Friday, June 17, 2011

Dick Van Dyke's Halloween

Actor Dick Van Dyke activates a prop at his haunt

If you love Dick Van Dyke as much as I do, you'll love him even more when you realize he is a Halloween addict who hosts a yard haunt. At his home in Malibu. The clicky link to see the pictures, video and read more about it is here at

And apparently, Dick instilled that love of Halloween decorating into his son Barry Van Dyke, as he had a yard haunt in Agoura Hills, CA. for many years.
The Van Dykes: Barry, Dick, Carey, Shane

In turn, Barry passed the addiction on to his son, Carey Van Dyke, who has a haunt at on  Evanwood Ave., Oak Park, CA. Changing themes each year, this actor and screenwriter who specializes in horror films  has done a zombie apocalypse haunt and a demented clown haunt, and borrows pieces from the movie studios. His latest venture is The Watching Hour, a screenplay which he co-wrote with his brother Shane about a home invasion with aliens. Carey has four children, so his love of Halloween may create a 4th generation of home haunters; we just have to give them time. Creating This Life is a blog by Carey's wife Anne revealing how hard they work to put on the haunt;.
a scene from Carey Van Dyke's home haunt
another scene at Carey Van Dyke's

Incidentally, Shane directed A Haunting in Salem, due out on DVD in August.
It was filmed up the street from my work, at the beautiful Mansion Adena at 341 Adena S, Pasadena:

which was built in 1886. It's very private now, with a tall hedge all around the wall you see in this old picture of it:

Dick Van Dyke recently became a first-time author at age 85 with his memoir, 'My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business.’

I haven't read it yet, but in it he may discuss his 30-year relationship with Michelle Triola Marvin. You may remember her as being involved in the first palimony lawssuit, against actor Lee Marvin. Sadly, she died of lung cancer in Dick's home the day before Halloween in 2009.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Labyrinth of Jareth

The  Labyrinth of Jareth  is an annual elaborate masquerade ball held in Los Angeles where just any costume won't do. It should be fantasy-based, as the idea of the ball derived from the goblin-mocking masquerade ball in the 1986 David Bowie/Jennifer Conolly movie "Labyrinth".

"Labyrinth" with David Bowie as Jareth and Jennifer Conolly as Sarah
 Now in its 14th year, the ball is held in an architectural wonder called the Park Plaza. It was built in 1925 as an Elks temple, then it became a luxury hotel, and now it is no longer a hotel but a venue for weddings and the like.
There, participants roam the impressively-sized staircase and the grand halls to discover chambers filled with over 150 performers, live musicians, dancers, acrobats.  Guards open up one area at a time, increasing the excitement.
the guards and the grand staircase

Some of the entertainments spills out into the outdoor courtyard, where large sculptures have been set up to compliment the theme.
An elvish dancer entertains in front of a sculpture
A dancer in one of several ballrooms
Last year there were tents to wander through outside, where members of the League of Steam displayed their Steampunk inventions.
Part of the courtyard as seen from an upper window

Steampunk inventions on display
inventor Crackitus Potts (Nick Baumann)
And then, of course, there are the most stunning costumes.
These detailed costumes, masks and props are entirely home-made

Behold the vinyl unicorn!

A beautiful butterfly wing dress
 There were some minimalist costumes
I bet you're looking at their wings, right?

And several people who painted themselves
And then there were those who came on stilts
This is a place where elf ears, horns, and wings are the norm. Colored wigs are also popular

Wait, is that a strawberry on her ass?

This golden girl's costume was pretty elaborate, with a wide wingspan and lights:
A camera is a necessity at an event such as this. You never know what you'll see.

"Labyrinth"-style goblin

Beauty and a beast

Here's a video I took walking through the crowd:

This year's Labyrinth of Jareth is July 1st and 2nd. Tickets are still available.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Halloween" Film Locations

The house that was used as Michael Myer's house for John Carpenter's 1978 classic horror film "Halloween", starring Jamie Lee Curtis as babysitter Laurie Strode, is 10 minutes from where I work. I went for a visit this week, but first let me tell you about the house that was used for the Strode's house, because it is the most fun to visit.

The house at 1115 Oxley Street, South Pasadena, CA, sits on a corner and has a garage/apartment addition added to the back: 

Here is the view from the corner. The house is kind of obsured by a big tree that hangs over the sidewalk. But take note of those low columns by the sidewalk, they come into play later.

 As you walk along one side, under that tree, you see an open porch. With pumpkins. And a sign.

So you sneak up to take a closer look at the sign:

And the sign says: "YES this is the scene with Jamie Lee Curtis from the 1978 Halloween. You may borrow the pumpkin. Have a good time." There is also a photo of Jamie Lee holding a pumpkin while sitting one of the low columns near the sidewalk. It's an more panoramic version of this photo:

So I did what any sensible person would do, and took a pumpkin to the column to have my picture taken.

Hats off to the homeowner for accomodating fans in this manner! 33 years of horror fans stalking the house, and he still cares enough to set out pumpkins. (I don't really know how long the current owner has lived there, but I do know that he is an author of books for young adults.) 

Now on to Michael Myers' house. Here's how the circa 1888 house looked in the movie:

Here's how it looks today:

It is now called The Century House, and is protected as a cultural landmark.

It now serves as an office building, mainly for several financial firms. I didn't feel like I'd be welcomed to open the door to take interior pictures, so I didn't.

The house was about to be torn down to make way for a new development, when someone bought it for a dollar and had it moved a block or so to 1000 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA. The full story can be read on this site.The new location is at an intersection and just a few yards behind the Metrolink railroad tracks. It doesn't have the best view, but with the train station just diagonally across the street, the occupants can come to work by train. That train station (Called "Mission") also makes it a quick and easy stop for sightsee-ers who come by train from Los Angeles.

Also at this same intersection is the brick building that was a hardware store in the movie. It's now a restaurant.

The fictional Haddonfield High School from the movie is actually South Pasadena High School:

Rob Zombie re-made "Halloween" in 2007 and used a different house for the Myer house. This house is on a street just behind the train station. It's got signs in the windows saying that it is state property and no trespassing allowed, but I took a look in the window anyway.

As you can see, it looks nice, with modern paint schemes. This house was also used for "My So-Called Life".
 Perhaps this house was not spooky enough, or perhaps the John Carpenter version of the film resonnated more, but it's the first Myers house that continues to receive the most attention. Someone even made a cake of the first Michael Myers house. Here it is, complete with Michael hiding:

and another angle (I can confirm they got the windows on the side right):
And fan Kenny Caperton built an exact replica of the house in Hillsborough, North Carolina:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...