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Angels Flight in Film Noir

Angels Flight in Film Noir
Start your tour of L.A.’s “mean streets” at this surprising funicular

The narrow-gauge, funicular railway called Angels Flight was built on downtown’s Hill Street in 1901 to ferry well-to-do denizens up and down the steep incline of Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill. During the years of this area’s gradual decline—it was mostly demolished by 1966—the Bunker Hill neighborhood perfectly resembled the “mean streets” described by noir author Raymond Chandler. As a result, Angels Flight became a familiar sight in classic noir films, like 1952’s The Turning Point, when William Holden and Alexis Smith rode the funicular to find a witness in a corruption investigation. Two 1950s noir films—Joseph Losey’s remake of M (1951) and Kiss Me Deadly (1955)—both feature Angels Flight and exteriors of Bunker Hill’s tenements. The railway also made an appearance in 2016’s award-winning La La Land when the couple played by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone ride up after eating across the street at L.A.’s Grand Central Market.

Angels Flight has been in its present Hill Street location since 1996, and even though it’s currently non-operational, it provides a great start to a noir walking tour of downtown L.A. The Los Angeles Conservancy offers guided tours, but you can also just go it alone: Start with lunch at the food stands of Grand Central Market, then walk past the splendid wrought-iron atrium of the Bradbury Building on South Broadway (as seen in 1950’s D.O.A.), then walk to City Hall on Spring Street, which was pictured in 1945’s Joan Crawford-starrer Mildred Pierce and 1946’s The Blue Dahlia. For a nosh with noir flavor, order a slice of apple pie and black coffee at the 24-hour Original Pantry Café on Figueroa Street, which has been open since 1924.

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Discover Los Angeles County

See a movie star. Sip a cocktail on a rooftop bar at sunset. Slip on a pair of designer shoes in an ultra-luxurious boutique in Beverly Hills. Play at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, explore world-class museums, or dance the night away in a starlet-filled club. Welcome to California’s liveliest city, entertainment capital of America, with megastar wattage and nonstop activities.

“You know, you’re really a nobody in L.A. unless you have a really big door.”  –comedian Steve Martin

The main hub is the City of Los Angeles, with legendary Hollywood northwest of downtown, the San Fernando Valley to the east, and the inviting beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu to the west.

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Marina del Rey

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Burbank

The entertainment industry’s home base offers a microcosm of stars, shopping, and cool tours

If you come to Los Angeles wishing to see where movie magic gets made, look on the other side of Hollywood—literally.

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The California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece

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La Brea Tar Pits

Find fossils and family-friendly fun at this prehistoric excavation site

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"The Squaw Man" was filmed in 1913, and was the first feature-length film made in Hollywood.
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Bright lights, A-list celebrities & diverse culture

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Stargazing takes on a different meaning in Tinseltown. While there’s no guarantee you’ll spy a familiar face when you’re here, there are some...

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West Hollywood

A designer’s dream with shops, architecture, and style

West Hollywood has been dubbed “The Creative City,” and for good reason. Bordering Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, “WeHo” is where fashion and the...

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WeHo Design District

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Get trendy in a fashion-forward neighborhood

This stylish destination, roughly defined by the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Robertson and Beverly Boulevards might be one of the best...

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Sunset Strip Nightlife

Welcome to L.A.’s home of rock ‘n’ roll

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Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

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Museums

See masterpieces and innovative contemporary works

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Malibu

Explore a fabled beachfront town with real star power

Stretching for more than 30 miles along the Pacific and Highway One, Malibu has achieved...

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Los Angeles County Shopping

Go boutique to bargain in one of the world’s fashion (and shopping) capitals

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Venice

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Surfers, skateboarders, and stars

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Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the Golden State’s most appealing destinations....

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Long Beach

Experience the many sides of a dynamic coastal city

With beaches and marinas along its waterfront and a busy dining and shopping scene on downtown’s Pine Avenue, Long Beach blends big city...

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Lancaster's Civic Musical Road is the only "musical" or "singing" road in the United States.
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Hands-on fun for all at farms, ranches, and fields statewide

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Tai Power Seeff
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You certainly won’t be the only one celebrating the Lunar New Year at this colorful event in L.A.’s Chinatown. Join thousands of revelers lining the parade route as lion dancers and giant dragons...

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Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate playgrounds

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone. Take a tram ride to tour movie back lots at Universal Studios...

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