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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread


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Oh God the Horror! The Horror! Why Kong God?! Why?! Why couldn't you take the "Fast and the Furious?" Obviously dancing cars are much less entertaining up there in heaven than a giant gorilla with banana breath.

 

Guy "Just glad nobody got hurt." Koepp

 

That was the first thing I thought of! And I too, remember when the tour used to be several hours long. You'd get off the tram and walk around. I was terrified of the Battlestar Galactica set!

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According to the sources I've been able to reach, the Back to the Future clocktower did indeed survive intact if a bit charred. About half of the little grassy plaza in front did too, as did several fronts in the clocktower alleys, (behind and to the right, about where the giant coffee cup was sitting in BTTF: the Ride). The rest of the Courthouse Square area was destroyed.

 

I find this to be eerie, given the fact that this is the fourth major fire to destroy the New York St./Courthouse Square, (The others were in 1957, 1990, and 1997), not to mention a rogue tornado in 1979, all of which the clocktower handily survived. In fact, in the catastrophically damaging 1990 fire, the Courthouse and the nearby King Kong attraction were the only buildings in the area that could be saved.

 

The building was put up in 1948, and before Back to the Future the plaza was called "Mockingbird Square" because the facade first knew fame as the courthouse where Atticus Finch defended Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird. The television show Ghost Whisperer was currently filming on the set, and production will be affected by the fire.

 

It seems either ironic or oddly appropriate for that building to be so long-lived, right out of Back to the Future somehow. I don't know exactly why...

 

The clocktower standing alone after the 1990 fire. Except for the King Kong building in the lower right, all of the other standing buildings were damaged so extensively they needed to be destroyed.

 

Courthouse Square during the 1997 fire, the Clocktower is not the light-colored pedimented building in the middle of the image, it's the pedimented building right behind that one.

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According to the sources I've been able to reach, the Back to the Future clocktower did indeed survive intact if a bit charred. About half of the little grassy plaza in front did too, as did several fronts in the clocktower alleys, (behind and to the right, about where the giant coffee cup was sitting in BTTF: the Ride). The rest of the Courthouse Square area was destroyed.

 

That is correct. The small picture of the 1990 fire you posted is EXACTLY what the backlot currently looks like (with the obvious exception of Kong and the video warehouse not surviving this time).

 

The New England street facades on the left, the park and clockhouse buildings, plus some of the alley streets to the right all survived.

 

As a side note...the clock itself has been in storage ever since Ghost Whisperer took over the area. So that "historic" item is safe.

 

The tram reopened today, taking the route it always takes when the metro sets were closed. A new script was written acknowledging the fire and the firefighters great efforts. I'll have a PTR tomorrow.

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I was about 3 miles from Universal Studios in the hotel I was staying at during the event of the fire. I did see some black smoke in the air, not to mention the smell was pretty bad. I assumed before it was a normal house fire, but after about an hour or 2, it was on the news. So that was a shocker.

 

That must be a huge loss for Universal from losing lots of their scripts from the movie vault.

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Apparently this didn't make the news at all over on the East Coast, including the Orlando, FL area. Guess they just don't care about the real movie studios, and just like to pretend their way through the mostly-fake ones at Universal Orlando & WDW?

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^ Actually, it was all over the news here in Maine, as and it made the local broadcasts at 9 and noon in the Washington D.C. area, too. We like our own fake soundstages enough, but we care about the real ones too!

 

Haha, as I speak for the whole Eastern Seaboard...

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^^Yeah and it was one of the lead stories on ABC Nightly News last night and the Today show yesterday and today...they even had Al Roker out surveying the damage!

 

You sound a bit a bit california biased with your response!

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^You couldn't have just asked "Did this make the news anywhere else? It was the biggest story here in LA!"? That was a pretty obnoxious statement you made.

 

A simple google search would have shown it to be big news on tons of national and other local market stations. I mistakenly went to nbc4.com thinking it was the LA station, only to find out it was the Washington DC stations site. Guess what? They had it as their main story too. Cnn.com was the same way.

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heh..nice topic for a first post...

 

I wonder if they destroyed Kong from Universal Florida. I know it probably isn't possible, but tis something to think of if they want it up fast

 

edit: wow, i didn't know i joined that far in the past. Registered a user name for the videos, just never got around to posting till now....

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I was shocked to see this on the news last night. From the news I could have swore I heard them saying it was the vault with the original films in them, but I guess I heard wrong.

Also the fire and smoke seemed pretty intense. Robb, Elissa, or anybody in the LA area, how far could you see the smoke from?

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I was shocked to see this on the news last night. From the news I could have swore I heard them saying it was the vault with the original films in them, but I guess I heard wrong.

Also the fire and smoke seemed pretty intense. Robb, Elissa, or anybody in the LA area, how far could you see the smoke from?

 

They indeed said that original films were destroyed, but fortunately all could be replaced.

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I went to the pub tonight and read the papers and was actually surprised at how much coverage the fire got, especially considering how most of our papers are fairly Florida-centric when it comes to US amusement parks. I mean, had patrons been injured or killed, it would have been front-page sensationalism at its best, but... It got quite a bit of coverage in a couple of the tabloids. Was still shocked to see some of the pics here though, although I did the tour when I was out there in August, I wasn't aware quite how big an area the fire had devastated.

 

I was a huge fan of Kong in Florida as a kid, and loved the brief nostalgia I got at USH. Really sad that that was lost.

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They indeed said that original films were destroyed, but fortunately all could be replaced.

 

No film was destroyed, only video tape masters. The film archives were elsewhere.

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Rob, thanks for fixing the first post for me!

 

It sucks that this topic is the longest thread I have ever started.

 

I also remember the first time seeing KK, I was really little and I knew it was going to come up on the tour, so I asked my Dad which side KK was on.....well he totally lied to me and made me sit on the side right next to KK! I was really a wuss when I was a kid, and was really upset that he tricked me!

 

My wife was a also really upset, I took her to California for the first vacation of her life when she was 30, never even been on a plane before! She was amazed at everything on the tour, and was so happy to see things in real life that she had only seen in the movies.

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