Touted as a “love letter to LA”, La La Land championed some of Los Angeles’ most easily recognisable landmarks. But one, where Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian and Emma Stone’s Mia shared one of their first kisses, might have been a mystery to travellers who’ve visited the city in the past few years.
In fact, the pair were perched inside the delightfully vintage Angels Flight Railway. Comprised of two cars – named Sinai and Olivet – it’s regularly touted as the world’s shortest at just 90m (though that honour officially belongs to the Fisherman’s Walk Cliff Railway in Bournemouth, UK, which stretches just 39m).
Sadly, the 116-year-old funicular – a kind of inclined cliff-side railway – was closed almost four years ago after it derailed on a trip down Bunker Hill in 2013. It was secretly re-opened for filming on the movie and, this week, it’ll re-open to the public following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that saw safety features totally overhauled.
Angels Flight has a storied history: after making its debut on December 31, 1901, it’s operated intermittently, and was shut down in the late ’60s and placed in storage, where it would stay for almost three decades. When it reopened in 1996, it was relocated half a block south before closing down again in 2001.
When it reopens on August 31, Angels Flight will be open between 6:45am and 10pm daily (holidays included). The railway’s top station is located at California Plaza, 350 South Grand Avenue, while the lower station is located at 351 South Hill Street, across from Grand Central Market. Fares cost $1USD each way.
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Kristen Amiet is a previous AWOL editor, bona fide travel addict, sometimes whisky drinker and full-time breakfast food enthusiast.