An audiovisual salute to the 50th anniversary of the opening of the “Jet Age” Los Angeles International Airport will screen at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18 at the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum in the airport’s Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway.
The program will feature rare photographs and archival film clips of development of LAX since the opening ceremonies for the present airport complex in June 1961. Airport historian Ethel Pattison, who was present at the opening, and Jorge Chavez of the museum staff supervised the production and will narrate the program.
When jet passenger service began at LAX, the airport’s existing terminal complex was completely redesigned, Flight Path President Rowena Ake said.
Terminals were relocated from 1940s-era structures on the south side of Century Boulevard to the present complex west of Sepulveda Boulevard. Old-fashioned passenger stair ramps were replaced by level “jet-ways,” giving travelers direct access from boarding areas to aircraft, Ake said. Other additions included a new control tower and the now-landmark Theme Building.
The opening ceremony on June 25, 1961 featured Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as the keynote speaker. Honored guests included Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Najeeb E. Halaby and his young daughter Lisa, who later became Queen Noor of Jordan. Newly-elected Mayor Sam Yorty and outgoing Mayor Norris Poulson also were present, as were Los Angeles City Councilman L.E. Timberlake, LAX General Manager Francis Fox and airport commissioners.
“This remarkable production chronicles a truly historic transformation of Southern California’s primary airport,” said Ake. “This is a rare opportunity for the public to view these fascinating materials from the LAX archives.”
Admission and parking are free.
Information, (424) 646-7284 or www.flightpath.us.