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sopas ej Dec 26, 2009 3:11 AM

Merry X-mas!

Hollywood and Highland, 1938
USC archive

9th and Broadway, undated
USC archive

GaylordWilshire Dec 30, 2009 1:43 AM

It doesn't seem to be the kind of thing you can find on Netflix, but if you can get your hands on the dvd "This Was Pacific Electric", you will love it-- it really is one of the best histories of the development of L.A. I've ever seen. Lots of old clips and pictures, with a well narrated, well-told story--and the best explanation of the demise of the PE I've ever heard. Clips include brief shots of the gas tanks we've discussed here, as well as of the '20s white-on-black street signs. Best part is commentary by Ralph Cantos, particularly in the extra walking tour he gives on the dvd. He's a real "foamer", the kind we owe alot to for seeing urban history in "four dimensions" (as the dvd calls it)--the past overlaid on the present, like the pictures of the past here. He apparently still gives rail tours--check out this link:,253053.story

Merry Christmas to all & Happy New Year.

ethereal_reality Dec 31, 2009 2:29 AM

Thanks for the heads up GaylordWilshire, the dvd sounds really interesting.

Los Angeles Past Dec 31, 2009 1:57 PM

Shorpy panoramas 1899-1900
I don't usually link to my blog here, but I think this post is worth pointing to:

You must look at the enlargement of the photo of Bunker Hill in 1899. The detail that can be seen in that image is really quite something...


sopas ej Dec 31, 2009 6:09 PM

GaylordWilshire, that DVD does indeed sound interesting, I'm gonna look for it some time soon, thanks for the info about it.

Scott, the pics on your blog are very fascinating-- I kept staring at the area around the old St. Vibiana Cathedral.

Being that's it's the eve of the 121st Tournament of Roses Parade, here are some random old pics of said parade, courtesy of LAPL.

Happy New Year and New Decade, everyone!





ethereal_reality Dec 31, 2009 9:32 PM


Here is the very first photograph of the thread, taken on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 1951.
usc digital library

ethereal_reality Dec 31, 2009 9:41 PM

ethereal_reality Dec 31, 2009 10:10 PM

..or you might prefer to ring in the New Year at one of these establishments.

ethereal_reality Dec 31, 2009 10:12 PM

...or perhaps someplace a little more classy.

ethereal_reality Dec 31, 2009 10:40 PM

...since I'm on a roll, here are a few more interesting places.

GaylordWilshire Dec 31, 2009 11:21 PM

You're definitely on a roll, ethereal--thanks for the great pictures. Can't decide between the Paris Inn and Bernies-- Happy New Year.

kanhawk Jan 1, 2010 8:02 PM


Originally Posted by Los Angeles Past (Post 4629587)
I don't usually link to my blog here, but I think this post is worth pointing to:

You must look at the enlargement of the photo of Bunker Hill in 1899. The detail that can be seen in that image is really quite something...


Stunning detail in that photo. It must have been taken with the highest quality camera of the time.

sopas ej Jan 2, 2010 8:28 AM

I did a Rose Parade search on the USC digital archive site and thought I'd post these from there:




The above undated photo is very interesting to me because it shows the site of what is now the Norton Simon Museum. The intesection at the top of the photo is Orange Grove Ave. and Colorado Blvd. I noticed the Victorian house in the photo and wondered if maybe this was Norton Simon's estate at one time or something. I was wrong; according to the Norton Simon Museum website, the site for the museum is the former site of the Carr residence, which later became Carmelita Park, which is now the site of the Norton Simon Museum.

ethereal_reality Jan 2, 2010 6:24 PM

Excellent photographs in the L.A. Times today.

...very interesting parade pics sopas_ej.

Los Angeles Past Jan 3, 2010 6:00 AM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 4631860)
Excellent photographs in the L.A. Times today.

PHENOMENAL! Best 'then & now' match-ups I've ever seen, period. Congratulations and a big thumbs-up to Scott Harrison, the 2009 photographer. This must have taken a LOT of work to get just right...

Bonus! With a download helper add-on, I managed to grab the .swf file of the color 360-degree panorama at the top of that page. I can now view the flash file in my full-size browser window. Seeing that panorama at 1600x1024 resolution is truly awesome!


sopas ej Jan 3, 2010 5:46 PM

Thanks for that LA Times link, ethereal! I downloaded the photos and have added them to my collection. :D

GaylordWilshire Jan 5, 2010 2:35 PM

Inventing L.A.
Flaubert (not to get too high-falutin' here) is supposed to have said something to the effect that "Behind every fortune is a crime." Having somehow missed its original broadcast, I just watched PBS's "Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times" online--very, very, interesting and well-done, if you haven't seen it. Commentary by many major California historians--Starr, Deverell, McDougal, Mike Davis etc-- and an incredible assemblage of footage including alot of historical street scenes as well as Chandler home movies, interviews with family members (including both of Otis's wives), and interesting voiceovers of Buff and Otis, all very well-edited. If you like what you see on this blog, you will love this documentary. Tells the family story extremely well--Otis comes off better than in some accounts, with emphasis on his hard work to remake the paper and use it to raise the city's standing in the world (as his predecessors had used it to build L.A.'s standing nationally), while the undistinguished, reactionary branches of the family look just as isolated and cluelessly entitled as legend has had it. (Certainly Chandler cousin Tad Williamson comes off here as angry, nasty, brittle and arrogant, apparently having no understanding of how he comes across.) But mainly it's the visuals-- well worth the nearly two hours. Free for the watching here:

PS This article is a good follow-up:

ethereal_reality Jan 5, 2010 8:57 PM

You're right GaylordWilshire, "Inventing L.A." IS a great documentary.

I'm glad you included the link. I'm going to watch it again. :)

ethereal_reality Jan 5, 2010 10:37 PM

One of my favorite old theaters was the Fox Carthay Circle Theater.

You can find a brief history here.
usc digital library

The theater was part of a development begun in 1921.
Below is an advertisement for the area then known as Carthay Center.

Below: From the air in 1924

Below: Even an earlier (and larger) aerial showing the seeds
of the development in 1921.

To be honest, I'm a bit confused about the streets or I would have labeled them.

Below is a great postcard.

sopas ej Jan 6, 2010 6:27 AM

Great pics of the Carthay Circle Theater and neighborhood, ethereal, and thanks for the link!

I wasn't aware that the neighborhood was the first subdivision to have underground utilities; I thought I remembered reading somewhere that it was Hancock Park or Windsor Square. Carthay Circle is indeed a charming neighborhood.

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