Wednesday
Jan142015

Would the real Queen of Spain please sit down

At the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, The Spain Pavilion was hailed as the "Jewel of the Fair," by Time magazine, and with good reason. The sleek concrete structure housed precious art from Spain, including works never shown in the U.S. before.

Queen Isabella at the fair. Courtesy of Randy TreadwayOne of those impressive works of art was the six foot statue of Spain's Queen Isabella. The bronze sculpture by Jose Luis Sanchez was a striking work. The sculpture watched over visitors from atop a pedestal giving the work a sense of size and scale well beyond its actual height.

After the fair ended, the beloved Spain Pavilion was moved to St. Louis. St Louis' mayor Alfonso Cervantes intended for the pavilion to serve as the third leg of an attraction trio including the Gateway Arch and the then-new Busch Stadium. Much of the art made the trip to St. Louis too, including the Queen. Or did it?

The "Queen" as seen in St. Louis in 2011 In 2011 when we visited St. Louis to shoot for the film, the Spain Pavilion had long ago been turned into a hotel. It turned out people did come to St. Louis for the Arch, and Busch Stadium was a draw, but all the people visiting those sites were looking for a place to stay, not Spanish art.

Today, the remains of the Spain Pavilion serve as the lobby for the Hilton at the Ballpark. We knew the interior of the building had been greatly changed in a recent renovation, removing any trace of the building's past. However, I had received a tip that while we were at the hotel we should ask if we could "see the queen." I posed this peculiar question to a maintenance worker at the hotel. He smiled and led us to a closet/storage area. In the back corner, there she was: The Queen of Spain.

A key piece of priceless art was languishing by a mop and bucket in a dark dank corner of hotel. However things aren't always what they seem... We worked the story of the Queen into our movie, opining on the condition and location of the artifact. Only later did we learn that the Queen in the closet is in all likelihood, a fake.

The original Queen Isabella Statute today in D.C. Or is it???In 1966, outside the Office of American States in Washington D.C., a statue of Queen Isabella was dedicated. The statue - six feet tall, and bronze - was said to have come from the fair. And indeed, a careful examination of the statue shows greater detail than the "imposter" queen in St. Louis.

So then it's settled: The real Queen is in D.C.

Well, probably, but...

Queen Isabella Statue, Mobile AL. Courtesy bobindrums flickr 

In a park in Mobile, Alabama, yet another statue of the queen is found. And this one claims to be from the World's Fair...

Friday
Jan022015

Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year! Here's to an exciting new year, and the 50th anniversary of the second year of the 64-65 World's Fair!

Ryan recently chatted with the guys at Communicore Weekly (Jeff and George) about the After the Fair project. We always love talking with Disney fans, and sharing our love of the fair and all things Disney. 

You can listen to the first half of the podcast here, or via YouTube, below. The second installment will be released next week!

 

Sunday
Sep282014

We're Thrilled to Announce: After the Fair is Available Now!

Yes, after four years, we can finally say After the Fair is now available on DVD and digital on demand. As documentaries go, we had a very lean crew. However, there were still over a hundred people and organizations who made this project possible. (You can see some of their names here.) This started as a simple (and I thought relatively quick) project to document the precious remaining relics from the fair. Of course it became much bigger. And in the course of four years, we've amassed quite a lot of video and photos, as you can imagine. (Look for more on the staggering numbers related to the project in a future post.) Of course all of this means we have a lot more to share with you than we could fit into the movie, so please keep checking back for more articles and photos. For now, hop in those time machines, and let's travel back to 1964 with After The Fair. Thanks again everyone, and enjoy!

Thursday
Sep042014

After the Fair release date announced: Sept. 29th

We're thrilled to (finally!) announce the release date for our documentary, After the Fair. We will begin shipping the DVD to those who have pre-ordered on Sept. 29th. You can still pre-order and ensure you get one of the first discs, and save $5 at the same time. 

The 1964-65 NY World's Fair, held in Queens, had a tremendous impact during its two-year run, and has an enduring legacy. We've managed to pack insights from 30 people into the documentary, including Disney imagineers Rolly Crump, Bob Gurr, and Marty Sklar, who worked on four key attractions at the Fair. Directors Jon Favreau and Barry Sonnenfeld tell us about the Fair's lasting impact on pop culture. You'll see the effort to save the New York State Pavilion, as well as all the little ways that the fair impacts all of our lives. In addition to the story of the Fair at Flushing Meadows, we criss-cross the country to see the relics of the Fair, many of which are hidden in plain site.

For those who attended the Fair, After the Fair is a love letter to an amazing period in their lives, filled with innovation and wonder. For those who didn't attend, you'll gain new insight into why the Fair was such a big deal, and see how it touches your life today.

Tuesday
Apr222014

After the Fair now available for pre-order. Watch the first six minutes now!

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the '64-'65 NY World's Fair, we're excited to announce After The Fair: The Legacy of the 1964-65 NY World's Fair is available for pre-order.

As a special thank you for pre-ordering, we've created a collection of interview outakes, photos, and other goodies you can access online, exclusively for those who pre-order.

So join us on a journey through time, reliving the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, then take a fun look at how the fair still affects our lives today in everything from pop culture to technology.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fair, we wanted to give everyone a look at the movie, so we're posting the first six minutes online: Enjoy!