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  1. propsculptor's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2006, 5:28 PM - #26


    If they ever arranged to get the Bee Gee, Autogyro, and the Bulldog Cafe out there to Bigelow's, I'd help restore it for free as long as I got an occasional Free Sandwich from the Cafe.

    <div class='quotetop'>(Poor Man's James Bond @ Oct 7 2006, 12:22 PM) [snapback]1333820[/snapback]</div>
    I also remember the "Rocketeer" pieces from the tour. I moved to the California Central Coast a couple years back and just recently discovered the film was shot near here. I drove over to a local airport a week or so ago and there it was: Bigelow (Big O) Aviation. The hanger is pretty impressive. Even more impressive: I assumed it was a "location;" instead, I found it was a set (we're talking MASSIVE timbers inside) that was originally placed well away from town, dismantled, and re-assembled as part of an air museum. I would guess it has been repainted as the Big O logo shows no fading.

    Interest in "Rocketeer" memorabilia seems to have waned so I've made arrangements to donate my collection to the museum; the curator is excited because he was already wanting to pump-up the currently weak exhibit they have on the film. Too bad the diner, Bee Gee, and autogyro couldn't be brought out here but it would probably be cost prohibitive and there really isn't the staff to do any restoration anyway.

    It is a shame that those sorts of props can't be maintained but you have to be realistic: They were never meant to have lasted and that makes them all that much harder to maintain. To have built them to last in the first place is counter productive because no one can justify the added expense of construction and transport (as they would undoubtedly weigh more), especially if the title in question tanks (and let's face it, while we all probably LOVE the "Rocketeer," it never really found it's audience).

    I went on the Universal (CA) Tour a few months back and a good chunk of Whooville from "The Grinch" is still there. Now, I appreciate the effort that went into all the oddly-shaped custom buildings and vehicles, but guys, tear it down: It's covered in spray-on snow and after seven years in the elements, it just looks like crap. It's not cute. It's creepy.
    [/b]
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  3. dualedge's Avatar
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    Oct 7, 2006, 7:33 PM - #27

    I think the sad thing is that there are probably a hundred people that would take care of the stuff, work to preserve it and help find or make a home for it. But Disney literally just wants to keep stuff like the GeeBee mockup and autogiro for no reason. And in this case, it really is for no reason.

    Stuff built for movies may not be built to last forever but with even the slightest effort it can last a long time.

    I mean, take a look at the stuff Bob Burns has... granted he doesn't take care of it very well but he's managed to save stuff just by being willing to store it when the studios got tired of it. In that sense he's saved countless original items simply by letting folks know he'd preserve the stuff.

    But you take a place like Disney and they hang onto stuff even though they refuse to sell the Rocketeer rights back to the creator or Joe Johnston while still having absolutely no plans to ever do anything further with it. What props they had they've either sold or let walk out of the warehouse. They really couldn't give a crap.

    <div class='quotetop'>(propsculptor @ Oct 7 2006, 06:28 PM) [snapback]1333913[/snapback]</div>
    If they ever arranged to get the Bee Gee, Autogyro, and the Bulldog Cafe out there to Bigelow's, I'd help restore it for free as long as I got an occasional Free Sandwich from the Cafe.
    [/b]
    I certainly wish they'd take you up on the offer...

    Oh, and just a bit of trivia in case anybody is interested, in searching for information about the autogiro, I learned the hard way that the old spelling was with an "i" instead of a "y". I have no idea why but just thought I'd mention it to keep folks from thinking I have a spelling problem :P
  4. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 14, 2010, 4:13 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #28

