Although millions of people drive on the busy streets and freeways of Los Angeles, only a few know about the massive network of tunnels under them. Some of the tunnels were used by law enforcement to transport dangerous prisoners such as Charles Manson. There were reports of mob activity in the tunnels in the past. Movie scenes were filmed in them, and they were used for foot traffic during the early days of the city. However, they were used heavily during prohibition for smuggling alcohol.
The Tunnels And Prohibition
When Prohibition started, many of the saloons and pubs in Los Angeles closed. However, some turned into storefronts. According to Downtown Weekly, the King Eddy Saloon survived the era and is still open. It was a piano store when Prohibition started, and the saloon existed as a secret speakeasy in the basement. Although many buildings in Los Angeles lacked basements, some of the buildings in the area had them to connect to the tunnels. The murals on the walls of the original King Eddy Saloon speakeasy are still there. They show faded maps of the tunnels with locations of other speakeasies and smuggling routes, and they provide clues about what went on in the mysterious tunnels during Prohibition. An old door in the basement used to connect the speakeasy to the tunnel network. However, it is sealed today.
Are The Tunnels Accessible Today?
Today, the tunnels are full of graffiti and abandoned speakeasies. Most of them are closed to the public for safety reasons and for crime prevention. Although it is also officially closed to the public, there is still one elevator that is connected to the mysterious tunnels behind the Hall of Records. City employees use it to take shortcuts through the tunnels to other buildings.