I thought this would be a cool item to post in conjunction with this week's dazzling flyby of Pluto by NASA's New Horizons probe.
Shown above is a Ramada Inn newspaper advertisement that came on the heels of the July 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. The advertisement was reproduced in the September 1969 issue of Luna Monthly, a sci-fi fanzine based out of Oradell, New Jersey.
The advertising copy states: "SOON ON THE MOON! Meanwhile Back on Earth ... RAMADA IS 27,795 ROOMS LONG AND 250 INNS WIDE!"1
And the Luna Monthly caption states: "One of the most imaginative ads which appeared in the newspapers in connection with the Apollo 11 moon landing, illustrating a complete Lunar Hotel, as designed by Ramada Inns. Units in the complex are inflated, set on telescopic legs, and joined by flexible tubular corridors. Ramada anticipates opening this Lunar Hotel by the time the first commercial flights to the moon begin."
Does anyone remember or know anything about this advertisement? My cursory Google searches didn't find anything.
- David Charles Paskow, in a short essay, writes: "Let us not forget Willie Ley, a man whose dreams encompassed the conquest of the moon, but whose life ended so tragically short of the realization of this dream."3
- "Planetariums and space science museums around the country were playing to full houses with special programs tied in to the moon landing. An interesting sidelight was the report a few days before takeoff that the Hayden Planetarium in New York City had lost some 50,000 reservation forms for trips to the moon and other planets collected in 1950."
- "Among the more interesting publicity gimmicks are the free Rand McNally moon map from Brillo, available for 2 boxtops or labels and postage."4
- "The McDonalds chain had 5 million moon maps for distribution at splashdown."
- "And the U.S. Government is offering 12 full color 11" x 12" lithographs of the moon trip for $1.75, and a single 16" x 20" of Man on the Moon for $1.00."
Finally, what would a self-respecting 1969 sci-fi fanzine be without some Star Trek content? This issue has articles titled "Star Trek Goes to Church" by Chris Steinbrunner and "Humans and the Vulcan Ideal" by Sherna Burley. Plus, there is this cool caricature of Spock...
1. That would be an average of 111 rooms per hotel, which seems like a lot but I guess could have been feasible.
2. Some of the films noted in the Luna Monthly recap of the 1969 Trieste Film Festival are Le Dernier Homme, A Time of Roses, Tu Imagines Robinson, Az idö ablakai (Windows of Time), and The Illustrated Man.
3. Paskow himself died in 1971, but his contributions live on in the Paskow Science Fiction Collection at Temple University.
4. It's unclear to me whether Brillo's promotion was for a moon map or moon globe. This photo and article on Worthpoint indicate that a globe was available at some point. But I don't know if that's what you got for just two boxtops and postage.