    Treadwell said: View Post
    I should add that in the original comic, it was apparent that it was indeed the entire diner. But the setpiece...well, movie magic.
    I am new to the Forum but a Rocketeer fan from way back (1990). I was around during the production (was an extra at Santa Maria) and paid close attention during the filming. However the Bulldog itself has always been a bit of a mystery to me. It's become kind of a detective job. From what I can tell, two Bulldog Cafe's were built, one near Piru, CA and the other inside a former seaplane hangar in San Pedro, CA (part of which was used for the Howard Hughes hangar). The San Pedro one may have been interiors-only, but there are published photos taken during production (see Peter Travers' article "Blastoff From The Past" in Rolling Stone dated July 11, 1991) showing the construction of a Bulldog Café in what appears to be the hangar. It's a logical assumption that the interior would have been filmed elsewhere from the exterior (common practice in big-budget filmmaking), but this case was different. The Bulldog Café at Piru was definitely built to be used for exteriors AND interiors for the movie. In the same Rolling Stone article there is a photo taken of the exterior with lights pointed INTO the Bulldog thru the windows. Topps published the “The Rocketeer: Official Movie Souvenir Magazine” (1991) that shows blueprints and photos with the beautifully fitted-out interior and the road outside can be seen. Watch for cars passing by in the nighttime scenes in the DVD as well. Production reports & call sheets will confirm that interior scenes were shot at Piru and San Pedro. I still wonder WHICH Bulldog it was that was moved to Florida... And has anybody seen anything of it since 2002?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bulldog372.jpg   bulldogintsetstills72.jpg   bulldognight72.jpg  

    bulldogconst72.jpg  
  5. JayPHX's Avatar
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    Oct 14, 2010, 6:15 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #29

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. I had always assumed they filmed the exterior shots in Florida on the backlot.
  6. Member Since
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    Oct 14, 2010, 7:34 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #30

    Loving the Rocketeer threads today. I thought I'd read them all, but this one slipped under the radar somehow first-time around.
  7. Treadwell's Avatar
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    Oct 18, 2010, 1:39 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #31

    I don't see the set fitting in the mockup in those pictures. If the set had an exterior to it, it would not surprise me, but as for the mockup in the pics and on the Florida backlot, there simply isn't room in there. Look at the slope of the dog's back.
  8. Treadwell's Avatar
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    Oct 18, 2010, 2:41 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #32

    on the other hand:


    I dunno. Still a bit tight?
  9. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 18, 2010, 3:25 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #33

    Treadwell said: View Post
    on the other hand:


    I dunno. Still a bit tight?
    A few more pics attached here for scale reference... Note tight filming conditions (no reason for this if it had been filmed on a soundstage outside the Bulldog confines) and costumed person standing on top of Bulldog Cafe at Disney-MGM Studio.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bulldog_flag.jpg   bulldogblueprnt.jpg   intbulldoprod.jpg  

  10. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 18, 2010, 6:21 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #34

    I own two small pieces of the MGM Bulldog Cafe..I own piece of the step and small piece of the body...They are tiny, but still cool to have.

    I have more info on the bulldog, but I need to search for it..I probably wont get to it this week since my time is limited


    Production Model Bulldog Café with pieces from the MGM Bulldog Café. Also, a HERO-Screen-used Bulldog Café Menu.

  11. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 18, 2010, 6:23 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #35

    The more I look, the more I am totally convinced that the Bulldog Cafe on the Disney-MGM Backlot Tour was full-scale. Take a look at the scale comparisons with someone taller than the Agent standing next to the GeeBee in the attached pictures. What do you guys think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bulldog_scale_1.jpg   bulldog_scale_2.jpg  
  12. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 18, 2010, 6:51 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #36

    Actually, come to think of it. I know a crew member that did the some planning and history of the bulldog cafe for the rocketeer. He was on set for various scenes. Later this week, i will send him a email asking him if he knows how many were built. Hopefully, he remembers.
  13. Chewie Louie's Avatar
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    Oct 19, 2010, 11:53 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #37

    Did the tour this past September and took these pictures in the warehouse leading to the tram. Looks like they have a least 5 jetpacks up there.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
  14. Member Since
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    Oct 21, 2010, 3:08 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #38

    Yes, The Bulldog Cafe mockup on the Disney MGM backlot was full scale. Thanks to a cast member (my cousin), I had access to it for a couple of hours back in the day. I went inside of it through the back door. On the interior it had criss crossing steel cables that were hooked up at mounting points on the ground. There was a couple of inches of water inside due to the daily downpours that had been happening. The full scale interior set (which was quite small) could have easily fit inside, but was of course, not present. We took a number of photographs. We even had a fan made Rocketeer helmet to pose with in pics. If I can get them scanned I'll post them.
  15. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 21, 2010, 4:15 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #39

    Thanks for clearing this up. Did it look like the interior had been separated or removed from the outside shell? And what was it made of? One source I've read said some kind of "durable foam". Can't wait to see the pics!
  16. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 21, 2010, 4:16 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #40

    Looks like there might even be six! Thanks for posting these!
  17. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 21, 2010, 7:39 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #41

  18. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 2:02 AM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #42

    ECBBFan said: View Post
    Looks like there might even be six! Thanks for posting these!
    posting what? I dont see anything

    ohhhhh, the rocketpack...nevermind
  19. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 2:12 AM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #43


    cool pictures thanks for posting these
  20. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 2:23 AM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #44

    ECBBFan said: View Post
    Thanks for clearing this up. Did it look like the interior had been separated or removed from the outside shell? And what was it made of? One source I've read said some kind of "durable foam". Can't wait to see the pics!
    I havent been on all day, so I am barely seeing this stuff now...

