What Was Los Angeles Like in the 1960’s?

March 22, 2014 by Brian Champlin

I’ll make this short and sweet.

I stumbled upon a video of some vintage footage of Los Angeles from the 1960’s (thanks Reddit) and I wondered what other gems might be living on YouTube.


After a little scouring, I put this list together as a collection of material to give some insight into what L.A. looked 50 some-odd years ago, during the transformative period of the 1960s.

Looking back at the cultural and technological changes we’ve undergone as a city is pretty amazing, and it just kind of makes you appreciate where you live that much more. In some way,  given the turbulence of the era (see Watts video below), it’s amazing we’re still even here.

What i learned is that despite all the changes, three things do remain the same. Vin Scully is still announcing Dodgers games, cars are still king, and the sun is still shining. Not a bad trifecta to have going for you.

Enjoy the clips. Be warned though, if you’re a history buff, you could get lost in this maze for days!

1960’s Los Angeles

Hollywood Blvd. in the 1960’s. Groovy soundtrack here.


A roadtrip up and down Ocean Blvd. in Santa Monica in the mid 1960’s. The weather has not changed.


A driving tour around Los Angeles in 1968. Man we love cars here.





Footage from the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles in the 1960’s. Some of these chicks are pretty cute.



“The Savages”

A documentary (22 minutes long ) about the African American section of Venice California which is known today as the Oakwood Areas, but was originally called “Ghost Town”. Produced in 1967, the footage shown in this short film is a fascinating glimpse into a specific sub-culture of L.A. life for the African American community at that time, especially the younger generation and the changes / turmoil / strife  they were facing.


News Footage from the Watts Riots in 1965. Heavy stuff.


West Hollywood Sunset Strip Footage, 1963.


The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, but before they built Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, the boys in blue played their home games at the L.A. Coliseum. Here’s some footage of the boys warming up in 1960.


“Ride the Last Red Car, Los Angeles April 1961”

A glimpse into the the history of Los Angeles public transit, and the end of an era.


LAX in the 1960’s. Security not exactly the same back then.