KCET, showcasing the best of PBS while being the leading source for arts, culture and news in Southern California, has announced the return of the Emmy-winning historical documentary series “Lost L.A.”
The program is a co-production with the University of Southern California Libraries, part of their long-standing commitment to building public engagement with regional history collections.
Public historian and writer Nathan Masters returns as host with untold histories behind the Red Car rail transit system, winemaking, Los Angeles’ prehistoric landscapes, the Japanese American community of L.A.’s Crenshaw area and L.A. as a sanctuary during World War II for Europe’s most accomplished artists and intellectuals.
Season 5 of “Lost L.A.” premiered on Saturday, March 19, at 9 p.m. on KCET in Southern California with encores airing the following Tuesdays on PBS SoCal at 7 p.m. Following the broadcast, each episode will stream at http://kcet.org/LostLA and http://pbssocal.org/LostLA and on the free PBS app.
“Lost L.A.” explores the region’s hidden past through documents, photos and other rare artifacts from California libraries and archives. Since its premiere in January 2016, the series has continued to challenge the assumption that Los Angeles is a city without a history. Instead, “Lost L.A.” offers a history of Southern California that is not often told, or has been forgotten, bringing primary sources of Los Angeles history to the screen and connecting them to the Los Angeles of today.
The episodes are as follows:
• “Who Killed the Red Car?” — aired March 19 on KCET
Los Angeles dismantled one of the greatest rail transit systems in the nation. In this episode, search for a sunken Red Car off the coast of Redondo Beach, explore remnants of the Pacific Electric, ride a restored streetcar with Southern California Railway Museum co-founder Harvey Laner and visit the site of L.A.’s newest rail transit project, the Crenshaw Line.
• “Winemaking” — aired March 26 on KCET
Before the movies, before aerospace, oranges and oil, there was wine. This episode explores a largely forgotten age when winemaking was Southern California’s principal industry. Pick grapes from the oldest vines in Los Angeles, learn about the laborers who built the industry and meet enterprising winemakers who are resurrecting a long-lost Southern California tradition.
• “Prehistoric Landscapes” — Saturday, April 2, at 9 p.m. on KCET
Southern California’s climate has changed over the millennia. In this episode, sift through a natural archive of climate change at the La Brea Tar Pits, explore the remnants of a sunken super-island off the coast of Ventura and visit a natural tar pit in Ojai that might serve scientists in the distant future.
• “German Exiles” — Saturday, April 9, at 9 p.m. on KCET
During World War II, Los Angeles served as a sunny sanctuary for European artists and intellectuals fleeing Nazi persecution. In this episode, explore the archive of the Nazis’ “Public Enemy Number One” at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library, tour a Pacific Palisades house that hosted spirited literary salons and visit the Paramount Pictures studio lot, where exiles set the stage creatively for the filmmaking industry.
• “From Little Tokyo to Crenshaw” — Saturday, April 16, at 9 p.m. on KCET
Japanese Americans returning from World War II incarceration camps rebuilt their community in L.A.’s Crenshaw area. In this episode, walk through Little Tokyo, explore the archives at the Japanese American National Museum, share a meal at historic Tak’s Cafe, shoot hoops at Dorsey High and consider how the neighborhood’s diverse history intersects with community-building efforts today.
“Lost L.A.” is supported by the California State Library, the Frieda Berlinkski Foundation and other generous institutional funders.
For more information and to watch episodes online, visit http://kcet.org/LostLA.
Join the conversation on social media using #LostLA
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