Forgotten Funiculars: KCET and L.A. as Subject Reveal Downtown’s Other Cable Car

Today, Angels Flight’s bright orange twin cars enjoy basking in the spotlight as downtown’s famous funicular. But between 1905 to the early 1940s, downtown Los Angeles residents were shuttled by not one, but two hillside cable cars. KCET and L.A. as Subject‘s newest video series, Incline L.A., examines the city’s forgotten funiculars and uncovers downtown’s Court Flight in its first episode.

Court Flight in Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles’ Court Flight in 1918. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library
Broadway and First Street in Downtown Los Angeles
Modern-day Broadway and First Street in Downtown. Screenshot via Google Maps.

In the video, Los Angeles Public Library’s Christina Rice shares the story of the lesser-known Court Flight, which shuttled court employees up and down Broadway between First and Temple streets. “It was actually built for the purpose of attracting tourists…to what was then believed to be the highest point in downtown,” Rice says. Fares were five cents to ride up to Bunker Hill, and three cents to shuttle back down. In addition, Court Flight riders “could get the lovely views of Catalina on a clear day,” says Rice.

Read more about Angels Flight and Court Flight and watch the original video at KCET.

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