Archive for December, 2010

THRILLS – The Cyclone Racer

YouTube Preview Image The crazy chase scene above is from the 1936 film “Strike Me Pink” starring Eddie Cantor. The scene was filmed at a Long Beach amusement park Queens Pike which operated in one form or another from 1902 until 1969 and was considered at the time to be the Coney Island of the West Coast. The park was also unofficially called “Silver Spray Pier” by some…  Silver Spray Pier existed between 1915 and 1948 at the base of Cedar Avenue.  The Jack Rabbit Racer was the original wooden roller coaster built on the pier and the Cyclone Racer featured in this film replaced it. The Cyclone Racer operated from Memorial Day 1930 until September 15th 1968 and can also be seen in the final scene of the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” The coaster featured 4 trains, 5 cars per train, with the riders arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train. I went to art school to avoid math though, so typing that just hurt my head. :)

Here’s an awesome audio recording of the rollercoaster in action (via Larry Osterhoudt at cycloneracer.com). Please be sure to put your hands in the air as you listen to it.

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VIDEO – Jingle Bells with Disney’s Firehouse 5+2

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Before television encouraged Americans to spend so much time on their collective rear ends, it was very common for folks to spend their free time honing multiple creative talents to entertain themselves and others at parties and gatherings. Walt Disney’s animators were no different… the men who spent much of their lives bringing iconic Disney films to life chose to blow off steam by assembling a surprisingly tight seven-piece Dixieland band they called the Firehouse Five Plus Two.

According to Disney legend Ward Kimball, who led the band and also played trombone, Walt was fine with their group hobby as long as the quality of their work didn’t suffer. Apparently they juggled their workloads just fine: the band stayed together for nearly 30 years, released over a dozen records, and toured various clubs, jazz fests, fairs and colleges until the early 1970s.

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HO HO HO!!! (Or whatever.)

Hey folks… so this has been a fun week. We’ve given away helicopter tours and Greek dinners and we’re *just* about to finally give away “New Year’s Eve for Two” at the Queen Mary. Before I go any further, I have to thank the people who joined hiddenLA EXTRA so far because EVERYTHING WE’VE DONE OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS WAS FUNDED BY hLA EXTRA FANS. The fact of the matter is, the more people who join, the more benefits I can give you. Without your support, I can’t do nearly as much good stuff… it’s a looot of work. And I really love doing this stuff for you so your support is not only needed but sincerely appreciated… and you are the people who benefit the most!

So on that note I wanted to bring to your attention THREE THINGS:

1. The hiddenLA EXTRA member benefits are growing every week… AND HEY!!! Why not use your membership to help you afford A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR SOMEONE??? We have THREE active discounts available to you right now:
2 FOR 1 on any L.A. Conservancy Tour
$15 OFF on a Dearly Departed Tour
30% OFF on any Six Taste Food Tour
(We’re also going to be adding Cinefamily memberships and a whooole bunch of other random stuff to the list in the coming weeks, with the goal of having hundreds of discounts available by this time next year.)

2. hiddenLA EXTRA memberships can also be given as a cheap present (just $8 for 6 months and $12 for a year!)… so either join up on their behalf or just PayPal the membership fees to contact@hiddenLA.com and then send an e-mail to confirm who you would like the gift given to. You’ll get a nice personalized pdf certificate that you can either put into an envelope or e-mail to them. Because I’m sweet like that. :)

3. A number of you have signed up to be on the hLA general mailing list thinking that made them hiddenLA EXTRA members… thing is, y’all forgot to fill out the ever important “step four.” See, paying the $8-12 is what puts you on a list that’s different than the ones the Viagra spammers are all on… and it’s what will make you eligible for the discounts and giveaways. So be aware… if you can’t access the discount codes and aren’t winning any prizes, that’ll be why.

Aaaaand with that, here’s Cowgirl Ann again for your holiday listening pleasure. :)
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OPA! We have WINNERS!!!!

THEMEN!!!

  1. Ed and his friend Tugce found the mural before we gave any hints and were the first people to really utilize Papa Cristo… and had he not done that, a number of other contestants probably wouldn’t have found the location. Plus… the chicken stealing is FUNNY!
  2. Joanie had me fooled, she had the mural lady’s outfit so perfectly captured that I actually thought she worked there when I saw the photo. Her expression in the photo was perfect, and then add the Windex joke from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and *poof!* CONTEST MAGIC.

