Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Clowns, trains, food, and fun highlighted the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation’s public “Big Top” celebration Monday, January 13, for its new circus train exhibit at Philippe the Original French Dip Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
The public enjoyed stories from former trapeze artist Wini McKay who owns L.A. Circus, a sprawling store of 19,000 circus props, while Tuba the Clown will entertain adults and children alike with tales of living on an actual circus train. The evening included a free screening of The Greatest Show on Earth, a 1952 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and stars Betty Hutton, Charlton Heston, Cornel Wilde, and James Stewart.
The dinner event, which began at 5:30 pm on January 13, featured the public debut of LARHF’s new circus train room at Philippe’s, which has been redesigned with eye-popping replicas of vintage color posters and a O-scale model circus train. The new display complements LARHF’s existing satellite exhibit in the same dining room, which currently spotlights the theme “Hollywood’s Golden Spike” using models and rare photography that illustrate the movie and television industry’s coverage of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.
The Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation was founded in 2000 to preserve and present Southern California’s dynamic rail transportation history. LARHF hosts field trips to railroad and transit facilities, offers a Scouting Merit Badge Program in railroad safety and careers, and maintains an extensive vintage photography archive and library for historians. The foundation operates eight history exhibits in public spaces from downtown Los Angeles to Orange County and Riverside. Offices are located at 825 Colorado Blvd., Suite 242, in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock), and its resources are available to media and historians.
The O-gauge circus train to go on permanent display at Philippe's and be unveiled January 13th.