Monday, November 24, 2008

Historic L.A.: The drive-in edition

Is it a market or a garage? This idea didn't quite take off.

Pictures from the newly-released Life Photo Archive are kind of the meme of the week, so I think I'll hop on the bus with a few L.A. food-related photos. Most are from a 1949 issue that must have been devoted to wacky drive-ins. There's the market above where you actually drive your car into the market to pick up your food, which looks like a ridiculous idea. I think 1949 must have been the year Americans got lazy.There's the groovy mid-century Von's where they bring your groceries out front so you won't have to shlep them yourself. I think this is on Crenshaw, anyone know where?Then there's Zinke's, which is a shoe repair shop in Pasadena. It's not related to food, but what's amazing is that it's still there.My favorite is this moderne-meets-the-fifties drive-in restaurant in Pasadena -- it's Gwinn's in Pasadena, according to coffee shop architecture expert Chris Nichols. Thank you, Life!

11 comments:

Chris Nichols said...

HaHa! Thanks, Pat. Great photos. That's Gwinn's at 2915 E. Colorado Blvd. Designed by Bissner & Zook circa 1947. It was demolished around 1992 with a George Nelson ball clock still attached to the flagcrete wall...
Here's a matchbook: http://www.latimemachines.com/078nz.jpg

That Vons was at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King. Now demolished as well.

Thanks for summoning me!
Chris Nichols

Pat said...

Thanks, Chris, that was fast! That Gwinn's was sure stylish. Unfortunately I don't remember it from the old days.

Mike said...

Cool to see that old "Von's" logo. I'm always intrigued by companies that lose their apostrophe along the way...

anna b said...

When I lived in Reno in the '90s, there were barriers set up at every grocery store so you couldn't take your cart past the front of the store. You left your cart with groceries and drove by to pick it up just like in that photo, there was even a designated bag boy outside to help you load up. It would cause a bit of a gridlock, but it avoided lost carts and parking lot dings from roaming carts.

Anonymous said...

That would be the Vons at Crenshaw and Santa Barbara, later renamed MLK.

L.A. Story said...

These are great photos! I love looking at historic L.A.

Ellen Bloom said...

Sigh. So many landmarks in L.A. are gone. Thanks so much, Pat, for re-introducing them to us!

Anonymous said...

So depressing! I prefer the Los Angeles of the 1920's before the auto industry had succeeded in exploiting the city's method of transit. Global warming, pollution, and a failing economy are all we have to show for our love of the automobile. :^(

Anne B said...

Patty, Dale says he can remember those Alta Dena drive-throughs, complete with bread and dairy stations.

Anonymous said...

I still have an Alta-Dena drive through on Magnolia in NoHo

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