LAX Mosaic Tiles

During a private tour for this LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE article, I had the great pleasure of being escorted by LAX experts on the tunnels. I filmed this quick clip of one of their LAX's employees explaining the significance of the tiles.

Movies such as, "POINT BLANK", "MIDNIGHT MADNESS", "AIRPLANE!", "JACKIE BROWN", "HIGH ANXIETY" and THE GRADUATE were all shot in this mid century space age tunnel...

Screen grab from SUNDAY IN NEW YORK, 1963

                                                    Screen grab from THE LOVED ONE, 1965

    "Point Blank" 1967

Robert Hayes in "AIRPLANE"

                                                       "Jackie Brown" 1997

                       Don Draper/ Mad Men scene filmed on the rolling walkway at LAX

Learn more about the artist, Charles D. Kratka Here

The Tiles can also be seen in this super fabulous Youtube clip from THE ROCKFORD FILES. Music by Jack Nietzsche has been brilliantly been edited in.

Footage of the airport with special attention to the mosaic tile walkways designed by Charles Kratka

Lucy at the ceremony of Tunnel 4 in 1963!

                        This is from original press release for the general Jet Age Airport. 

Danny Hutton, June Fairchild, David Anderle, his wife Sheryl, Mark Volman, Chrissie Jolly, Jules Seigel, Michael Vosse, Dean Torrance (hidden), Diane Rovell, Marilyn Wilson, Brian, Annie Hinsche, Brian Wilson & Barbara Rovell-Gaddy inside the LAX MOSAIC TUNNELS 

     Mad Men publicity shoot - 2014/ Click here to see Don Draper pass by the tiles!

Alison Martino is a writer, television producer and personality, and L.A. pop culture historian. She founded the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles in 2010. In addition to CityThink and VLA, Martino muses on L.A’s. past and present on Twitter and Instagram.

Alison is also currently a columnist for Los Angeles Magazine.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I'm coming to LA next month for my husband's work, and you reminded me to see the Astroway this time! Thanks for the history -- I love the color symbolism.

  3. Charles Kratka did not conceptualize and design this tile wall! My Mother's cousin, Janet Bennett, worked for the design firm under Mr. Kratka, whose sole contribution was the approval of the use of tiles as the medium. I can testify this iconic work was thought of and created by Janet, who deserves the artistic credit. I am now 61 years old and this has been known by my entire family since we were young children. Janet Bennett is alive and well and still creating art in NYC! - MIM

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hello, anonymous! Please give me as much information on this and I will of course update this article. I meant no disrespect. I was just mentioning that it was indeed Kratka’s design firm who was behind it. I would love to add any additional historical information as I can and give the artists and creators props for all they contributed and created! Thank you! -Alison

    3. Alison, thanks for the opportunity to set this straight. The architects of the LAX terminal buildings were Periera and Luckman. Charles Kratka was the head of the interior dept. He gave me the assignment to design a mural that worked for the 5 terminals. It was then my project from concept,to scale mock up, to the preliminary drawings. I am gratified that the mosaics arie still appreciated after all this time!

  4. Wow is just the simple word that may explain that how much I liked it. It was nicely stuffed with the material I was looking for. It’s great to be here though by chance.
    Mosaic south africa

  5. Hello - I am interested in connecting with Janet Bennett and her family as my father Alfonso Pardinas and his firm Byzantine Mosaics executed this mural at LAX and many many other pieces at San Francisco International Airport, BART stations in the Bay Area and many other well known pieces. I too am working to get him credited for all the many pieces all over US but mainly in California. Can view this Pinterest page for some additional details I can be reached my website Thank you! Ilka Erren Pardinas

  6. My father's company, Carrara Marble Company installed these tile walls. G?

  7. My father's company, Carrara Marble Company installed these tile walls. G?

  8. Interesting how difficult is to maintain great look at these tiles. I also work with stained glass and mosaic tiles and it seems to fade and scratch from time to time. Sometimes tiles can secede when damaged or because of a bad installation.


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