Video from YouTube on Westchester

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25 thoughts on “Video from YouTube on Westchester

  1. This is really great! I have forgotten how interesting Wetchester and Playa del Rey is. I was there at an early age and didn’t appreciate the kewl architecture then…but you sure captured it! Thanks.

    Well done and I look foward to seeing more.. What about Dale’s? POW? The Shack? What is the name of that hotel/dance club at the base of Pershing toward the beach? I remember the burgers at the Shack were great…or was it the long day at the beach…a beer..and the burger that was amazing. I miss the beach.

    Also, on Lincoln heading toward down the hill there was a great Mexican Restaurant…left side..Mmmm.

  2. Westchester was in its Golden Age between 1951 and 1960. I remember my first encounter with Santa Claus at The Broadway. It was like a scene from an old movie, only in brilliant color. Shoppers impeccably dressed and kids gawking at all the toy displays. Holiday music playing throughout the store. It was THE center of the community. The Loyola theater had a parking lot next to it. Up the street, the corner of Sepulveda and 80th, was a huge grass lawn playground, instead of the current YMCA and parking lot. Between there and Manchester and Sepulveda was another large open area with an oval-shaped dirt track where we used to race quarter-midgets. This was the kind of place that inspired the ultimate development of the “Go-Kart” and the races got very competitve. My family lived at 80th and Dunfield, on an idyllic tree-lined street where every other house had at least two kids. A camera-man for KTLA lived two houses up from us and he got my older brother and I into the studio for a live production of the “It’s Time for Beanie” show. After the program was over, we actually got to speak with Beanie, Cecil and Captain Huff N Puff, not knowing that we were really talking to Stan Freeberg and Bob Clampett, who became giants in the industry. For “grammar school”, we walked to Kentwood Elementary and then made the short walk to Orville Wright Junior High (which had also been a high school until Westchester High opened in 1956). We would walk up to the HillMart across from Westchester Lutheran, order a milkshake and grill-cheese sandwich, then cross Sepulveda to play on the big school playground there. The biggest plane we saw landing at LAX was one of Howard Hugh’s Constellations. From our front window on the corner of Dunfield and 80th, we could see the big screen at the Centinela Drive-In and watch the movies with binoculars. It was a remarkable place and time to live.

  3. Oh my goodness!!! Thank you so much for that blast to the past! I lived in Westchester from 1972 to 1991. I live in Colorado now but remembered every one of those places you showed. When I visit CA on vacations I always make it a point to drive past my old house on 81st street and drive throughout Westchester and Playa Del Rey. So much has changed now. I long for the good ole day.s

    Thanks again!

  4. That slide show was awesome. Thanks. I’d love to see a photo of Toy Palace back behind Lucky’s if anybody has one. Maybe one with Gus standing in the door if that’s not too much to ask. I’ll see what pix I can find. Don’t know if I have many. Thanks for the memories. Man, Westchester had two great theaters. I suddenly feel like going home.

  5. Thank you so much for that video. That was heartbreaking and beautiful. I loved growing up there. They took our little town away…Remember the “free shows” on Wednesdays during the summer that were sponsored by a bank there? Candy was 3 for .10 and ice creams at Sav-Ons were .05?

    I still love parking as close to the runway I can, (I visited in May) I used to walk the rest of the way to get as close as I could. The smell of hot, wet cement in the summers…I remember how sad it was when The Loyola Theater was closed. The Loyola Theater was for the kids (I always felt as though the Paradise was for the grown-ups).

    I remember when Keely Drake’s name changed to Diamontopulous (sorry about the spelling). Does anyone remember how we had these giant candles that everyone put up in their front yards at Christmas?

    I want someone to tell me about Scott Majerac. I know it was a tragedy. Everyone said it was russian roulette. I was in love with him all through elementary school. His death had a prolonged effect on me. I always felt kind of invisible when I was “growing up”.

    Whenever someone asks me where I grew up and I tell them a small town next to LAX, they act as though it was a bad thing…but I always set them straight. It was really a little paradise back then (If I only knew at the time).

    By the way, in my little gang we always called the “crazy lady” “spock lady” because those drawn on eyebrows gave her an alien look.
    I remember when the kid from “Mr. Eddie’s Father” moved down the street, everyone (okay me) walked by his house hoping to see him. I used to remember his name, but I don’t anymore. Does anyone remember “The Earl and his girlfriend “Fire”?

