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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.

With developer Rick Caruso (The Grove, Americana at Brand and Palisades Village), we explore the creation of modern-day fantasylands, their appeal, and why they flourish in Los Angeles. We look at the birth and evolution of the studio tour, starting with D. W. Griffith’s set for “Intolerance” in 1916, and including a closer historical look at the Universal Studios Hollywood tour. We go behind the scenes at the Walt Disney Archives for a peek at the prospectus that fueled investment for Disneyland. We also speak with Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr, who takes us through the history of immersive experiences at Disneyland, Walt Disney’s ultimate fantasy landscape. “I don't want the public to see the real world they live in while they’re in the park. I want them to feel they are in another world.” — Walt Disney

Available until
2021-11-26T00:00:00-08:00
LA as SubjectA collaboration between the USC Libraries and KCETLink, Lost LA features the member collections of L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden stories and histories of the Los Angeles region.

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Full Episodes

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

Despite the trauma of their incarceration during World War II, Japanese Americans built new lives while detained at concentration camps like Manzanar. They played baseball, planted gardens and made the honor roll. Three renowned photographers captured these scenes: outsiders Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and incarceree Tōyō Miyatake who boldly smuggled in a camera lens to document life from within the camp. All three trained their lenses on small yet profound moments of dignity and domesticity, documenting resilience in the face of civil injustice.

  • 2019-12-07T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-12-28T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

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 in the mountains high above Los Angeles, discovered just how vast the universe truly is. Visit the underground vault of the Carnegie Observatories, where paradigm-shifting discoveries are annotated by hand on glass photographic slides; and the historic Mount Wilson observatory. Learn more at Carnegie Observatories.

  • 2019-12-07T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-25T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-26T12:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-12-28T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK

Bootlegger Tunnels: A Journey Through LA’s Prohibition Lore

There is always lore ingrained in a city’s history, particularly one like Los Angeles. It is no secret that throughout the Prohibition Era individuals living in the city continued to enjoy their vices as much, if not more, than they ever had before. But it is how they subverted the law that still remains unclear. In this episode, we explore the myths of subterranean Los Angeles, crawl through claimed prohibition-era bootlegger tunnels and visit some of the city’s oldest speakeasies along the way.

  • 2019-12-10T12:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-10T16:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-11T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-12T12:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-12-14T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2020-01-04T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Shindana Toy Company: Changing the American Doll Industry

The Watts riots (also known as the Watts Rebellion or Uprising) left South Los Angeles in social and economic distress. In its wake, Operation Bootstrap, a non-profit community-based organization was formed, with hopes of facilitating change through community empowerment. This episode explores the lasting impact of one Operation Bootstrap initiative, the Shindana Toy Company, which left a lasting mark on the American doll industry by manufacturing ethnically correct black dolls.

  • 2019-12-14T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-31T12:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-31T16:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2020-01-01T03:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2020-01-01T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2020-01-02T12:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2020-01-04T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK

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 — all while confronting racial barriers.

  • 2019-12-17T12:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-17T16:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-18T03:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-12-18T21:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-12-19T12:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-12-21T06:30:00-08:00
    KCETLINK

Griffith Park: The Untold History

At more than 4,500 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. Its founder, the controversial and complicated 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. In this episode, Sarah Wilson, director of Education at the Autry Museum of the American West, explains the upcoming “Investigating Griffith Park,” exhibition and the effort to create an archive of all things Griffith Park.

  • 2019-12-21T11:30:00-08:00
    KCET-HD