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Artbound

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Tending Nature

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Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

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Earth Focus

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Reporter Roundup

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City Rising

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Lost LA

Lost LA

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Lost LA

Desert Fantasy

California’s deserts have sparked the imaginations of millions of people around the world. From the famously alien landscape of Joshua Tree to the wide expanses of seemingly empty land, the desert has been seen as a place of reinvention, a blank slate on which the visitor creates his or her own dream. This episode explores the man-made natural disaster that created the Salton Sea, the efforts to preserve Joshua Tree National Park, and how commercial interests and real estate developers created a desert utopia like Palm Springs.

With long-time Joshua Tree resident and artist Kim Stringfellow, we discuss the complicated history of the desert and how it’s often misunderstood. We also visit archivist and former park ranger Joe Zarki, where we explore a photo album that served as the “pitch deck” for Minerva Hamilton Hoyt’s quest to preserve Joshua Tree State Park. Palm Springs is visited, with a discussion with Michael Stern, who authored a book about legendary photographer Julius Shulman. We also meet Tim Bradley about how the Salton Sea came about, and Tao Ruspoli about efforts to revive a once-popular resort area with the Bombay Beach Biennale.

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Full Episodes
Season
Shindana Dolls | Still from "Lost LA" S4 E6: Shindana Toy Company
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Shindana Toy Company - Changing the American Doll Industry

Explore the lasting impact of the Shindana Toy Company, created out of the need for community empowerment following the 1965 Watts uprising, whose ethnically correct black dolls forever changed the American doll industry.
Mount Wilson Observatory | Image from "Lost LA" S4 E5: Discovering the Universe
Episode
24:52
Lost LA

Discovering the Universe - Exploring the Cosmos Atop Mount Wilson

As recently as a century ago, scientists doubted whether the universe extended beyond our own Milky Way — until astronomer Edwin Hubble, working with the world’s most powerful telescope discovered just how vast the universe is.
Paul Revere Williams opposite a man explaining a project | Courtesy of J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Episode
26:17
Lost LA

Paul Revere Williams - An African-American Architect in Jet-Age L.A.

Although best known for designing the homes of celebrities like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra, the pioneering African-American architect Paul Revere Williams also contributed to some of the city’ s most recognizable civic structures.
Men and women toasting farewell to the 18th Amendment during Prohibition | Los Angeles Examiner Photographs Collection,University of Southern California Libraries
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Bootlegger Tunnels - A Journey Through LA’s Prohibition Lore

Prohibition may have outlawed liquor, but that didn’t mean the booze stopped flowing. Explore the myths of subterranean Los Angeles, crawl through prohibition-era tunnels, and visit some of the city’s oldest speakeasies.
A Monument in the Cemetery at Manzanar Relocation Center | Ansel Adams, Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Three Views of Manzanar - Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake

During World War II, three renowned photographers captured scenes from the Japanese incarceration: outsiders Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and incarceree Tōyō Miyatake who boldly smuggled in a camera lens to document life from within the camp.
Young men walking with a view of Griffith Observatory | Courtesy of the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California Library
Episode
26:48
Lost LA

Griffith Park - The Untold History

Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. Its founder, Griffith J. Griffith, donated the land to the city as a public recreation ground for all the people — an ideal that has been challenged over the years.
Fantasyland Banner
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Fantasyland

Los Angeles has long been the place where you can imagine something — a time period, a location, ordinary or exotic, real or fantasy — and build it. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1910s and 1920s, when early filmmakers built huge, elaborately themed sets that often remained standing for months or years, inviting visitors to explore and to imagine being a part of the action. It found its fullest expression in nearby Anaheim, where Walt Disney’s Imagineers created the intricately themed, immersive experience that is Disneyland.
venice_canal_header.jpg
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Venice

From its origins as a seaside resort to its fame as a countercultural hub, Venice Beach boasts a rich history. This episode explores the original plans for Venice, the Beat poets who lived there and the history of the Abbot Kinney commercial district.
Bodie
Episode
26:40
Lost LA

Ghost Towns

Some California dreams did succeed, creating a megalopolis in the state’s north and south. Other dreams failed, leaving only ruins behind. This episode explores the hopes and dreams of three California ghost towns. We feature Bodie, an early gold mining settlement in Mono County that continues to be preserved in time; Llano Del Rio, a socialist utopian community in the Mojave Desert; and Zzyzx, a former health spa community that came to an end with the eviction of founder and radio evangelist Curtis Howe Springer.
Four surfers stand in front of their boards- black and white
Episode
26:39
Lost LA

Beach Culture

This episode explores how surfers, bodybuilders, and acrobats taught Californians how to have fun and stay young at the beach — and how the 1966 documentary The Endless Summer shared the Southern California idea of the beach with the rest of the world.
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