Monday, July 13, 2020

The Only Way To Fly

One of my bucket list items was to ride the Angels Flight Railway in Los Angeles. I stumbled upon it through my vintage slide collecting; a few shots happened to be interspersed with some Disneyland slides I had purchased back in 2007. The rabbit hole began there. The first time I saw it in person was 2008, when it had been shuttered for almost seven years due to the accidental death of a passenger.

Originally called The Los Angeles Incline Railway, it ran northwest from the west corner of Third and Hill Streets. The entire railway was moved to its current location in 1969. The above shot from 1953 and the 1962 shot below show the original location.

A detailed view:

Thanks to a “bit part” in the blockbuster hit “La La Land,” Angels Flight got a nice little publicity push and reopened in 2017. At the time this scene was shot, the attraction was not open to the public. Oops. Tiny slap on the wrist for that one; the end justifies the means.


As serendipity would have it, I was wandering nearby doing a photo shoot recently and a few employees happened to be on site. They asked if I wanted to take a roundtrip. Duh.

While it may not be Space Mountain, it is just one of those little experiences that make downtown Los Angeles special. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip; well worth the wait!

See more Angels Flight photos at my main website.


mjbthird said...

Very cool! This was featured in an episode recently of HBO's Perry Mason.

Fifthrider said...

Wow, that's some timing! Congrats on being in the right place at the right time. Everyone else can just look and wonder what it would have been like.

Looking back at some of those old photos I try to glean what the creator was thinking. Back in the day they had rails, so they used rails. One wonders if the inventor of the escalator didn't look at something like this and come up with a different idea.

Anonymous said...

Dave, this is fun. I want to say that we rode this in 1998 or 1999, but maybe we just looked at it.

The Angels' Flight is suddenly cool again on detective shows, it was the scene of a murder in the Amazon series "Bosch" a couple of seasons back.

"Bosch" is definitely worth watching. It's a detective show with the same kind of homage to LA that La-La Land or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have. If you haven't seen it, I'm pretty confident that you would love it.


Anonymous said...

It is amazing that this little historical attraction has survived. Thanks Dave! KS

Brother Bill said...

There are some good shots of the railway in a scene from the 1964 turkey "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies"--(if you YouTube the MST3K version, its right around the 1-hour mark)