Wish Chinatown Happy 71st Birthday | NBC Southern California

Wish Chinatown Happy 71st Birthday

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    New Chinatown throws a birthday party on Saturday, June 27th

    So many Los Angeles enclaves and neighborhoods have stories that mirror movies, with twists and turns and surprise endings. But we wouldn't expect any different in this city.

    One famous example: Chinatown. There was an Old Chinatown, complete with opera house, then a New Chinatown, and an elaborate China City, which was located closer to Union Station and had been developed along the same lines as Olvera Street. And at one point, Chinatown was moved to where Little Italy had been.

    Celebrating the 71st anniversary of New Chinatown -- the area with the famous, much-photographed gateway, the bright, strung-across lanterns, the wishing well where one tries for "happiness" or "vacation" or other desirable ends -- is on tap for the neighborhood on Saturday night, June 27th. There's a '50s vibe to the festival, which will feature acrobats, a look back at how the district came to be, and dancing. And it is free.

    Visiting the Central Plaza at twilight, right when the neon flickers on and the bustle of Broadway settles down, is a true pleasure of our city. Not to be missed.