    It was made out of durable foam, chicken wire, and plywood. It was about 24 feet tall the one near Piru.
  21. Member Since
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    Oct 22, 2010, 9:44 AM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #45

    Yes, it was covered with fiberglass or some other type of material or mixture there of. It was well coated, but I could tell that it would not last in Orlando's infamous humidity. I've attached pics (hope they show up) from the time we spent out there. Again, my cousin (a castmember) said he had gotten permission for us to go back there, so I decided that we would be polite and step out of the way whenever a tour tram came by, and we did. We spent about 2 hours out there. Right as we were getting ready to leave he admitted to me that he had not gotten permission after all. WHAT?!? I was pretty made at him for misleading me, and don't you know it, right then a security guard comes around the corner on a scooter. He stops right in front of us with a scowl on his face, and I thought, well...the jig is up, we're going to Disney jail or something, but the guard then smiled, waved, and puttered off. WHEW!!!! Oh yeah, and the guests on the trams (especially the kids) knew what the Rocketeer was all about. They'd get real excited seeing the Cafe. A day I won't forget that's for sure!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img001.jpg   img002.jpg   img003.jpg  

    img004.jpg  
  22. Member Since
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    Oct 22, 2010, 10:02 AM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #46

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the interior. My best guess is that the Cafe exterior was just lowered in sections and assembled over the interior set. Then the joins/parting lines were filled and paint applied. When they moved it to Florida they took it apart, then reassembled it without the interior. Of course thay had a seperate interior stage set too.

    The maquette of the Cafe (I own one) does not have the back room/house section attached to it. That's because it wasn't originally designed that way. However, they wanted to have some action in the Cafe between Cliff and the bad guys, so this section was added to provide additional room for any stunts or additional bits of business that they would like to do.
  23. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 3:23 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #47

    EvilRocketeer said: View Post
    posting what? I dont see anything

    ohhhhh, the rocketpack...nevermind
    Sorry - I'm new & still getting the hang of this forum thing...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails harborstar02.jpg  
  24. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 3:41 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #48

    Awesome Pictures Tony Hardy. I love the picture of the backside of the cafe. Do you have any pictures of the interior?
  25. ECBBFan's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 4:14 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #49

    Tony Hardy said: View Post
    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the interior. My best guess is that the Cafe exterior was just lowered in sections and assembled over the interior set. Then the joins/parting lines were filled and paint applied. When they moved it to Florida they took it apart, then reassembled it without the interior. Of course thay had a seperate interior stage set too.

    The maquette of the Cafe (I own one) does not have the back room/house section attached to it. That's because it wasn't originally designed that way. However, they wanted to have some action in the Cafe between Cliff and the bad guys, so this section was added to provide additional room for any stunts or additional bits of business that they would like to do.
    Thanks for posting the Bulldog Pics! When you wrote "of course thay had a seperate interior stage set too" It got me thinking... Then I took another look at the picture I posted myself - and the blueprint. AHA! The scenes in the Bulldog's head must have been shot in the hangar. Seems that there was only ONE complete Bulldog built (outdoors) and a separate Bulldog HEAD built in the hangar. This would explain why we can't see any interior in the attached picture and there is no indication of any head interior in the blueprint. I know that there was no Bulldog interior built on any of the Disney soundstages - but the interior of the head must have been built in the hangar (San Pedro). Thanks for helping me think thru this. Could be... mystery solved!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bulldogdetails.jpg   109_rev.jpg  
  26. EvilRocketeer's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2010, 4:23 PM - Re: Rocketeer "Bulldog Cafe" pic... #50

    I believe there are several more blueprints regarding the bulldog cafe. I remember seeing some on the head and the eyes construction
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