came about in the 1930's.
Just inside the entrance to the park you will find this replica of the Crossroads of the World tower that marked the first outdoor shopping center.
The Darkroom takes the name of a similar location in Hollywood although the Disney World version uses the architecture of a completely different building found on Beverly Boulevard in Hollywood. This is a perfect example of how the Disney Imagineers mixed and matched styles in order to fit them together on their Hollywood Boulevard.
Also appearing throughout Hollywood Studios are billboards representing classic images of Hollywood, like this one of the Hollywoodland housing development.
The building for Pluto's Toy Palace actually copies the design of a Dog & Cat Hospital from Highland Avenue in Hollywood.
Adrian & Edith's Head to Toe shop is based upon the Chapman Market Building on Sixth Street in Los Angeles. The design firm was known for taking basic box buildings and adding decorative stucco to turn it into Spanish or Mexican detailing.
The Keystone Clothiers is based upon Owl Drug Company on the "real" Hollywood Boulevard built in 1934. The architectural firm credited with the design was Morgan, Walls, & Clements, who are recognized for creating the "look" of many of the classics buildings during the height of Hollywood's popularity.
Disney World's Hollywood
As you stroll down Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios you are met by many details of classic Hollywood that put you in the spirit of Hollywood at its best. This is a vision of the glamorous and magical Hollywood that inspired so many.
Disney World has captured that magic of early Hollywood and makes it come alive each day for thousands of Disney World guests. There are many details that most park visitors will never notice in their pursuit of thrill rides and movie based attractions. What they will notice is that they are in a place that feels like Hollywood should, even though most have never been to the real Hollywood.
Note: Many details for this article were found in "The Imagineering Field Guide To Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World."