In what seems like ages ago (1993), I had the coolest job in the world. I was in charge of one of the 107 Warner Brother Studio Store Animation Art Galleries, and loving every minute of it. Original production cels, bronze statues, limited editions, lithographs, and even movie prop replicas (before they were fashionable), were all on display in my little corner of the store. Once a week was akin to Christmas time, as new product would roll in encased in HUGE boxes. The gallery was the place where all the hip product was at, and there certainly was a lot of it. It’s not every day you get to lug around $5,000 Superman bronze statues, ya know?
Oh, and what a store it was! Looney Tunes, DC Comics Characters, and even old-time WB movies were the theme of a myriad of product categories. Shirts, hats and other commonplace items you’d find in any theme store…all the way to dinnerware, bobble-heads, and blankets. This place had it all, and it was an incredibly fun place to work. As you can see, there was an actual movie marquee that showcased upcoming events (one of my Gallery Receptions is highlighted on the front), and large fiberglass statues were scattered throughout the store. The last shot is double-exposed, but if you block out the Taz football player you’ll see what was in the back left of the store…huge 7-foot statues of Superman & Batman jumping off a ledge. Too cool!
This blog is the first of a multi-part "story" that I decided to put together since I found a lot of my old WB memorabilia that I had saved, along with a few pictures. Hopefully I can make each part interesting enough, since a lot of the merchandise is neigh-impossible to find these days (especially the gallery pieces) and I do have some neat stories to tell ( like the conference in Burbank that gave me several once-in-a-lifetime experiences). This is a shot from the beginning of that week-long conference of the entire Northeast gallery staff. It’s sad that I don’t remember all of their names (though I do remember a lot), but my memory isn’t what it once was when I could rattle off what scene each production cel I had on my walls was from (no matter the cartoon).
Top row, left-to-right : me, Greg Dorata, Kurt, Chuck Brouilette (Gallery Regional Mgr.), Mark
Middle row, left-to-right : Leah (standing), unknown, Glen, Julie Rea, Rich Aiello,
unknown (Store RM), Lori (Store RM), Drew
Bottom row (seated), left-to-right : Ken, Hal Greenberg, Mo (my Store RM)
Stay ‘tooned’ for part two, where I’ll go into the story of the WBSS Green Lantern "square face" animated lithograph, and it’s never-produced companion piece that I came up with and pitched to Gallery Corporate.