On top of getting dinner for two at Papa Cristo, Joanie and Ed both won the grand prizes: 3-person champagne helicopter rides with Channel Islands Helicopters… they’ll fly you over the Channel Islands National Park and you can even go whale watching from the sky!!! Wheeeee. Congrats you two.

Okay, I’ll announce more about the runner-up prizes that are being donated by Group 3 Aviation soon… promise.
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HIDDEN LA EXTRA DISCOUNT CODES

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater

DISCOUNTS:
12% OFF ON A YEAR MEMBERSHIP (Save $33, Pay $242)
10% OFF ON 6 MONTH MEMBERSHIP (Save $15, Pay $135)
8% OFF ON 3 MONTH MEMBERSHIP (Save $7, Pay $83)
STATUS: Active
TO PURCHASE: Click purchase buttons below
Every Cinefamily member gets: FREE ADMISSION to *all* programming; $4 DISCOUNT on Special Events; and invitations to MEMBERS-ONLY SCREENINGS! Purchase via buttons on link above. | HLA DEAL REF: CF042011

YEARLY, $242

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6 MONTH, $135

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3-MONTH, $83

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Dearly Departed Tours

DISCOUNT: $15 OFF
STATUS: Active
CODE: HIDDENLA123
Input code online during purchase.
If code doesn’t work, call (800) 979-3370. | DDT121210

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Los Angeles Conservancy

DISCOUNT: 2 FOR 1 TOUR ADMISSION
STATUS: Active
CODE: HLA11
Input code online during purchase. | LAC122110

________________________________________________________________________________________

Six Taste Food Tours

DISCOUNT: 30% OFF any tour
STATUS: Active
CODE: HLA6T11
Input code online during purchase. | ST122010
________________________________________________________________________________________

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FLASHBACK – Dance Break with Rufus Thomas

This rousing rendition of the Funky Chicken was part of the Wattstax Festival concert at the LA Coliseum on August 20, 1972.

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From Wikipedia: The concert was “organized by Memphis’s Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Wattstax was seen by some as “the Afro-American answer to Woodstock.” To enable as many members of the black community in L.A. to attend as possible, tickets were sold for only $1.00 each. The Reverend Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, which included his “I Am – Somebody” poem, which was recited in a call and response with the assembled stadium crowd. In the film, interspersed between songs are interviews with Richard Pryor, Ted Lange and others who discuss the black experience in America.”

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HERE YA GO! – The Secret Mural Location Was…

12/20 UPDATE: It’s hard to pick a winner so we haven’t announced one yet… but as a holiday surprise we’re adding more prizes to the booty (yeah, I said booty), so stay tuned!!! WOO HOO!

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The back room at PAPA CRISTO’S!!!

The contest has ended… and now my hard work begins! How can I choose between these amazing photos!!!???? I may have to call upon the great and powerful Papa Cristo for some help…

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CONTEST UPDATE – The Photo Scavengers Are On The Move!!!

12/20 UPDATE: WOOO HOOO! The contest was awesome and it’s hard to pick a winner so we haven’t announced one yet… but here’s the answer to where the mural is: PAPA CRISTO!!! Aaaaand, we’re adding more prizes to the booty (yeah, I said booty), so stay tuned!!!

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Yes, we KNOW our contest to win a helicopter ride over the Channel Islands is a tough one… that’s the point! And although we’re giving y’all more clues every day, the challenge sure didn’t stop some of our more industrious fans from figuring it out and gettin’ ‘er done!

Okay, so here’s what we’ve established so far about where this fantabulous mural is located:

  1. It’s indoors.
  2. It’s inside a restaurant.
  3. Hmmm… what are those culinary quintuplets making? Is it Armenian food? Is it Lebanese food? Or wait a minnit… could it be something else???
  4. The location is visible on today’s even smaller map.
  5. Quit readin’ this and go take yer photo! :D

(more…)

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CONTEST – Go outside and win a Helicopter Ride!

12/20 UPDATE: WOOO HOOO! The contest was awesome and it’s hard to pick a winner so we haven’t announced one yet… but here’s the answer to where the mural is: PAPA CRISTO!!! Aaaaand, we’re adding more prizes to the booty (yeah, I said booty), so stay tuned!!!

