Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kodachrome, Orange County Plaza, Knott's, etc.

"They give us those nice bright colors.
They give us the greens of summers.
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, Oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera.
I love to take a photograph.
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away."
Paul Simon, Kodachrome

Sorry, Paul. Kodak has announced it is retiring Kodachrome slide film after a 74-year run. For good or ill, digital now officially rules the high-end photography world. Yes, there is much to love about the new-fangled "ones and zeros," but the change is bittersweet for those of us who cut our teeth "shooting silver."
But don't worry -- we'll all be scanning and sharing Kodachrome slides online for a long time to come, including the image above. Today's photo shows Orange County Plaza, on the 9700 block of Chapman Ave. near Brookhurst St. in Garden Grove in 1957.
Yes, this is post number three featuring this particular shopping center, but the other two (here and here) were among the most popular O.C. History Roundup posts ever. Go figure!
If that weren't strange enough, it turns out that the photo I'm posting today is also the most frequently viewed image in the Orange County Archives' photoset on Flickr. (Over 1,627 views in less than eight months online!)
Don't get me wrong,... I think these are great images of typical 1950s Orange County, or I wouldn't have posted them. But the level of public interest fascinates me.
In response to an earlier post about the O.C. Plaza, reader "MCAS El Toro" wrote:
"...Off the top of my head, the anchor [stores] were JC Penney, Thriftimart, Economart and Grant's. The center declined after 15 years and the plaza was remodeled during Garden Grove's 'City Redevelopment' phase in the mid-1970s. It was reconfigured and re-branded as the 'Garden Grove Mall' and given another facelift in the late '80s as the 'Garden Promenade'. About ten years ago the JC Penney building was razed to make way for the current Regal movie theater."
On an unrelated note, Jay Jennings will discuss his new Arcadia photo book about Knott's Berry Farm on Real Orange on KOCE-TV tomorrow (Wed.), at 6:30pm. (Repeated at 11pm, and on Thurs. at 8am.) About half the images in the book are from the O.C. Archives' collection, so I'm especially curious to see how he organized them with his other material to tell the story.


Vanda said...

Polaroid, kodachrome, they are all going away. It's an end of an era.

Doug said...

" Mama Don't Take My Kodachrome Away..."
I grew up about to blocks from the OC Plaza. This was a magical place to my as a kid. A place my friends and I could ride our bikes to and where one or two dollars went a long was.
Thanks Chris for putting this photo up.