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Arts and Entertainment

Videos: Driving In Toluca Lake In The Late 1950s

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Bob's Big Boy, 2013 (Photo by Culture Shlock via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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If you head to Bob's Big Boy on Riverside Drive Friday evenings between 3 and 10, you'll be treated to a trip back in time courtesy the classic cars (and their accompanying enthusiasts) in the parking lot. Thanks to this set of video clips featuring footage shot in the late 1950s, you can take a virtual drive along that same road, and pass not only Bob's Big Boy in its early years, but a few other places from decades ago.

Although the videos are labeled 1955 on YouTube, one standout historic spot seen in the clips is the International House of Pancakes, and since that was the first IHOP ever, opened in 1958, that means the date of these videos has actually got to be after July 1958. Incidentally, Mo's restaurant stands in its place, but one hint of the old IHOP remains courtesy the sign holder that hovers over Riverside Drive.

While you may best know this strip of Riverside Drive for being home to the usual array of retailers, like Starbucks and Trader Joe's, check out how many beautiful blinking neon signs beckoned, for the imbibers at the Money Tree to the shoppers at the drugstore. Present day dwellers may see that Paty's, which opened in 1960, was previously Gaby's. And the vacant spaces...oh, the vacant spaces!

Besides being evidently pivotal in mid-century diner-style eats, Toluca Lake also is home to an actual lake, and is where celebs like Bob Hope called home.

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