    • Thank you so much, Barby, for a very thoughtful and touching rendition of our darling Westchester. What a gem it was back then!!! It is still amazing, too.

      I do remember the spock lady now. Also, I remember Eddie’s Father and the kid star living in Westchester.

      Many wonderful memories.

      Debra J. Chandler

  6. Wow. How wonderful… Thank You!! for doing this!… Was neat to see pic of Soundstations where I once worked… and the Loyola theatre, where I had my first movie date ever… and everything else where I once skateboarded… Great memories of Westchester…

  7. Hi all,
    I’m new to this site so I’ll chime in. My family first moved to Westchester in the 40’s. Their first house, at 89th and Emerson was $50 down and $50 a month. Years later, I found out that entire block of homes was originally brokered by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. He signed my folk’s mortgage. In ’58, my folks built the first 4-unit apartment building in Playa del Rey on 83rd and Falmouth (no Dales Jr. then) All that was out there was the old Pershing road to El Segundo and the Nike Missle site where the Polynesian Apartments later stood. The last Friday of every month, the army tanks that protected the missile site drove down Manchester past the high school…partly on maneuvers, partyly to scope chicks. My older sisters graduated in “59 and “62. I was in the first class at Paseo del Rey elementary. Those were magical times, when education had massive budgets. The LA zoo sent trucks to schools with roving animal displays that you could walk thru (remember the assemblies?) We migrated from house to house…first to Billovista Dr., then Delgany. That was an interesting street. Dr. Herman (our principal) lived two doors down. Nixon bought a house there (he never moved in) and sold it to Caroll Shelby. Oh, the cars that were parked out in front!!! Finally to 91st and Park Hill, right behind the WHS ball field. The memories are endless…too much for this space. Just ask, and I’ll spew forth with more trivia.

    Mark McPhail, WHS “73

    • You are the guru of Westchester/PDR trivia. I would love to have proof of Bugsy’s ownership! That would be awesome. My parents moved to 81st and Emerson Avenue in 1963. My dad used the GI Bill. A house on Nancy Street near Riggs was what my mom wanted (perhaps in part because that was her name, too!), but we couldn’t afford it at 26K or so. I loved our house and backyard. I loved the ocean breezes. I miss it so much. More, more, more info, Mark!

  8. OK, I’ll start digging up old photos and stuff, along with the Bugsy mortgage. Today’s trivia….did you know that under the Broadway department store, there was a bomb shelter. The air raid siren for Westchester was right outside the entrance, which were steel doors out in the middle of the ivy growing around the store. Same era as when we had take cover drills and curl up under our desks. That was also the first commercial building in the US to have roof parking. Here’s another one…..at the end of Trask Ave. overlooking Toes beach…before the houses were taken out because of the north runway expansion, you could walk thru the sand dunes and find spent bullets and army debris from WWII, when there were coast defense installations along the shore. I got a million of them.

  9. Thank you, Margaret, for pointing me to this video! I loved getting to see the old shots of Westchester, especially since I don’t have very many of my own. If anyone has more, please post them!
    Thanks for the Westchester trivia/information, too. I didn’t know a lot of it and it was fun to read it. I agree: more, more, if you have it!
    I miss Westchester. I mourn it, actually. Margaret and I can never see our house again, since LAX tore it down or moved it, and we can’t even get back to our street since the lay of the land has changed due to the addition of Westchester Parkway. It depresses me greatly, so if anyone has a miracle out there (pictures, info, memories, etc.), please share! 🙂 It all helps ease the pain.
    Thanks and Hugs,
    Maryann

    • Maryann:

      I realize it was 5 years ago when you wrote this memory but I hope you still visit this website to view the comments. Although I don’t have any of the photo’s you made mention of, it was nice to read your comments. I don’t think we were ever friends as such, but you may remember me from Orville Wright during our school years. As much as it troubles me even after this many years, I was the crazy kid who “visited” Charles Belba’s class and “feared” girls. I’m sure, ( I hope ),you knew it was all an act to get attention.

      Long story short, just wanted to say hello as I remember you from way back when. I hope all is well with you and yours. Take Care.

