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What Los Angeles looked like in the Late 1970s

In the 1970s, Los Angeles took New York City’s place as pop music’s capital. Music styles developed due to a willingness to abandon the past, an easygoing attitude, the early stirrings of the personal development movement, and a new wave of young entrepreneurs. Architecture, clothing trends, and cultural movements pushed the boundaries of the status quo. Los Angeles County is home to architecturally and culturally significant sites associated with the decade.

The aerospace industry became the key to Los Angeles’ new fashionability and economic buoyancy after the Cold War. As a result of war production and migration, Los Angeles became an industrial and financial giant. Los Angeles began to assemble more cars than any other city, manufactured more tires than any other city except Akron, Ohio, made more furniture than Grand Rapids, Michigan, and stitched more clothes than any other city.

Here are some stunning vintage photos of Los Angeles in the late 1970s by John Margolies.

#1 El Grande Motel, Los Angeles, 1977

El Grande Motel, Los Angeles, 1977

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#2 Coca Cola Bottling Company, giant Coke bottle closer view, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Coca Cola Bottling Company, giant Coke bottle closer view, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#3 Union Oil Gas, Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California, 1976

Union Oil Gas, Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California, 1976

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#4 Gates Tires, Washington Place and Grandview, Mar Vista, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Gates Tires, Washington Place and Grandview, Mar Vista, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#5 California Bridge Center, 945 North Fairfax, Los Angeles, California, 1976

California Bridge Center, 945 North Fairfax, Los Angeles, California, 1976

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#6 San Pedro Drive-In Theater, angle from left, Gaffey Street, San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, 1979

San Pedro Drive-In Theater, angle from left, Gaffey Street, San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#7 Coca Cola Bottling Company, overall diagonal view from right, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Coca Cola Bottling Company, overall diagonal view from right, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#8 Giant Felix Used Cars, Los Angeles, California, 1976

Giant Felix Used Cars, Los Angeles, California, 1976

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#9 Hoot Owl Cafe, horizontal view, 8711 Long Beach Boulevard, Southgate, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Hoot Owl Cafe, horizontal view, 8711 Long Beach Boulevard, Southgate, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#10 Maywood City Hall, Slauson & NE Fishburn, Maywood, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Maywood City Hall, Slauson & NE Fishburn, Maywood, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#11 Roth Draperies, Los Angeles, California, 1976

Roth Draperies, Los Angeles, California, 1976

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#12 Sea Food Hut, Los Angeles, California, 1976

Sea Food Hut, Los Angeles, California, 1976

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#13 Sanders Oldsmobile, La Brea & Wilshire, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Sanders Oldsmobile, La Brea & Wilshire, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#14 Brown Derby Restaurant, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Brown Derby Restaurant, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#15 Giant Felix Used Cars, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Giant Felix Used Cars, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#16 Fox Theater, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Fox Theater, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#17 Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#18 Big Town Food Center, Pico & La Cienega, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Big Town Food Center, Pico & La Cienega, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#19 Coca Cola Bottling Company, overall diagonal view from left, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Coca Cola Bottling Company, overall diagonal view from left, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#20 Felix Chevrolet, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Felix Chevrolet, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#21 Samson Auto Salvage, 8103 S. Alameda, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Samson Auto Salvage, 8103 S. Alameda, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#22 Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#23 Chuck’s Billiards, 1601 Manchester, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Chuck's Billiards, 1601 Manchester, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#24 McDonald’s Restaurant sign, Los Angeles, California

McDonald's Restaurant sign, Los Angeles, California

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#25 Coca Cola Bottling Company, closer diagonal view from right, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Coca Cola Bottling Company, closer diagonal view from right, 14th & Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#26 Easton’s Gym, Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Easton's Gym, Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#27 Dellard Furniture Imports, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Dellard Furniture Imports, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#28 United States Credit Bureau, Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1979

United States Credit Bureau, Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#29 Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#30 Bob’s Big Boy statue sign, La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Bob's Big Boy statue sign, La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#31 Ang’s Service Mobil, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Ang's Service Mobil, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#32 Felix Body Shop, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Felix Body Shop, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#33 Sanders Oldsmobile, La Brea & Wilshire, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Sanders Oldsmobile, La Brea & Wilshire, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#34 Johnnie’s Fat Boy sign, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Johnnie's Fat Boy sign, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#35 Pepperdine University, Los Angeles Campus, 81st & Vermont, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Pepperdine University, Los Angeles Campus, 81st & Vermont, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#36 Korea Times Building, Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Korea Times Building, Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#37 Stapp’s Auto Service, 1627 Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Stapp's Auto Service, 1627 Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#38 Martin Cadillac, site of old drive-in, Olympic and Bundy, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Martin Cadillac, site of old drive-in, Olympic and Bundy, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#39 Tom’s Cafe, 2181 Manchester, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Tom's Cafe, 2181 Manchester, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#40 Johnnies Fat Boy, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Johnnies Fat Boy, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#41 Johnnies Fat Boy, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Johnnies Fat Boy, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#42 Holiday Out Motel, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Holiday Out Motel, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#43 Ruth [i.e. Roth] Draperies, Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1978

Ruth [i.e. Roth] Draperies, Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1978

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#44 Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1979

Seaside Gas, Los Angeles, California, 1979

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#45 Tom’s Auto Body, 7229 West Melrose, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Tom's Auto Body, 7229 West Melrose, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#46 Fox Theater, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Fox Theater, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#47 King’s Fried Chicken (Church), Los Angeles, California, 1977

King's Fried Chicken (Church), Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#48 Old gas station, 7229 W. Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, California.

Old gas station, 7229 W. Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, California.

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#49 Victory Drive-in Theater, Victory west of Coldwater Canyon, Van Nuys, California.

Victory Drive-in Theater, Victory west of Coldwater Canyon, Van Nuys, California.

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#50 Beverly Upholstery, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Beverly Upholstery, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#51 Bell Point Motors, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Bell Point Motors, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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#52 King’s Fried Chicken (Church), Los Angeles, California.

King's Fried Chicken (Church), Los Angeles, California.

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#53 Fosters Freeze, Los Angeles, California, 1977

Fosters Freeze, Los Angeles, California, 1977

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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