In the late 1970s, Marlene Laskey and her 15-year-old daughter Annie had a Tuesday afternoon tradition. They would take a weekly stroll down Wilshire Boulevard, and along the way, Annie would snap pictures of anything that caught her eye.
The pictures probably seemed pretty mundane at the time, but now, more than 30 years later, the Laskeys' photographs paint a fascinating portrait of a Los Angeles long since gone.
The Laskeys donated nearly 1,000 of their photos to the LA Public Library's photo collection where they can be viewed by the general public, reports Larchmont Buzz and LAist. The entire Laskey collection can be accessed here, but we’ve got some highlights below.
There's plenty of unmistakably '70s oddities to behold in the Laskey collection, such as the "Disco Drugs" pharmacy or the billboard advertising the newly opened Colossus roller coaster at Magic Mountain.
Not everything is lava lamps and bellbottoms. Visually reliving the '70s also brings with it the bits of LA history that had not quite gone the way of the wrecking ball. It was a time when Johnnie's was a functioning restaurant, the Ambassador Hotel still stood, and there was not one but two Brown Derby restaurants on Wilshire Boulevard.
Then there are the familiar places, still here today, but looking a bit different. Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade was looking pretty groovy back in the day. Over at the corner of Wilshire and La Brea, the words "Mutual of Omaha" cap the E. Clem Wilson Building, with nary a Samsung logo in sight.
Want to see a movie? We've got Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata playing at the Fine Arts, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is playing up in Westwood, and the Wiltern is showing Mark Hamill's Star Wars follow-up, Corvette Summer.
- Historic Wilshire Blvd. Photo Collection Online [Larchmont Buzz]
- Photos: The Storefronts And Signs of Wilshire Boulevard In The '70s [LAist]