Albert A. Dorskind Papers Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Li Wei Yang.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Architecture Collections
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2014
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Albert A. Dorskind Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1915 - 1995
Bulk dates: 1958 - 1977
Collection Number: 605999
Creator: Dorskind, Albert A.
Extent: Approximately 68 items
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Architecture Collections
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains the professional papers of Albert A. Dorskind (1922-2004) generated during his tenure as an executive at MCA Inc. The papers primarily document Dorksind’s work developing Universal City and the Universal Studios Tour tourist attraction in Los Angeles, California, from the late 1950s into the 1970s. Document types include master plans, reports, and publications.
Language: English.
Note:
Finding aid last updated on April 29, 2014.

Administration Information

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Albert A. Dorskind Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

This collection was donated by Albert A. Dorskind on January 14, 2000.

Biographical Note

Albert A. Dorskind (1922 - 2004) was a former executive at MCA Inc. who created the modern Universal Studios Tour and guided the construction and growth of Universal City in California.
Born in the State of New York, Dorskind earned bachelor’s and law degrees from Cornell University. After working for the Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C. for an unspecified amount of time, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, to work for Paramount Pictures as an attorney. In 1953, Dorskind joined MCA to work on its Revue Productions. In 1957, he negotiated the purchase of 374 acres of the old Universal lot, which he saw an opportunity for commercial development. But Dorskind was faced with a more pressing issue at the time: the studio lot commissary was a money loser every year, and he was tasked to turn it around. One day when Dorskind was walking around the Farmers Market in Los Angeles, he saw tourists filing out of a bus and he was inspired to replicate that experience for the commissary. The initial proposal called for outside tour buses to drive through the movie lot and stop by the commissary for meals. Later on, Dorskind was able to convince MCA Chairman Lew Wasserman to invest in facilities and infrastructures upgrades for the lot, such as adding trams, food courts, restrooms, and parking lots. In 1964, the modern Universal Studios Tour (part of the Universal Studios Hollywood) was born. Over the next few decades, he oversaw the construction of various rides and attractions, hotels, Universal Amphitheater, office buildings, and movie complex in Universal City.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the professional papers of Albert A. Dorskind (1922-2004) generated during his tenure as an executive at MCA Inc. The papers primarily document Dorksind’s work developing Universal City and the Universal Studios Tour tourist attraction in Los Angeles, California, from the late 1950s into the 1970s. The Dorskind Papers are organized alphabetically by item formats. There are a total of three legal upright boxes, one oversize box and four bound volumes. A list of books, magazines, and videos donated by Dorskind is also attached at the end of the container list.

Related materials in the Huntington Library

See also: photCL 240 in The Huntington's Photograph Archives, which contains photographs and ephemera related to Universal Studios and Universal City that were donated by Albert Dorskind and complement and supplement this collection.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following two series:
  • Series I. Main
  • Series II. Related Materials

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Dorskind, Albert A.
Amusement parks – California – Universal City.
Executives – California – Los Angeles – History.
Hotels – California – Universal City.
MCA Inc.
Tourism – California – Universal City.
Universal City (Calif.)
Universal Studios Hollywood.

Forms/Genres

Agreements.
Master plans.
Reports.


Collection Contents

 

Series I. Main 1915-1995.

Physical Description: approximately 68 items.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by item formats.
Box 1

Box 1

Box 1, Folder 1

Agreements -- Lease and facilities, MCA and Universal Pictures Company. 1958-12-16.

Box 1, Folder 2

Agreements -- Purchase and sale, and escrow instructions. 1958-12-16.

Box 1, Folder 3

Annual reports -- MCA Inc. 1965.

Box 1, Folder 4

Annual reports -- MCA Inc. 1970.

Box 1, Folder 5

Book chapters (copies) -- History of Universal City. Undated.

Box 1, Folder 6

Brochures. 1960s.

Box 1, Folder 7

Brochures -- Sheraton Universal Hotel. 1968 or after.

Box 1, Folder 8

Brochures -- Universal City. 1967.

Box 1, Folder 9

Brochures -- Universal City Studios. 1967.

Box 1, Folder 10

Employees training documents -- Universal Studios Tour. 1960s c.

Box 1, Folder 11

Invitations -- D.W. Griffith, opening of Universal City. 1915.

Box 1, Folder 12

Master plans -- Facilities master plan. 1963-11-18.

Box 1, Folder 13

Master plans -- MCA Universal City. 1967-03-15.

