by Jim Denney, author of Walt’s Disneyland
Many Disneyland shops and attractions have come and gone. From 1955 to 1990, Main Street had a cigar shop called Fine Tobacco, between the Magic Shop and the Main Street Cinema. It sold cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and loose tobacco, and gave away free matchbooks. The cigar shop is gone, but the wooden Indian that stood outside remains.
One shop you’d probably not expect in Walt’s original Disneyland is a place to buy bras, lingerie, and torsolettes. But when Disneyland opened in 1955, there stood the Intimate Apparel Shop, presented by the Hollywood-Maxwell Brassiere Compay of Los Angeles. Not only could you purchase unmentionables there, but you could learn the immodest history of underthings in the shop’s modest museum.
The shop’s genial host was “The Wizard of Bras,” a mechanical figure that gave a recorded lecture on underwear. Some Disney historians say “The Wizard of Bras” was the earliest Disneyland robot, though it wasn’t as sophisticated as later Audio-Animatronic figures.
The Intimate Apparel Shop was on the east side of the street, just beyond the Silhouette Studio. While all the other shops on Main Street fronted against the “build-to line,” the Victorian façade of the Intimate Apparel Shop was set back from the street. It’s the only shop on Main Street with a front porch.
The shop closed in January 1956 after six months in operation. The door was sealed in 1959, and is now locked and unmarked. The space the shop once occupied is now part of the China Closet next door. The porch still offers a bench and two chairs where you can sit, rest, and watch people go by.
Above the former shop is a window honoring Imagineer Roland Fargo “Rolly” Crump, who helped create the Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, and “it’s a small world.” The window reads, “Fargo’s Palm Parlor — Predictions That Will Haunt You — Bazaar, Whimsical & Weird — Designs to Die For — Roland F. Crump — Assistant to the Palm Reader.” (The word “Bazaar” is a deliberate pun, not a typo; it refers to Rolly’s work on the Adventureland Bazaar.)
ABOUT JIM DENNEY AND WALT’S DISNEYLAND: Jim Denney has more than 120 books to his credit, and has co-written books with sports stars and Hollywood celebrities. His previous book on Walt Disney, How To Be Like Walt (co-written with Orlando Magic founder Pat Williams) has remained in print for a dozen years, and has garnered 4.8 out of 5 stars in 185 customer reviews on Amazon.com. Walt’s Disneyland: It’s Still There If You Know Where to Look by Jim Denney (Anaheim, CA: Writing in Overdrive Books, May 2017) is available at Amazon.com; Paperback $15.99; Ebook $5.99.
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