“Rainbow Paint Co.
Lonnie R. Lindley
World’s Largest Collection of Color Samples.”
Welcome back to Mouse University Online’s Credits on Main Street! First things first, we’ll break down is the window tile, and polychromatists. The definition of polychromatic is having or exhibiting a variety of colors. Rainbow Paint Company again refers to color with the description of the “World’s Largest Collection of Color Samples.” I’m quite sure that the theme of this window must have something to do with paint and color….
Born in Long Beach, California, Lonnie R. Lindley was extremely important in the creation of the Magic Kingdom. After completing High School, Lonnie joined the company selling guidebooks at Disneyland. At the time, they cost $0.25 and Lonnie was able to keep $0.02. In 1963, he transferred over to the parts warehouse crew. He helped keep production smooth by providing the maintenance team with parts and fasteners and later became a painter trainee. Soon after joining the parts warehouse, he was introduced to Walt Disney. A hands-on type person, Walt would oftentimes stop and chat with the workers. One day when Lonnie and another worker were doing an aging effect on a wall covering the Plaza Restaurant, Walt took a particular interest in it. He worked with the both of them, until they finally achieved the perfect texture. Funnily enough, when a higher up worker took over the project and Walt wasn’t happy with his work, he put Lonnie in charge. Walt knew exactly what he wanted and that Lonnie would make it that way. Over the next few years, Walt continued to give Lonnie more projects and noticed that he had a very keen eye for color and details. Lonnie’s reputation continued to grow throughout the company as he continue to use his eye for color.
His eagerness to take on new challenges was the main reasons that Lonnie was moved down to Florida in 1970. Working with the Buena Vista Construction team, he coordinated all the colors and prep materials needed for the Magic Kingdom construction. In fact, Imagineer John Hench was Lonnie’s central source in the exterior color palette. (If you want to learn more about color and design in the parks, I definitely recommend picking up Designing Disney (A Walt Disney Imagineering Book) by John Hench)
By the late 70s, Lonnie was in charge of every paint operation for property, and overseeing 300 to 400 workers. In 1981, he became Superintendent for both the Paint and Sign Shops.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, he continued in leadership tackling challenges with projects such as parade floats and refurbishments. Lonnie joined the Ride and Show Engineering group in 1998, and eventually became the Resident Coatings Specialist in the Architecture and Facilities Engineering. He retired a few years ago after over 45 years of work with Disney.
I bet you will never look at that window the same way. Such a cool story!
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