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1920's & '30s "On the Nickel."

During the 1920's Downtown LA and 5th and Main, had its share of dance halls, speakeasy's and gambling dens, both up-scale and bowery type. Vice 'payoffs' went directly into the LAPD coffers, special slush funds, and into the Mayor's office.

Next page in this series @ bottom right.

c. 1920
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5th & Main on the Dawn of the 'Jazz Age'.

TO LIVE IN THE 1920's, A Short Movie, click.

c. 1924-5. Bert Green Gallery is now on the left.
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Densly packed businesses and commerce @ 5th & Main. Pharmaka Gallery is now on the right corner.

c. 1931
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The pace of 5th & Main slows during the depression. The start of empty store fronts begins slowly.

c. 1939
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This is a photo taken about a year and a half before the beginning of World War II.

AUDIO: Al Jolson, (the first man to sing in a movie- "The Jazz Singer" c.1929), is singing here "California Here I Come."

"Downtown in the 1920's was a fast moving, busy place with sidewalks filled with people. The rumble of the streetcars filled your ears. There was fresh hope in the air after World War I. I got a job Downtown with a Chinese merchant. It lasted only 4 days. My father thought it scandalous that I would work for a Chinese, or for that matter that I worked at all, 'unfit for a girl' he would say." - Florence Nightingale Bofto, 1970 account of life in Downtown LA.

THE GREAT DEPRESSION

January, 1930
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This is 5th & Main at the beginning of the Great Depression.

"I remember we had two good friends that almost overnight were thrown out of their posh apartments in Downtown. Their husbands were out of work and lost money in wayward investments. It was horrible. Stores were closing. LA became rather bleak economically with the exception of the movie industry. Prices started to slide on everything. If you had money it was like a God-send. If not, you suffered without local or federal relief." From a conversation with Margarite & George Gwinn, 1979-80.

c. 1938
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There was another economic 'downturn' in 1938.

(Link below) Visit 1940's & '50's 5th & Main.

1940's & 1950's