LA’s streetcars under festive Christmas decorations: Span wires made convenient

By Ralph Cantos

Over the decades, Christmas time always meant Christmas decorations  mounted to street lights and more often, hanging from LARY-LATL-MTA and PE overhead span wires.

The overhead span wires made it very easy to hang decorations along many important avenues and boulevards when LA’s once-vast streetcar system covered the city.

In later years, Hollywood Boulevard, Pacific Boulevard in Huntington Park, and Brand Boulevard in Glendale always displayed beautiful, often illuminated holiday decorations.

Before the out break of World War II, Broadway and 7th Streets in Downtown Los Angekles also went all-out to celebrate the  Christmas season with decorations hanging from LARY span wires.

Its believed that Christmas 1941 was the last time Downtown LA went all out with  the decorations.

In this 1940 colorized black-and-white photo, LARY no. 3029 working the J line turns off of 7th street onto Grand Ave.  Holiday shoppers add to the festive atmosphere.

Incredible crowds fill the sidewalks and streetcar safety zones at Broadway & 7th at Christmas time 1940. Decorations hanging from span wires add to the festive season. A near-new P-1 PCC working the P line takes on passengers.

The last Christmas for the PE cars on Hollywood Boulevard: Its Christmas time 1953 on Hollywood Blvd. Festive decorations hang form PE’s overhead, a yearly seen that took place for decades.

The last Christmas for Pacific Electric cars on Brand Boulevard: It’s Christmas time on Brand Boulevard. Decorations hang from PE’s magnificent catenary overhead. The beautiful decorations eclipsed only by the beauty of the 5028. Roger Titus photo.

Los Angeles Transit Lines no. 3165 rolls along East First Street in this  Christmas 1957 photo. Today, the 3165 rolls on at the OERM museum in Perris, California.

The last Christmas for LA’s PCCs in Huntington Park: this beautiful photo take by Harry D. Peat shows LAMTA no. 3046 as she swings off of Pacific Boulevard and onto Florence Avenue at Christmas time 1962. The motorman stopped the 3046 momentarily and smiled so Harry could get this timeless photo.

This is it for decorations of any type that will hang from overhead span wires along Pacific Boulevard. The J line will become history just 4 months after this photo was taken.

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  • Thomas O’Connell

    Great Memories!

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Los Angeles Transit Lines no.3010 at South Park Paint ShopPE 614 at First and Hill Street in 1923