Echo Park Lake A Go-Go*

Image from YouTube

Prepare yourself for bikinis, miniskirts and 1960s pop music featured in the above Scopitone film shot at Echo Park Lake. What is Scopitone? A Scoptione was a “film jukebox,” a strange bit of post-war technology that played records and displayed specially made 16 mm films that many consider precursors to music videos.  Invented in France, the Scopitone spread to America, where about 500 of them were in operation by 1964, according to Wikipedia.  The above  Scopitone film featuring  singer Jody Miller,who sang the 1960 song “Things” as she strolled around Echo Park Lake accompanied by bikini-clad dancers frolicking by the lotus bed and swaying on lake bridge. Can’t wait for bikini season to return to Echo Park.

* Update: Sandy Driscoll, an Eastsider reader and sponsor, forwarded the video to Jody Miller. Miller’s email reply:

How fun!  Thanks so much for this.  Love you guys! Jody

No comments

  1. waiting for the “those stupid 60s hipsters” and “this video is to blame for every shooting in echo park ever” type comments. ; P

  2. SolanoCanyonPop

    fun video.

    i believe its mid-60s. 65-67.

  3. I think that shootings are related to the lack of bikini clad women Mark. That is enough to drive any person attracted to the female form to violence.

  4. This is a great video! Credit should be given to the folks at Hidden LA for first posting on their Facebook tho. Just saying!

  5. @ local and La Loma Chola. Sorry didn’t notice this on Echo Park Now earlier this year and I don’t visit Hidden LA that much (but should). The above video has been on YouTube for more than three years. Not sure if anyone posted it earlier than that.

    PS: I got the link to video from a friend, who got it from a former professor of hers who lives in Santa Monica.

  6. This is the very essence of awesome. A song about the devastation of heartbroken isolation that’s got a good beat you can dance to. I give it an 8!

    To those taking Eastsider LA to task for not linking to other blogs/Facebook pages on which this YouTube clip appeared. I give them a 0.

  7. Fantastic video! And for EPN’s childishness both here and on Twitter on wanting credit for first reposting someone else’s YouTube video, they just lost a reader and follower.

  8. At a time when you could get two or three plays on a regular jukebox, the Scopitone cost 75 cents for one play–but they were still popular in a limited way.
    Not much of a catalog of films as I remember…and the unit was about as wide as a jukebox, but twice as tall.
    But how great that local history lives on in one of their offerings.

  9. I watched this a second time to see if the lotus flowers were in the background. They weren’t, but the lily pads were! They are so missed, and I hope after the lake renovation, they will be back! Charming video.

  10. I’m cracking up at EPN wanting credit. I posted this video this week too, which ma have been where Eastsider saw it. But I’m not asking for credit… who cares! I’ve been long-obsessed with Scopitones, Cineboxes, Soundies and Panorams, so I didn’t discover it via EPN either though. I posted a few Scopitones on a whim this week as fun Memorial Day filler… but have been putting a “Scopitone/ Cinebox/ Soundie of the Day” on my personal Facebook page for ages. EPN has had nothing to do with it.

    Personally, I’d like to give Spike Priggen and Scopitone.com a ginormous shoutout of credit and thanks for uploading these long lost videos to youtube in the first place. They’ve done a *fantastic* job of sharing these incredibly awesome images with the world. Without their efforts and youtube’s existence, none of us would probably even know these Scopitones existed to post on our stupid little blogs. And I’m just glad they do.

  11. I grew up on Lakewood Avenue, just up the street from the Michelangelo restaurant, which for years was the dingy “Auto Bar.” When the owners of Flor Morena restaurant (prior to Michelangelo) were rehabbing the property, they exposed the sign (see the link below), which must have been a pre-Auto Bar business in that location. Anyway, the bikiined woman in the drawing seems to be doing a similar dance-gyration as the bikini-clad women in the video. Must have been a mid-60’s thing.


  12. Well, how sweet was that! Never heard of a Scopitone or Jodi Miller, but what a nice surprise . Thanks for the holiday cheer !
    Did there used to be those little sailboats on the lake for public use?

  13. So references, credit and history don’t matter, @hiddenLA?
    Whatever, hipster.

  14. hey @vigo. nice way to trash the community. you must feel really cool being an anarchist, wearing your black hoodie, burning trashcans. real cool man.

  15. cidade,
    you used @ in front of the person you’re referencing. you’re not allowed to call someone a hipster.

    awesome video! maybe i’ll facebook it, but then i’d have to attach a work cited…

  16. hiddenLA: “I posted this video this week too, which ma have been where Eastsider saw it. But I’m not asking for credit… who cares!”

    Riiight. You’re not asking for credit.
    You’re just posting a comment on the eastsider’s blog claiming credit.

    Nicely done.

  17. because only hipsters understand communication technology?

    nice sense of privilege, @nomames. if that is your real name.
    go back to williamsburg.

  18. Ah, James, that was such a great sign.

    I remember when it was still exposed before work started on the rehab. Eventually, people through things through the glass it was painted on and broke it.

    That should have been taken out and saved.

  19. SolanoCanyonPop

    Sure are a lot of trolls with bad attitude on The Eastsider these days.

  20. @SolanoCanyonPop

    There sure are! Perhaps we could spend a few minutes today remembering and honoring what Memorial Day is all about. Take a moment to thank someone for their service…….do a good deed……or just think positively and pay it forward.

