The photos below originally appeared in a May 2009 article on Insightsandsounds.blogspot.com. I came across them more recently and wanted to share them with our audience. All photographs are courtesy of photographer Mark Taft of InsightsandSounds.blogpsot.com and used with permission.
These photos were taken in mid-May, 1989 and include a selection of areas around MGM Studios. Click on each image for a larger version. The thumbnails at the bottom are of the same photos, just in our photo viewer.
The first three photos are of Oscar's Super Service, this location remains relatively unchanged today, as do most of the shop facades along Hollywood Boulevard.
While the interior of Sid Cahuenga's may have changed recently, the exterior has remained somewhat unchanged as well.
What has changed is the view down Hollywood Boulevard. The Sorcerer's Hat (and often times the stage) now block the view of the Grauman's Chinese Theater/The Great Movie Ride. Looking back in the other direction, the view of Crossroads remains similar.
The Great Movie Ride was an opening day attraction.
The Brown Derby
Mickey's of Hollywood
The Animation Courtyard entrance used to reference the park's original name, MGM Studios. Behind the marquee is the future home of Here Come the Muppets and Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
The Magic of Disney Animation was formerly a walking tour with components hosted by Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams. Still ever changing, the tour is now self guided.
Echo Lake may soon undergo significant changes, but many of the buildings look identical to opening day. In the first photo, you can see the Superstar Television facade (now American Idol Experience) in the distance
50's Prime Time Cafe
Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream
Hollywood & Vine
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular was in previews when this photo was taken
Min and Bill's Dockside Diner
Monster Sound Show was an opening day attraction, the facility has also been home to Sounds Dangerous Starring Drew Carey, and is now home to special events like the Guardians of the Galaxy Preview.
The Studio Backlot Tour was substantially longer when the park first opened. Many of the on stage areas including the current Streets of America, Pixar Place and Residential Street (now Lights Motors Action) areas were all included as part of the tour.
The Studio Prop Shop used to have a Who Framed Roger Rabbit? theme. Nods to the movie still exist, but they were more substantial in 1989.