Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Screen shot from "Angel's Flight" movie.  Location:  Bunker Hill, Los Angeles

Sunday afternoon we drove to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood for a program about Bunker Hill. The Hill has changed radically over the years, from an enclave for the rich and privileged filled with Victorian style mansions to rooming houses and cheap hotels to high-rise office buildings and apartments. Here's some of the history of Bunker Hill. 

Bunker Hill was used quite a bit as a movie location, from the 1900s through the late 1960s when it was demolished and changed forever.  On Sunday, the American Cinematheque screened "Angel's Flight," a 1965 "B" movie shot on Bunker Hill, in addition to a short film about Bunker Hill and the funicular, Angel's Flight, being used as a location in the movies. Both films were preceded by a lecture and slide show about the history of the architecture and various styles of buildings of Bunker Hill.

The feature, "Angel's Flight" was a trip and a half!  You can watch the entire movie on YouTube.  The print we saw was as rough as the online print.  Even though the plot and content were highly predictable, it was great seeing all of the outdoor and background shots in and around Bunker Hill and other downtown L.A. locations.
I only vaguely remember the old Bunker Hill.  My Dad took me on the Angel's Flight railway as a child, but we rode to the top of the hill and then came right back down.  We didn't explore the Hill at all.  By the time I was there, it was a very seedy place.
As we left the theater, I kept humming the theme song from "Angel's Flight," a very mysterious tune.  Then, near the back parking lot of the Egyptian, we saw a couple of very old automobiles, reminiscent of the film we'd just seen.  

You never know what you're going to see when you're in Hollywood!

Here's another screen shot from the movie, "Angel's Flight."  This is at the bottom of the hill, at the end of the tunnel.  Very noir.

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At 4:05 AM PDT, Blogger ken bloom said...

The Angel's Flight is one of my fondest memories from childhood. Pop would take me for a ride on it and then we'd go to the Central Market to buy Amenian string cheese and bread. Rides on The Flight were a nickel at the time. I am grateful that I was able to experience this part of LA history before it all went away. The view of the city as you were descending on the Angel's flight was really spectacular and made a big impression on a young boy.


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