Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hill Street, Los Angeles, 1958

Here are some scans of two vintage slides from downtown Los Angeles, circa 1958. Both had turned intensely pinkish-orange, but I have restored them to something resembling "normal", though there is still some funkiness going on. And what's wrong with a little funkiness? 

So, here we are on Hill Street; the corner of 7th Street us up near the Warners Theater. Just past that (and unfortunately washed out) is a beautiful Art Deco "Sun Realty" building, covered in blue-green glazed tiles. Happily that building still stands! I love those vertical signs, which (in general) seemed to be a lot more common long ago, though some examples still survive.

Looking at Google's "Street View", it appears that some buildings to our left have been torn down, while newer structures have replaced some of those buildings (such as Quality House Liquors) that are in the first photo. I do like the purple blossoms on the jacaranda trees.

This next one is also on Hill Street, this time looking south toward 6th Street. Love the cars, the genuine vintage people crossing the street, and even the See's Candies store. In the distance you can see the Swelldon clothing store, a fixture in that area for a long time. Notice the Paramount Theater, showing "The Naked and the Dead", a WWII movie starring Cliff Robertson, Raymond Massey, and Aldo Ray. 

Unfortunately the Paramount was torn down, and a massive office complex was built in its place. 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Hill Street!


TokyoMagic! said...

The Warner Bros. Theater was originally the Los Angeles Pantages Theater (prior to the Hollywood Pantages being built). It is now home to the Diamond Mart, but if you look closely at the marquee in that modern day shot, you can see a diamond on the sign. That panel with the diamond on it was set into the sign framework that used to hold the old Warner Bros. W.B. "shield".

K. Martinez said...

Hill Street Cigars and See's Candies? Do you think they have candy cigars for sale?

Nice images today. Along with the vintage autos, I love the old storefronts on the buildings. Vintage always looks better than the present, but those purple blossoms on the Jacaranda trees look beautiful. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


Outta town at the moment, so can't verify with exact specificity, but we seem to have two Cadillac's in the second image - very late 1940's - early 1950's.

In the first image I see a Citizen's National Bank - which in 1963 would merge with Crocker-Anglo Bank to become Crocker-Citizens National Bank - and then in 1986 was acquired by and merged into Wells Fargo Bank. Ahhh, the march of financial institutions time.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

TokyoMagic!, I'm not focusing on the right spot to find the diamond on the marquee. Where should I be looking?

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, maybe it's easier for me to see just because I know it's there! If you look at the modern day pic (second photo) and look at the red jewelry sign hanging on the corner of that one building, let your eye go all the way down to the bottom of the sign and you will see the old theater marquee on the other building. Then look just to the right a little (to the right of that street sign/street signal/lamppost pole that is barely visible) and you can just make out a diamond! It's on the part of the marquee that is in the shade. That part of the marquee is also on the corner so it's at an angle rather than facing directly towards us. I hope that helps. Let me know!

Chuck said...

I've got it now. It was much easier to locate once I started looking at the right picture... :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, oh I go to the diamond mart all the time. You know how I love a good diamond pinky ring. I wish they had left the WV shield there!

K. Martinez, no, but they have tobacco candy, and that’s just as good.

Nanook, you sure know about old banks! And cars! I’ve changed banks several times merely because my old bank was gobbled up by a bigger one. Security Pacific, then Home Savings, then B of A.

Chuck, didn’t you mean to say “Where be the treasure?!”

TokyoMagic!, I see it, I see it!

Chuck, I blame Google for not using better cameras.

Snow White Archive said...

I dig the Paramount much more than the newer office complex.