In the 1960’s, documentary filmmaker Edmund Penny wrote (and said): “A place apart. A world of its own. A hill in the city of Los Angeles. A remnant of America at the turn of the century. This hill is waiting. Waiting for the bulldozer. The bucket crane. Bunker Hill is waiting to be leveled — to make way for a new world: of concrete, steel and glass. Still: this place is part of our heritage, as the concrete, steel and glass will someday be. And something more will fall when the hill is torn away. A Magic Chariot! A gaudy-colored Chariot that can still take us back to the World of the Near Past.”
Well, the good news is that the Magic Chariot survived! Put in storage in 1969, the Angels Flight Railway finally was restored and reopened for service in 1996 — in the middle of the “new world of concrete, steel and glass.” Mr. Penny’s extraordinary 15-minute film, shot in 16 mm, shows Bunker Hill as it was at the time that buildings on the Hill were being demolished all around Angels Flight — whose cars kept on moving up and down their tracks, just as they do today.