Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Check out this awesome 1970s Metro promotional video

Oh man, this is great. DCist published a real gem: a 1970s promotional film for our Metro system. The video shows the brand new Red Line, which was the only line operational when the system launched, running from Farragut North to Rhode Island Avenue. This film includes Dupont Circle Station, so it must have been from around 1977, when that station opened.

There's has a lot of amusing throwbacks, but at the same time it has a lot of things we'd recognize today: namely that the cars and stations look identical. Amusingly, a lot of the people in the film look like they could be stylish folks today (or, less charitably, a DCist commenter joked "Man, the 70s sure had a lot of f**king hipsters.") That said, I could go for more afros these days.

Some of the predictions are a little out there though, like that you could travel from Shaw to Medical Center in 13 minutes or East Falls Church to Metro Center in 12. Maybe that would happen if the trains skipped every station in between and time somehow slowed down. They also talk about "no long waits, just train after train moving people" -- joke's on you, Red Line.

There's also a few other interesting historical nuggets, like the shots of big parking lots downtown. Those are mostly gone, as the last ones I can think of around New York Avenue and 5th Street have been condo-ified. There's also the Union Station-Visitors Center Station, named for the National Visitor Center, a plan to turn Union Station into a tourist hub for folks visiting our fair city and its monuments. However, it failed to attract many people and closed in 1978, so the station was renamed. Occasionally you can still see an old sign with that name on it -- mainly pylons whose updated station lists have fallen off.

But that said, I really like it, it's kind of strangely heart-warming. What do you think?

1 comment:

Jacqui said...

I loved it! Thought it was kind of crazy to see someone in a wheelchair using the escalator. I also wonder when the, "stand on the left, walk on the right," thing started because it sure wasn't in place when this video was shot. People also just walked onto the train before letting people off first in this video. Apparently we're a bit more civilized now.