The 1930s were golden years for Los Angeles architecture. The city's traditional Spanish style was making way for the modernism of Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra as well as a flood of fantasy architecture, with shops and restaurants shaped like dogs, boats, and even flowerpots.

This era is vividly recalled in Walt Disney Pictures' The Rocketeer, which opens this month. The action adventure film, directed by Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), is based on Dave Stevens's comic book of the same name, complete with good guys, bad guys, and a mysterious rocket pack. Production designer Jim Bissell, whose credits include E.T., Someone to Watch Over Me, and Arachnophobia, says that the "period fantasy aspect" gave him, director of photography Hiro Narita, and art director Chris Burian-Mohr a "tremendous amount of leeway to create evocative imagery" with buildings and interiors.