Color photos of the original Addams Family set


This reminds me of my time working with the marvelous museum designer Bernard Kester who loved to point out that things will look better when the lights are turned off. The gallery can be a dull place and a little drama with the lights can work wonders and hide many less than stellar solutions.

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Nice. But sort of unfamiliar in colour, in my mind it’s all stored in black and white.


The colours are intriguing - I’m hoping a brilliantly inspired decision to get just the right tone on olde-days TV screens, rather than lack of funds for real colours!

They must have affected the actors as well - it would have been very curious the first time you saw it, and also so different from the real world that you would never arrive on set and not have some Addams magic come over you.

Boy, I’d love a modern version of the show, with the same feel!

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Try “Moden Family”, clearly inspired by the Addams’.

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When working in b/w, one needs to be aware how colors reproduce. Reds go dark. Golds and ochers, similarly, tend toward darker grays. The set coloration was absolutely designed with an eye toward how it would look in b/w.


The translation of colour into black & white is indeed fascinating - when Doctor Who shifted to colour in 1970 the TARDIS console had to be rebuilt partly because its gleaming white surfaces were really painted a hospital green.


Not only were colors chosen for how they would reproduce in black-and-white on TV, but I remember this issue coming up back when Ted Turner was colorizing classic black-and-white movies. There was some boasting about how they had the original costume and set design notes, so they would be making sure the colors were true to the actual colors as they were when filmed. Of course people who knew better pointed out that the colors were chosen for how they’d look in gray, and that if they must be colorized for some crazy reason, they should at least be done in ways that fit the narrative or time period, not the original notes.


There was a remake series in the late 90’s called The New Addams Family. They made 65 episodes in a year. I’m not sure if it’s still airing, but I remember it was in reruns for quite a while. That may have been due to counting as Canadian content (channels have to air a certain amount of that here).

Wow, that house sure was a lot spookier in black and white. In color it looks like some extragagant pimp villians house from the original Batman TV series

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For eleven years or so I ran a haunted house at a school Halloween carnival, and I know to the bottom of my soul how true your words are. With the fluorescent overheads on, our haunt was nothing but plywood, black Visqueen, spray paint, fake cobwebs, and sadly unconvincing props. Kill the overhead lights and turn on the strobes and smoke effects and a few judiciously chosen and placed dim light fixtures, and we could scare the socks off Steve King.


That’s not difficult. Just show him two 130-pound Mexican guys with thighs the size of cantaloupes getting married to each other.


I kinda understand now why so many first-time visitors to the house were so discombobulated by its decor. All that pink. It always looked perfectly normal to me.

Awesomely cool stuff!

Did it have that same vibe? The original was, ultimately, spooky and weird, unusual and strange, and as a kid, I never tired of the atmosphere. It was wonderful. Waiting for Thing to appear, that kind of thing.

With my rear-view glasses, it seems it’s an incredible morsel of televisioning history.

I don’t think I’ve ever watched an entire episode of either the original or the remake so I don’t really know. I’m sure even if the remake was well-done, fans of the original would hate it just for existing though. What I do remember watching are the movies that were made around then. I love the Thanksgiving play from Addams Family Values.

Heh. Well, I did have a slightly less-scary Steve in mind.

My favorite quote from the 1991 Addams Family movie:

Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons?

Wednesday: Yes.

Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they’re real lemons?

Pugsley: Yes.

Girl Scout: Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?

Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

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