  21. I think the point is that someone took the time to do “research” and originally posted the find. Further credit goes to those that have the originals and took the time to post on you tube- Thanks Spike Priggen and Scopitone.com. Lastly, we are not on the Eastside! We are “west” of the LA River.

    Awesome video and the ladies looked super cute.
    ~~La Loma Troll : ) e.h.

  22. What a great find! The park looks so much more lush, I think there were a lot more palm trees standing back then, as I have noticed in other old postcards of the park.

    And another shout-out to Spike Priggen in NYC! Cultural curator extraordinaire and a nice guy!

  23. “So references, credit and history don’t matter, @hiddenLA? Whatever, hipster.”

    Wow, it’s like you’re psychic! If you ever read my work you’ll know I don’t care about history or Los Angeles at all. Why would I! Now someone hand me a delicious PBR…

    “Riiight. You’re not asking for credit. You’re just posting a comment on the eastsider’s blog claiming credit. Nicely done.”

    You’re an idiot troll. Read my full comment, I posted for one reason: to give absolute full and complete credit to Spike Priggen and Scopitone.com for their amazing efforts. They are fantastic and totally deserve full appreciation and as much recognition as they can get.

  24. @hiddenLA, I read your full comment. Here’s what you wrote:

    “I’m cracking up at EPN wanting credit.”

    “have been putting a “Scopitone/ Cinebox/ Soundie of the Day” on my personal Facebook page for ages. EPN has had nothing to do with it.”

    You are quite loudly proclaiming credit for yourself. And you are attacking Echo Park Now without any basis or reason.

    You are a troll AND a hypocrite.

  25. This is the park and the lake I remember.

    Tried to detail in the thread re the renovation/draining/greening of EP Lake — the lake and park is now a ruin, renovation is long overdue. It’s going to be costly, a mess literally and possibly financially but it must be done.

    We all want more public mass trans in LA, but we hate to see streets torn up and/or closed. If we want more innner city rails that’s exactly what must happen. We want less pollution, but most of us drive everywhere. We want a friendlier city but seldom do much to foster that.

    Change ain’t easy, but has to happen. Sorry if you live across from the lake but the proj seems to be going forward. I hope animals get relocated.

    If it isn’t done the lake and park will continue the slide to nothingness (but a dump). Take a look at the video. Even in faded colors the lushness — and beauty — of the lake and park is apparent.

  26. I am laughing at all of you so freaked out about who gets credit for posting stuff that was created years ago…like all of the sudden blogging and copying and pasting URL addresses is some kind of sacred art…get over yourselves all of you…but at the same time thanks for digging this stuff up. I loved this one!

  27. Just to clarify, hiddenLA is the only one freaked out about credit. I don’t know what she has against Echo Park Now, but all they ever did was tweet a link to their old post, with clear appreciation that the video was getting new attention.

    That’s the way it’s supposed to work. You point out the good things in your community and you thank people for bringing attention to it.

    Something must deeply wrong with the community around this website for such a simple courtesy to seem so worthy of scorn. What happened to make the people on this site so bitter and angry?

  28. Hey, hiddenLA. If you don’t care about credit, why are you repeatedly bragging about your prior facebook posts?

    Since you’ve already got a PBR, why don’t pull up your hoodie and ride your fixie on down to the skatepark, hipster carpetbagger.

  29. I’d like to apologize to Echo Park Now for posting that link. On a normal website, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but you people are like a pack of hyenas.

    I am truly sorry. It won’t happen again.

  30. Cidade,
    Sorry, I’m not white, I’m from LA, and not in any form a hipster. You’re going to have to be more original. Or are you a one trick pony?

    I’m tired of “Local” Hipsters thinking they’re entitled to bash Transplant Hipsters. You guys are all corny, unoriginal, pretentious and uppity. And a buzzkill. Hipster.

  31. Teresa Marquez

    Thank you to the Eastsider for bringing this for Memorial Day weekend, however, how does it connect with Memorial Day, besides the 60s where so many Latinos died in Viet Nam and came home unable to work, and now homeless. Do you know that many disable veterans are loosing their homes, and continue to increase the homeless population due to disabilities they came home with and the Veteran Administration is taking years to approve a disability claim or be declined.
    I spoke to a few veterans that continue to persue their disability claims. Many abandon the claims, and the only way to follow up on the claim is standing in line at the VA waiting to get into the building, than a second line to sign up to speak to customer service person, and third waiting to be called to only have the person get on the computor and look up your file and tell you is in review process, or moved to approval, and than waiting to be finalize, each process can take up to two years.
    Who can look at the disfunctional VA services, your congress reps, or senators, well you can write to all your representative, just do not give the name and rank of the disable veteran, because their file will be pooled from the process, and starts all over again or get lost in the process, this discourages any veteran to have rights to questions the process. It is sad that this veterans put their life on the line to protect this country, lost their legs, arms, or eyes and their pride to have to stand in line only to be told, well all this is free to the veterans. Is not free when you gave up your legs, or you life. There is not benefits for widows or children of disable veterans if they cannot get their disabiity approve before they died.

  32. Super cute posting! this is what the web is all about! cool postings that go viral. So great to see some LA history and i’m sure the ladies featured are enjoying this new run of their video. Next time i have a break up, i’m totally going to go dance around the lake in my bikini…

  33. I wonder how many cans of Aqua Net were used.

  34. Why are so many people fighting and arguing on here? The pot calling the kettle black, yeah? So weird, it’s just a damn dance video! Get over yourselves!

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