Monday, June 02, 2008
RIP King Kong
Above picture taken during my last trip to visit King Kong before his untimely death, Passover 2007
Yesterday I went to the Israel Day Parade where I'd hoped to bump into old friends who got married, had babies, and never called me again. True story. It was fun. Walked up and down the street people watching the day away. When I got home that evening I was greeted by this unfortunate news story. There was a major fire at Universal Studios Hollywood which destroyed many famous sets and backlots. Most notably (in my mind at least) the King Kong set. I really enjoy Universal Studios. Been there like 10-15 at least. The backlot tour is amazing! The take you up and down the hills in the backlot showing you where Psycho and Jaws and the new War of the Worlds was made. And then they drive you through sound stages. The tram driver alerts you that you are about to enter a stage with a calm NYC street. Nothing out of the ordinary. There is a helicopter overhead (just like in New York) and you see televisions on in the apartment windows (just like in New York). Then out of nowhere the helicopter crashes just beside the tram. And then theres a roar! And then King Kong appears just to the left of the car. And everyone screams. Women. Children. Most of the men. Its beyond exciting to be inches away from this gigantic beast. I've always gotten a kick out of this. Then at 4:30 on Sunday morning, Kong was wiped out by a fire. So sad. Also gone, the clock tower from all three Back to the Future movies. That was actually really nifty to see because you had you remember that even though it was the same exact set, it was doctored up to look like 1985, 1955, 2015, and 1885. It really showed a person like me how magical filmmaking could be. How something so ordinary (a gigantic beige sound stage) could become extraordinary. At least I have my memories. RIP King Kong.