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First off, a HUGE shoutout of thanks to the people who splurged the whole buck a month for HiddenLA EXTRA subscriptions this week! Without you guys supporting this site, this contest wouldn’t happen!

I decided in the end to make this one open to everyone and to make the contest more labor intensive since the prize is bigger. Since the main goal of this site is to make people go outside and get away from the computer, that’s what you’re going to have to do to win: (more…)

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MEMBER GIVEAWAY – Race Thru Santa Monica! It’s Amazing! (a $160 Value)

Okay folks, so today’s hLA EXTRA giveaway is pretty darn fun: two tickets to the Amazing Santa Monica Race scavenger hunt event (a $160 value)!

We want to make sure we give these tickets away to someone who *really* wants them and would use them, though. If you’ve got a competitive nature and love running around town with your friends on crazy adventures, this is for you!!! So, the first confirmed hiddenLA EXTRA member who e-mails us at contest@hiddenLA.com (JUST CLICK HERE!) with “Amazing!” in the subject header will win! Woo hoo!

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If you aren’t a member yet, it’s easy and cheap (less than one cup of Denny’s coffee a month). Just follow steps one all the way through four (if you stop at two or three, you will get on a mailing list but won’t be registered).

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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Morrison Hotel)

I’m starting to think these quizzes are gettin’ too easy for you guys! Break on through to the other side… the answer is after the jump.

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Today’s little quiz is taking us Downtown. No hints this time… sooo can you tell us its name?

Just to remind you, here’s how this little game goes… we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of something notable that once happened or existed a stone’s throw from the point on that map. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, we’re going to give you a fair amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.


View Larger Map (more…)

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CUTE OVERDOSE* – Ollie The Otter

*Yep, not just an overload… this is an overdose! :)

On Thursday I decided to take some time away from the internet to drive down to Long Beach. The Aquarium of The Pacific was nice enough to invite me to meet their new resident, a 3 month old rescued otter named Ollie and I figured there was no way that could possibly be a bad way to spend a morning. When you say “Wanna meet a cute baby animal?” I tend to say, “Yes, please.”

Ollie weighed only about five pounds when she was rescued off of the coast of Santa Cruz. She was up to ten pounds when first brought to Long Beach, and is now a chubby 18 pounds. The girl clearly has clearly gained an appetite. You’ll note that in the photos she stays very close to the handler’s boots… this is because she thinks the boots are her mother. When she’s too far from them for too long she tends to cry a bit (apparently she has a lot in common with my dog). Separation anxiety didn’t keep Ollie from hurrying over to inspect any camera she saw, though… she was very curious to figure out what they were (see the last photo). Awwwww.

Ollie won’t be on public display until Fall of 2011, but the Aquarium is currently offering Behind The Scenes Tours where you might get a chance to hang out with her for yourself.

Ollie the otter (more…)

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Our Upcoming hLA-X Giveaways!!!

To find out more about hiddenLA EXTRA and become an eligible member for our extra benefits and free stuff, click here.

As many of you know, we started to offer a special membership this week called hiddenLA EXTRA. We’re working on getting a wide array of cool special deals and giveaways going over the coming year, and some of the stuff we’re working on just can’t logistically be announced to 200,000 people on Facebook. (more…)

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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Tarzana Ranch)

Well, you guys got this one right away… no gettin’ past you! Details are after the jump.

This week’s little quiz like totally takes us to the San Fernando Valley. Omigodnoway! And no hints today… ‘cuz I know you guys are too smart to need one.

Just to remind you, here’s how this little game goes… we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of something notable that once happened or existed a stone’s throw from the point on that map. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, we’re going to give you a fair amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.


View Larger Map (more…)

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hLA EXTRA DISCOUNT CODES

Today’s special discount is for the always fantastic Dearly Departed Tragical History Tours!

Haven’t joined hiddenLA EXTRA yet? Well, you’ll get the membership price back in one fell swoop today with $15 off of any tour using the discount code at the bottom of this post (their online booking fee is still $2). Nothing tragic about that!

Tell Scott we said hello!
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DISCOUNT CODE: HIDDENLA123

If the code doesn't work for you, just call 800 979 3370
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