Free screening of "The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound" and vintage Western wear fashion show on May 31

Image courtesy of Assertion Films.

Image courtesy of Northern Arizona University, Cline Library.

Mark your calendars for the next Metro Presents event! Metro and Assertion Films will host a free screening of the new documentary, “The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound,” at Union Station on Saturday, May 31.

The film will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Fred Harvey Room, but you’ll want to arrive early to check out the vintage Western clothing fashion show at 7:15 p.m. Following the movie there will be a Q & A session with the filmmakers and with former Harvey Girl Hilda Velarde Salas, who is featured in the documentary. Historic artifacts from Women in Railroading will also be on display.

Seating is limited, so show your TAP card at check-in to gain access to preferential seating. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed, or you can pre-order a box dinner from Traxx Restaurant–present your TAP card upon pick-up to get 10 percent off your meal. To pre-order box dinners, contact Traxx at 213-625-1999. There will also be coffee, hot chocolate, water and snacks for purchase at the event (cash only).

“The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound” offers an inside look at how more than 100,000 rail station waitresses changed history by opening the doors of the American West to women. The “Harvey Girls” worked from the 1880s through the 1960s at railroad restaurants and hotels operated by the Fred Harvey Company. The Union Station restaurant was open from 1939 to 1967. For more information and to view the trailer, visit the film’s webpage.

“In the 1880s, it was a radical innovation to employ women as waitresses on a large scale and send them west,” said “Harvey Girls” executive producer Katrina Parks. “For women, it was an amazing opportunity to be independent. You could leave home, explore the American West and live in protected circumstances while earning enough money to send back to your family.”

“Our plan with this ongoing series is to activate the various grand spaces of Union Station in creative ways so people have the chance to keep rediscovering this special L.A. place and experience it in new ways,” said Maya Emsden, Deputy Executive Officer in Metro Countywide Planning. “Because we offer perks like preferred seating to TAP card holders, it’s also an opportunity to entice people to take transit, sometimes for the first time.”

The public film screenings continue Metro Presents, the program of arts and cultural events at Union Station. Past events featured screenings of “Chinatown” and “Strangers on a Train,” live music performances by jazz, swing and salsa bands, a theatrical magic show and a dessert giveaway celebrating the rare convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use the Trip Planner for routes and connections. Car and bicycle parking are also available on site.

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