Box 2

Box 2

Box 2, Folder 1

Master plans -- MCA Universal City. 1967-03-15.

Box 2, Folder 2

Master plans -- Universal City master plan. 1973-01.

Box 2, Folder 3

Periodicals -- Investor's Reader. 1968-05-15.

Box 2, Folder 4

Photos -- Model of Universal City tour center. 1965.

Box 2, Folder 5

Photos -- Rendering of Universal City hotel development. 1960s c.

Box 2, Folder 6

Proposals -- Visitor interpretive shuttle service (for National Park Service). 1967-03-06.

Box 2, Folder 7

Proposals -- Visitor interpretive shuttle service (for National Park Service). 1967-03-06.

Box 2, Folder 8

Publications -- El Valle de Toluca "The fertile valley" of North Hollywood 1847-1975. 1975.

Box 2, Folder 9

Reports -- Economic appraisal of the proposed Universal City development plan. 1967-01-05.

Box 2, Folder 10

Reports -- Economic appraisal of the Universal City Studio Tour. 1964-02-21.

Box 2, Folder 11

Reports -- Economic feasibility of an exhibit facility at Universal City. 1965-05-04.

Box 2, Folder 12

Reports -- Feasibility analysis for visitor interpretive shuttle service in Washington D.C. 1960s.

Box 3

Box 3

Box 3, Folder 1

Reports -- Feasibility of proposed Universal City Specialty Center. 1966-09-19.

Box 3, Folder 2

Reports -- Near-term land development potentials at Universal City. 1973-02-12.

Box 3, Folder 3

Reports -- Objectives and programs to stimulate the tourism industry in California. 1972.

Box 3, Folder 4

Reports -- Outdoor recreation division status. 1970.

Box 3, Folder 5

Reports -- Report on recreation and price escalation. 1967.

Box 3, Folder 6

Reports -- Videotape programming facilities study for Universal City Studios. 1977-03-25.

Box 3, Folder 7

Stock investment plans -- MCA Inc. 1973.

Box 3, Folder 8

United States v. Paramount Pictures Inc., et al. 1949.

Box 4

Box 4

Box 4, Folder 1

Master plans -- Universal City Plaza. 1965.

Box 4, Folder 2

Periodicals -- Los Angeles Times Magazine. 1995-05-21.

Box 4, Folder 3

Posters (reproductions) -- Universal City tour. 1915 (contents from).

 

Volumes 1-4

Volume 1

Reports -- President's Council on Pennsylvania Avenue. 1964.

Volume 2

Reports --Universal City Studios real estate studies. 1963-03-04.

Volume 3

Reports -- Universal City Studios tour studies. 1964-02-21.

Volume 4

Surveys -- Motion picture and television studio stage survey. 1970.

 

Series II. Related Materials 1904-1994.

Physical Description: 12 items.

Arrangement

The following items are related books, periodicals, and videos to the Albert A. Dorskind Papers. The books and periodicals are also cataloged individually in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.   Please consult the Rare Books Department for access information for the videos.
This series is arranged alphabetically by item formats in the following way:
  • Call number. Author. Title. Date.
GV182.2 .C55 1966

Clawson, Marion.

Economics of Outdoor Recreation.
1966.

499732

BASICO.

Developing the Family Travel Market: a Research Report Prepared for Better Homes and Gardens.
1972.

499727

Funspot: the Magazine of Amusement Management. 1957-1960.

499731

Johansen, Svend.

Tivoli Copenhagen.
1966.

T501.B1 L6 1952

Lohr, Lenox R.

Fair Management: the Story of a Century of Progress Exposition: a Guide for Future Fairs.
1952.

499729

Official Photographic Company.

Louisiana Purchase Exposition, The Universal Exposition, Beautifully Illustrated.
1904.

T804.B1 M3 1967

Mandell, Richard.

Paris 1900, The Great World’s Fair.
1967.

GV1851 .M3 1952

Mangels, William F.

The Outdoor Amusement Industry from the Earlies Times to the Present.
1952.

499730

Routzahn, Evart Grant.

The ABC of Exhibit Planning.
1918.

499728

Southern California Research Council.

The Challenge of Leisure: Southern California Case Study.
1967.

Video 1

U.C.S.

80th Anniversary Behind the Scenes 1920 Studio Tour.
1994.

Video 2

U.C.S.

80th Anniversary “City of Stars”.
1994.