Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Jan. 30, 1980: News vendor Art Price at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. This photo was published in the Feb. 10, 1980 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Armstrong / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 30, 1980: News vendor Joe Marasco at corner of 6th and Western. This photo was published in the Feb. 10, 1980 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Armstrong / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 30, 1980: News vendor Bill Whiting at corner of Beverly and La Cienega.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Armstrong / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 30, 1980: News vendor Jim Hodge at 1st and San Pedro Streets in Little Tokyo. This photo was published in the Feb. 10, 1980 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Armstrong / Los Angeles Times

April 10, 1985: Leon Blow, left, sells notary service along with the news from his downtown corner at Temple and Hill streets. This photo was published in the April 28, 1985 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Penni Gladstone / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 8, 1974: A street edition of the Los Angeles Times on sale at news stand at Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St. in Hollywood with latest news on the upcoming resignation of Pres. Richard Nixon. That evening Nixon announced his resignation.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

March 17, 1986: Gary Jochimsen, an unemployed actor, has found work in another field. He works the graveyard shift at a Sherman Oaks newsstand. This photo was published in the March 27, 1986 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

March 17, 1989: Sherman Oaks Newsstand, open 24 hours a day at Ventura and Van Nuys boulevards. This photo was published in the March 30, 1989 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Toru Kawana / Los Angeles Times

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News vendors, an endangered species

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News vendors, an endangered species

Following World War II, Los Angeles’ rapid changes doomed the street corner vendor selling newspapers.

Staff writer Valerie Shaw explained in the Feb. 10, 1980, Los Angeles Times:

Just in case no one remembers, that sky-blue wooden kiosk at the northwest corner of Sunset and Vine was designed and built by legendary nightclub entrepreneur Earl Carroll in the 1920s. He was seeking a cosmopolitan, urbane touch of the still largely rural Hollywood.

Gone are the open spaces as Hollywood literally has grown up around the newsstand, a newsstand with a tradition and sense of permanence all its own.

As so it is with many news vendors, people with a tradition, a sense of permanence. Consider the present occupant of the sky-blue kiosk, Art Price, who has been selling papers and magazines at the corner and watching people and events there for almost 50 years. …

Art Price is one of about 100 remaining corner newspaper vendors in the Los Angeles Area. Their numbers are down from the thousands during the ’30s and through World War II. There are reasons for their decline: the increase of home delivery, inflation, electronic instant news (it made their shouting “Extra!” obsolete) and a growing number of suburban retail stores with their modernistic paper racks.

They prospered in Los Angeles through the first half of the century. An ambitious vendor – shouting headlines at motorists and pedestrians – could clear as much as $200 a week.

“Those were the days, before World War II, when we made more in tips than in commission off the papers,” said Price.

But an event right before the start of the war may have been the critical date in the future of Los Angeles news vendors. It was Dec. 30, 1940, the day the Arroyo Seco Parkway–it’s called the Pasadena Freeway now – was completed. No one recognized the fact then, but the first Los Angeles freeway was to symbolize a change. Once World War II would be over and gasoline plentiful again, Southern Californians would get off their streetcars and into their automobiles. Freeways would be built and destinations determined by exits and entrances rather than corners and miles. The news vendor, as of Dec. 30, 1940, would become an endangered entrepreneur. ..

The first four images in the above gallery by staff photographer Larry Armstrong accompanied Shaw’s story in the Feb. 10, 1980, Los Angeles Times. The additional images are from the same print file in the Los Angeles Times archives.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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