Inside LA

The Los Angeles Lowdown

LA History

Current affairs inspired articles, with new and different perspectives, on Los Angeles’ fascinating history.

Los Angeles Union Station

Union Station: LA’s Great Rail Terminus

May 7, 2024

Los Angeles Union Station is to LA what Grand Central Station is to New York. It’s our major rail terminus, designed and built to reflect the history and feel of the city back at us as we pass through. It opened in May 1939 with much fanfare, ironically just as the US was falling out of…

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Hollywood Dream Factory

Hollywood: LA’s Dream Factory

April 30, 2024

This is the story of how a small farming town outside a mid-range American city became the most famous neighborhood in the entire world. Probably 95% of the world’s population know that there’s a place called Hollywood and that it’s in Los Angeles. How did that happen? Why did that happen? Even if you don’t consider yourself…

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musso & frank grill

Musso & Frank Grill: Hollywood Institution

March 25, 2024

Musso & Frank Grill opened in September 1919, 105 years ago later this year. In a town that changes so much, and is really almost unrecognizable to when Musso’s first opened, this Hollywood institution has somehow managed to remain the same. The menu and cocktails are exactly how you would want them to be, timeless…

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Film Noir classic, The Blue Dahlia

Film Noir: A Dark Side Of The City Of Angels

March 3, 2024

There’s something very LA about Film Noir. In a similar way that the novels of Charles Dickens recreate the feel of Victorian London, Film Noir captures the aesthetic and atmosphere of 1940’s and 50’s Los Angeles. The different aspects of the city, from lovely sunny beaches to downtown concrete jungle, made a perfect setting for these dark stories, as the paranoid protagonist falls into a…

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Chinatown poster

The Old Los Angeles Chinatown

February 22, 2024

With this month marking the date of the Lunar New Year (as celebrated in China and much of Asia) we wanted to take a look at the birth of Chinese-American culture in Los Angeles and, specifically, the history of LA’s Chinatown. Although San Francisco’s Chinatown is more famous, Los Angeles has been home to a…

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Bridget Biddy Mason

Bridget ‘Biddy’ Mason: Los Angeles Pioneer

February 8, 2024

In honor of Black History Month (this month) and Women’s History Month (in March) we’re celebrating the life and achievements of Bridget ‘Biddy’ Mason. An African American woman who was born into slavery in the old South, Biddy was brought to Los Angeles in the 1850’s (much against her will), only to become a free…

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Crime Seen: Prohibition in LA

Crime Seen: Prohibition in LA

January 4, 2024

America is almost unique among developed countries for its ban on alcohol, beginning in January 1920 (104 years ago this month) with the passage of the Volstead Act, which is known as Prohibition. Although it’s now synonymous with the corruption and organized crime that it later spawned, at the time the intention was to address…

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Crime Seen: LA Chinatown Massacre

Crime Seen: LA Chinatown Massacre

October 24, 2023

One of the things we believe in at the Real Los Angeles Tours is talking about the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of history. It’s really the only way of looking at our past, if we ignore the nasty and ugly episodes then we are almost certainly dooming ourselves to continue making the…

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Legendary Los Angeles Latinos

Legendary Los Angeles Latinos

September 18, 2023

People from the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America have had an enormous impact on Los Angeles. Which isn’t at all surprising when you consider nearly fifty per cent of the population of Los Angeles today has a Hispanic background and that, therefore Los Angeles Latinos form the largest ethnic share of the population.…

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Historic preservation in Los Angeles began with the Richfield Tower

Historic Preservation in Los Angeles

July 3, 2023

Historic Preservation in Los Angeles is a much more important thing here than many people realize. Is it important enough, though? That’s another question. It’s such a relevant concern here because so much of the city’s ethos is about reinvention. LA has often been a city that erases, or tries to erase, its past, as…

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