With the closure of Town Square Photography, we take a little look back at some of the details this beautiful shop provided Disneyland Paris over the last 22 years.
The shops theme fits in with the turn of the century, the advent and development of photography, the installation of electrics in houses and shops alongside the mass adoption of the telephone.
The building took up one of the front facades of Main Street, flanked across the street by the emporium entrance, as such it was one of the first tastes that Main Street gave to its Parisian visitors.
Interestingly the shop held Kodak as a corporate sponsor for the majority of its existence, its theme aligned nicely with the brand and was in keeping with the deep links that Kodak had built with the Disney company worldwide. Kodak went through severe financial difficult leading eventually to the end of any corporate sponsorship deals, however Paris retained the Kodak logo until the very last day of operation on Town Square Photography. Possibly as a subtle thanks, and to note that the Eastman Kodak company has been around since the beginning of this era in 1888.
Inside the shop, you would see the featured lighting, along with exposed wiring. A throwback in detail to those around in the start of the 1900’s, often electricity was seen as a measure of status, it was appreciable to show off what you had and leave exposed wiring for everyone to look on in amazement at the technological marvel above them. The idea of hiding wiring, or making it fit better wouldn’t come around for some time. The lights in the shop would often dim or flicker to mimic the inconsistency in early electric production.
Another often overlooked part of the shop was a little phone, stuck to a wall opposite the service counter, looking ornate but serving a powerful function and reminder to those who took the time to inspect. Telephone lines when first installed used communal switching and routing, meaning that around 5/6 people would share the same line from different houses – this enabled people who could be quiet enough to eavesdrop and pick up on conversation from others. The phone in the shop worked, upon picking it up, you could hear the conversation from the turn of the century. There is another in Disneyland Paris.
Town Square Photography will now go down in Disneyland Paris history, one to talk about fondly, an opening day attraction in its own right supported by years of traffic and intrigued looks. It’ll be replaced over the course of 2014 and propel yet another story, hopefully one filled with as much grandeur as its predecessor.