Category: film

John Chambers and Roddy McDowall on the set of…

John Chambers and Roddy McDowall on the set of Planet of the Apes.

Lobby card for The Mysterians, 1959, directed …

Lobby card for The Mysterians, 1959, directed by Ishiro Honda. Artwork by Robert Rigg.

WHEN CALTECH WENT HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles, Cal…

WHEN CALTECH WENT HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles, California, 1987. Photos by Michael Haering. The now-defunct Herald-Examiner was on the scene on May 18, 1987: “Caltech students, who over the years have elevated college high jinks to a high-profile, high-tech art, today took their mischief to even loftier elevations – the Hollywood sign atop Mount Lee.”

“About 40 Cal Tech students and 1 U.S.C. student met at the base of the Hollywood sign at 1:30 a.m. They came in groups of 3 and 4 so as not to arouse the suspicion of residents. With them they had walkie-talkies, mountain climbing gear, sheets of heavy black and white plastic and twine for lashing. They passed through a chain link gate which the last man locked with a kryptonite bicycle lock, so they wouldn’t be disturbed on their errand. They then hiked about a mile to the sign itself. With mountain climbing harnesses and ropes they scaled the approximately 50-foot high letters of the ‘Hollywood’ sign. Lashing the pieces of black and white plastic to the letters, they changed it to read ‘CALTECH’. About halfway through the chore, police and rangers gathered outside the chainlink fence and watched the process, and at times they shined a powerful floodlight on them. But, neither police nor rangers got to the sign, and the police were too busy taking the gate off the hinges–they couldn’t open the lock. The students finished their job about 5:30 a.m. and hiked out to the main road. Police and rangers had left, no one was in sight. Students said they began planning the prank at the beginning of the school year, September ’86’. It was open to all underclassmen and women. They said they did it “because it was there, because it looks good, and as a present to Hollywood on its 100 birthday.’ It was, they said in keeping with CAL TECH’s tradition of high visibility of pranks which began in 1947.”

(Los Angeles Public Library)

Kurt Russell and stunt double Dick Warlock, le…

Kurt Russell and stunt double Dick Warlock, left, on the set of Escape from New York.

On the set of Aliens, 1986.

On the set of Aliens, 1986.

“Fasten your seat belts, fellows. Get those sp…

“Fasten your seat belts, fellows. Get those space helmets clamped to your heads and hang on tight, because we’re taking off this morning on a wonderful trip to outer space.” Read on…

Behind the scenes of STAR WARS, 1977.

Behind the scenes of STAR WARS, 1977.

Star Wars art by Noriyoshi Ohrai.

Star Wars art by Noriyoshi Ohrai.

Peter Mayhew gets a makeover.

Peter Mayhew gets a makeover.

Star Wars art by Ralph McQuarrie.

Star Wars art by Ralph McQuarrie.