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LAistory: Get Involved!

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In our weekly LAistory series we take a look at the people, places, and events in our city's amazing history. Our topics range from the long-forgotten, old familiar, or completely new to Angelenos, and hopefully our work reminds you that although our city is rich with history. Some of you may want to learn more and do your own this week we're bringing you some cool historical events that are happening that can help take you back in time. And in the meanwhile, if you have a person, place, or event you want to see covered in LAistory, use the comments to let us know! Our detectives will get on the case.

Photo of Heritage Square Museum by Ken Johnson from 2007, used with permission

Highland Park Heritage Trust's Old Fashioned Picnic
Help celebrate 25 years of architectural preservation, education and advocacy in the Northeast Los Angeles area by taking a trip back in time on the lawn of the Heritage Square Museum. The Highland Park Heritage Trust is hosting an old fashioned picnic, which will include family games such as three-legged races, sack races, and blind man's bluff and even a cupcake contest. Your admission gets you a hot dog (including the option to anachronistic and have a veggie dog), lemonade, and a tour of the Heritage Square Museum.

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Sunday, Octber 12 | 1-5 p.m. | Adults $10; Kids $5 or under 5 are free

Raise Funds for the Restoration of the Rialto Theatre
A screening of "Local Color"--the soon-to-be-released film about a young art student and his elderly genius mentor--is taking place tomorrow as a fundraiser for the historic Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena. The screening is presented by the California Art Club (the film was done by artist and CAC member George Gallo) and is just one of the art-related events the organization is sponsoring with the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce as part of Rialto Visions: Icons & Landmarks of South Pasadena. Rialto Visions will kick off on the day of the screening with Club artists setting up their easels for a plein air “paint-out” of the 1925 theatre and other sites within the city, which is open to the public for participation. Selections from the event's artwork will be put on exhibition and sale at the SoPas Gallery in November. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director and filmmakers. The Rialto closed its doors in August 2007.

Screening: Sunday, October 12 @7:15 p.m. | Tickets: $10 (Purchase at the door)

A Movie Theatre and the Man Behind It
Learn more about Sid Grauman and Broadway's first movie palace (1918) in a presentation by theatre historian and activist Ed Kelsey. Tour the far reaches of Downtown's Million Dollar Theater - from the boiler room to the projection booth, from backstage to the balcony. Discover hidden treasures covered by later renovations, and learn what the future holds for this incredible theatre from the visionaries who are making it happen. This is part of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation's "All About" series, which gets people behind the scenes and deep inside our city's amazing show palaces.

Saturday, October 18, 10:30 am (Doors open at 10 a.m.) | Free Admission

All About the Port
Dr. Geraldine Knatz, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles will deliver an exciting presentation highlighting stories from the history of the port from 1850 to 1945, taking place next Sunday at the Mark Taper Auditorium of the LA Central Library. Knatz will describe the turmoil and battle between descendants of the Banning family and the railroads for developing the port as well as current efforts to preserve and restore the archives of the Port of Los Angeles. She will also offer an excerpt from a rare 1920 film of a flight from the one-time busiest airport in the country, the Wilmington Catalina Airport. The event is sponsored by the Los Angeles City Historical Society.

Sunday, October 19, 2:00 p.m. | Admission is free

Join a Historical Society/Preservation Group
There are at last count over 200 historical organizations in Los Angeles. Earlier this year many of them got together in the hopes of forming an alliance at the Heritage Day event, but if you are passionate about a neighborhood, a preservation issue, or a time in history, you can surely find a group that needs your membership. Or, you can test the waters by participating in some of the amazing events these groups put on, like the LA Conservancy, whose walking tours are wonderful experiences for residents and visitors alike. (We loved the Angeleno Heights tour!) And although sometimes the groups get bad press, most do good work, and help us learn, explore, and connect with our past, with a goal of keeping the history alive for the future.

LAistory is our series that takes us on a journey to what came before to help us understand where we are today.

Check out our other entries in the series:

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Val Verde
Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe
An eclectic house in Beverly Hills
Echo Park's Bonnie Brae House
Marineland of the Pacific
Grand Central Air Terminal
LA's Own Wrigley Field
How LA got its name
The wreck of the Dominator
The 1925 "Hollywood Subway."
The Pink Lady of Malibu
Lions Drag Strip
Disneyland...when it was cheap to get in
The ugliest building in the city
Union Station
Union Station's Fred Harvey Room
A Smelly Mystery at another train station
The Egyptian Theatre
Pilgrimage Bridge
The "It" Girl, Clara Bow
Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin

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