Old photographs from the infamous police department will be on display inside a fake police station at Paramount Studios.

An estimated one million images taken by Los Angeles Police Department officers and criminologists since the 1920s sit in storage at the City Records Center in downtown L.A. Later this month, 50 of these photographs will be on exhibit inside a fake police station at Paramount Studios.

The second annual Paris Photo Los Angeles has put together Unedited! The LAPD Photo Archive as part of its massive photo fair at Paramount Studios from April 25 through 27. The shots, most uncredited and taken between 1930 and 1960, show black-and-white crime reenactments, forensic scenes, even robbery notes. 

The full LAPD collection came to life in 2001, when local photographer and LAPD reserve officer Merrick Morton pored through them to show at a gallery he co-owns with his wife.

Though influenced by that exhibit, Paris Photo curator Julien Frydman brings a new, outsider perspective to the collection, one that plays with the idea of "old L.A." imagined through film and media. The mysterious photographs appear almost as film noir stills, creating what Frydman says, is something "lost between fiction and reality."

Detail of bullet holes in screen. Date: 2/3/1930. Photographer: Driver
Detail of two bullet holes in car window. Date: 10/10/1942. Photographer: Unknown
"Onion Field" reenactment with suspect, Jimmy Lee Smith, and detectives. Date: 1963. Photographer: Unknown
Victims feet hanging off bed. Date: 9/13/1934. Photographer: Oliver

Top image: "Stick up don't move smile" bank robbery note. Date: 11/3/1965. Photographer: Unknown

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  3. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  4. Amazon HQ2

    New York’s Ejection of Amazon Is the Start of a Movement

    NYC lawmakers who led a resistance campaign against HQ2 are declaring victory. And already, they have plans to escalate their opposition to tax incentives.

  5. a photo of high-speed rail tracks under construction in Fresno, California.
    Transportation

    Think of California High-Speed Rail as an $11 Billion Streetcar

    California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to complete only a Central Valley segment of the rail link risks turning the transportation project into an economic development tool.