Disneyland has begun showing "newly discovered" footage of the park's first five years in its Main Street Cinema, as it continues to celebrate 55 years since opening.
The Orange County Register reports that the color footage will be shown in the cinema through the Labor Day weekend (September 4-6, 2010). An eight-minute movie will be displayed on five of the cinemas 6 screens, containing footage of the park's construction and long-lost attractions such as Nature's Wonderland and the Mule Pack. ABC television coverage from the park's disastrous opening day will show on the other screen.
Disneyland celebrated its anniversary on Saturday, which marked 55 years to the day since the "International Press Preview" event on Sunday, July 17, 1955. The Main Street Cinema, located on Main Street, USA close to the park's entrance, was among the original attractions which opened on that day. The cinema is themed an old-style movie house, and usually plays classic Disney shorts such as "Steamboat Willie".
The park's preview day became known as "Black Sunday" internally, after the wide availability of counterfeit tickets led to massive overcrowding. An incredible 28,154 people were admitted to Disneyland, which had just 20 attractions at the time. On top of this, a plumbers strike led to many of the park's drinking fountains drying up, causing some guests to protest that Disney had deliberately switched the fountains off to encourage sales of Pepsi (who sponsored the park's opening).
Despite the difficulties on the media day, Disneyland went on to become hugely successful and spawned similar parks in Florida, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. It is still the second most popular theme park in the world, with 15.9 million people visiting in 2009.