Los Angeles: The Funky Little Funicular

Angels Flight is a beloved and iconic little railway close to the historic theatre district in South Los Angeles. 

Angels Flight – a 762 mm narrow gauge funicular railway – is a popular landmark in gritty South Los Angeles, and one that’s every bit as iconic as the Griffith Observatory or the Hollywood sign.

The 118-year-old railway runs 90 metres up and down the eastern slope of the once-affluent Bunker Hill, between South Grand Avenue and South Hill Street, close to the Grand Central Market.

It uses the counter-balancing weights of its cars to pull one up while the other descends.

You could take the stairs alongside the railway to the plaza below, and you just might get there faster. But that would defeat the purpose.

Discover the great movie palaces of the Broadway Historic Theatre District

While you’re in the area, take time to wander the streets and explore the old theatres, movie palaces and department stores in the Broadway Historic Theatre District.

Along a six-block stretch of South Broadway, between 3rd and 9th Streets, you’ll find 12 magnificent movie theatres built between 1910 and 1931.

They’re a modern reminder of the area’s artistic heyday, when it was the epicentre of vaudeville and silent film. 



Much of the this down-trodden area will experience a building boom in the run up to the 2028 summer Olympic Games, and the historic theatre district is no exception.

A string of grand old theatres – including the Orpheum, the Los Angeles Theatre, Tower Theatre, the Palace and the Globe, among others – are already being restored to their previous splendour.

Because of its artistic, architectural and cultural significance, the Broadway Historic Theatre District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May 1979. It’s still the biggest concentration of old theatres anywhere in the US and well worth a look.



Getting to Angels Flight and the Historic Theatre District

By train, take the red or purple Metro lines to Pershing Square station and exit towards 4th Street. You'll be right on the doorstep of Angels Flight and Grand Central Market. 

You can also take the Metro Rapid 745 to Broadway and 3rd St, or any of the many Metro local buses serving Hill Street and Broadway.

The lower entrance for Angels Flight is at 351 South Hill Street, across from Grand Central Market.The top entrance is at California Plaza, 350 South Grand Avenue.

Angels Flight is open every day from 6:45 am to 10 pm, including weekends and holidays.

To ride the railway it costs $1 each way, but the $2 round-trip ticket is a nice piece of history to take home with you. There's a 50c Metro fare discount for TAP card users.

Angels Flight
Angels Flight on Google Maps

© 2019 Bernard O’Riordan (Travel Instinct). All Rights Reserved 

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