HomeNewsColorized Footage of 1930s LA Traffic Shows Little Has Changed

Colorized Footage of 1930s LA Traffic Shows Little Has Changed

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by UPI/Bettmann Archive via Getty Images)

Footage of Los Angeles traffic from the 1930s has been colorized and enhanced, and it seems that not much has changed in the last 90 years. The video was colorized by a YouTuber named NASS. To do so, they used AI neural networks. The colors in the video aren’t based on data from the time, so they’re not historically accurate.

Still, the video tugs at the heartstrings of all Old Hollywood fans. We can see from the video that traffic was just as much of a hassle as it is today. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, Los Angeles was known for its bustling traffic.

You can watch the full video from NASS here. In addition to being colorized, noise was also added to the video. Crowd noises and car horns really enhance the video and make it seem more true to life. Plus, the video has also been upgraded to HD and 60 fps.

Colorized Footage Shows Iconic Los Angeles History in the Making

In the footage, we can see an aerial view of some of L.A.’s most iconic streets, including Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. From up above, we can see all of the people crossing streets and going about their day. Almost all of them are wearing hats in the video. We can also see the Wiltern Theater, which was newly built at the time. As with a lot of the buildings shown in the footage, the Wiltern Theater is still standing today.

The video is almost nostalgic in a sense. At this time, L.A. was like a mix of old and new. Cars were just gaining popularity, and electric streetcars were still being used. Ads were painted on all of the buildings. Population-wise, it compares the L.A. we know today. Absolutely packed full of people. The population in Los Angeles in 1930 was around 1.2 million. Currently, the population has more than tripled in size, to around 3.9 million.

While we may see some familiar landmarks in the footage, perhaps the most iconic of all is missing. At this time, there were no stars on Hollywood Boulevard. The first eight stars would be inlaid on the Walk of Fame in 1958.

Gridlocked Traffic Helped Judy Norton Remember Her Lines

Move aside, sunny Los Angeles weather. We know the real reason why the entertainment industry does so well here. You know that scene at the beginning of La La Land, where Emma Stone’s character is stuck in traffic practicing her lines? Turns out, that’s pretty accurate.

Judy Norton, a star on the show The Waltons, has attributed her success to all of the times she’s been stuck in traffic. Apparently, being gridlocked gives you ample time to study your lines. Hey, whatever works, right?