The Archives


2001: A Vault Oddyssey
All 27 Cans of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, are stored in the Media Archive Services building. Better known as the Vault, it holds more than 65,000 television episodes, 6,000 features, and 20,000 shorts. The stand-alone structure is earthquake proof and self-sustaining; it can maintain proper temperature and humidity levels for three months. To protect the film, the storage area is kept at a teeth-chattering 35 degrees. Warner Bros. has other film storage facilities around the country, including still-functioning salt mines in Kansas and Pennsylvania. 

A Bugs Life
Bunny, that is. The original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies strips (above left) are like moving works of thumb-size art. Each frame contains layers of cels that exhibit movement, such as the smoke from Elmer Fudd’s gun, in painstaking detail. All of them are hand painted, and years later their color remains vibrant. Take that, Pixar.

Rebel Without a Color
Natalie Wood’s Crimson Dress from Rebel Without a Cause (above right) is one of more than 200,000 pieces in the corporate archives, but it’s no mere artifact. The rich hue of the frock is being used to help lab technicians repair Nicholas Ray’s 1955 classic back to mint condition. The camera negative had been spliced, duped, and damaged after decades of projection. The restoration process will take roughly six months.

Photographs by Dan Winters

The Dream Factory