1965 – a nice night in Tomorrowland at the Circarama Theater sponsored by AT&T.
Photo by eBay user – Nicepictures
Turn back the clock for today’s musing. Back to years gone by. At Disneyland.
If you remember, where Buzz Lightyear now looks for Junior Space Rangers to help defeat the evil Emperor Zurg, used to be the home of the Circlevision theater. How many millions of folks watched “America The Beautiful” here?
Well as one would exit the theater, sponsored by AT&T, there was a series of booths off to the left.
Now as booths go, these were unique. Glass doors across the front of each one and benches inside. On the center wall, a futuristic touch tone key pad. With a coin slot.
What were these? Called Chatterboxes, they offered Disneyland guests the opportunity to phone home. Long before any extra terrestrial made it fashionable. Using a speaker phone, the phone call was not limited to the sole caller. A group could place their call and share their day at Disneyland with family and friends far away.
I don’t recall if our first family trip to the Park included such a call. But I have some very fond memories of calling my mother’s parents in San Francisco using one of the Chatterboxes. A number of times. And on our honeymoon in the spring of 1986, my wife and I both called home to speak with our parents from one.
Technology has come a long way. Cell phones allow instant communication world wide. Text messages or more can be shared as fast as you like. But back in the day, making that call from Disneyland was indeed a special moment.
In the overall scheme of the Park, it was one small feature. But it made memories for many guests. And that is the best thing that Disneyland ever did. And still does.
It doesn’t have to be grand and glorious all the time. Even the small things can bring magic to life.