Video Interlude : People Were Actually Excited to Drive Down the Hollywood Freeway When it Opened in 1950

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There is something very funny about seeing all these driver chomping at the bit to cruise on this first section of the Hollywood Freeway on its opening day. (Now, people seem more excited to get off the freeway.) LA City Clerk’s Youtube account uploaded this video from the December 27, 1950 ceremony which shows the first cars to drive on the new pavement, including the way that, “Immediately afterward traffic began pouring over the freeway,” as an LA Times account of the ceremony said.

This first stretch of the Hollywood Freeway was a two-and-a-half-mile section running from Grand Avenue in DTLA to Silver Lake Boulevard. “It’s the 2.5 miles that will get you out of town— in a hurry,” the Times assured readers in a December 17, 1950 article. Nowadays, people are more excited about the possibility of covering part of the freeway in Downtown with a giant park than they are about driving on it.

There’s nothing wrong with your audio; this video is not a talkie:

· Opening of Hollywood Freeway 1950 [Youtube]

· See How Amazing Downtown LA Will Look if They Build a Park Over the 101 Freeway [Curbed LA]

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