      Charlies

  10. That was great, thanks! Loyola was my favorite theatre..
    Candy at Sav-on..Loved the comments about watching airplanes at the end of the runway…loved the padoodle hoppers (my sister called them) small planes on windy days..we watched right off Sepulveda in some parking lot…
    My friend and I even rode our bikes (derailers) thru the airport…imagine that—dumb-she ran into the back of a taxi when she was looking back at me!! Lived there 1960 thru the early 80’s. Broadway probably started my love for shopping…oh remember sliding down the railing in JC Penneys? Woolworths-Newberrys-House of Pies?? Shop and eat–that’s where it all began!;-)
    Attended Kentwood-Brandon Cruz was the kid on Courtship of Eddies Father–Play helped him at Kentwood–
    Remember—walk, walk, no walking on the grass—red card! red card!! Live in Colorado now but try to get back to drive thru the neighborhood..84th and McConnell..Grandma lived on 77th..Unfortunately, Inglewood Park is where most of my family is…..Great place, great times–as Bob Hope said–thanks for the memories!!

  11. Well, I just bumped into this blog through YouTube and I’m glad many of you enjoyed the video. I have moved out of LA five years ago and felt homesick, thus this video…and my brave attempt to wrestle with an old PC video editing program.

    BTW, kudos to Mark McPhail for the inside info!! Bomb Shelter?! Well, that was the cold war fer ya!

    I will be visiting this blog again. Thanks for putting it together!

    Don-O

  12. wow…thank you so much for this. Although I grew up in Inglewood (my parents owned one of the seven original ranch-houses in the Centinela Valley….now (to my knowledge) there is only one left, on 95th St), Westchester was certainly one of my hangs. I took music lessons in a studio at the music store there, went to movies at the Loyola, shopped at The Broadway and Mode O’day (or was it Lerner’s?) in that little center there.

    here’s something you all might be interested in:

    http://flavorwire.com/100851/photo-gallery-20th-century-modernist-architecture-in-la/3

    I think this is The Broadway, don’t you? I hope so.

  13. Wow. My grandparents lived in Playa Del Rey, right off Manchester and Pershing from 1958 until 1990. As a kid I remember the houses at the old Palisades Del Rey area and can recall the fight against the airport waged by their owners. As a kid I loved the way that the old Pershing Drive snaked it’s way through the western most portion of LAX (going to my grandparents house) and on the way back we always used Manchester, driving by the old theater and of course through the “Long Tunnel” under the run ways. Fifty-plus years of time just went through my head in a matter of seconds and I thank you very much for that!

  14. what a wonderful video it made me cry and brought back so many memories i used live off stanmore and 92nd i remeber when the airport took our home we used walk to the theatre all the time and from westchester high we used walk down to winchells donut shop during our free periods what memories kathy kanoff holloway

    • Hi Kathy – NEW to this blog but wondering if you were related to a violin teacher – believe his name was Irving Kanoff. I took lessons for about 6 years in the middle 60’s. Just wondering as I saw as one of your names above.

  15. Excellent tribute to Westchester. I am a native of Westchester and glad to see the history kept alive. I grew up on the south end of Naylor, just north of Manchester and Sepulveda. Great memories with this tribute. Thanks

  16. Omg omg omg…i was born in 1981 but was still around for most of those pics. Karls toy store. I remember that was my g.i. Joe spot. My mom worked at the westchester fair for a long time…so many memories. And for everybody who would like to know louie from temple of good things is still alive… He had a stroke a while back and from what ive heard hes walking again but not in the best of shape.i still live in westchester and i still love this town…its the center of the universe in my eyes.

  17. What a fun YouTube video of Westchester. I so loved it though lived in El Segundo next door! My friends and I always took the bus (before we had our licenses) to shop in Westchester and go to the movies at Paradise and Loyola. It was the BEST. Loved Westchester Music Store, buying all my 45’s there, plus sheet music since I played piano. Broadway is now Kohl’s, it is a very nice store (thank goodness). But I do miss the roof parking alot… that was really fun, always went up there to park after we had our driver’s licenses. And the neat coffee shop at the top in the Broadway, loved to eat there. Also worked at Woolworth’s one summer. Soooo many good times and good memories, too many to say. Thank you for the great memories!!!!

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