Charles Phoenix slide of the week: miniature garden railroad, LA County Fair, 1952

California 20th century populuxe historian Charles Phoenix has collected a zillion photo slides taken in the 1950s and 1960s and he travels around giving slide show presentations to large audiences. He also has a fun "slide of the week" mailing list.

09 15 05 Minigardenrailroad Lacountyfair 1952Every year I recommend the gigantic kitsch fest to even my most jaded and snooty friends – and they love it too!!! And if you think the fair is beneath your station in life- think again – really! I'm here to tell you it's is Southern California's BEST KEPT SECRET.

The grand scale pop-culture gadget, garden and barnyard showcase is set in a treasure trove of vintage architecture, public art, neon signs, landscaping and unique permanent attractions from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. While Disneyland celebrates its 50th year the Los Angeles County Fair continues in Pomona where it began 83 years ago in 1922.  Pomona, by the way, is the city named for the Roman Goddess of Fruit – how perfect is that!

Among the endless wonderland of mesmerizing things to see there is this week's slide of the Sunset Drive-in Movie Theater in THE MINIATURE GARDEN RAILROAD, LOS ANGELES COUNTY FAIR, POMONA, 1952. The Sunset Drive-in is Southern California's oldest and most charming outdoor movie theater. The screen is a television, the cars are promotional models. The show still starts at dawn every year during the fair.