BEVERLY HILLS ( — A decades-old time capsule was discovered during the renovation of the old Beverly Hills Post Office.

The copper capsule, which was sealed shut 80 years ago, was found by crews who were transforming the historical site into the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts.

“Because it was soldered, water didn’t get into it,” said archivist Gail Stein.

Stein said the time capsule, which had newspapers and photos inside, is a peek into Beverly Hills history: A post-Depression city where stamps cost three cents and Hollywood celebs were on every corner.

“It shows us how people lived, what they thought, what they were doing at the time,” she said. “Beverly Hills was very busy. Fortunately, it was not affected by the Depression as much as other cities.”

While the post office’s artifacts remain, the facility on North Canon Drive actually shut down in the 90s.

Ultimately, a non-profit group decided to restore the building into the performing arts center, which opens in the fall.

Lou Moore, the Annenberg executive director, said, “We’re adapting a historic landmark building and converting it into kind of the heart of the project.”

The center includes a world class 500-seat theater, classrooms, children’s programming, a café, and a gift shop.

“We took existing areas (of the post office), like where they sorted the mail, that’s the studio theater. Where you bought a stamp is where you buy a ticket,” said Moore.

Moore said the center will ask the community for input on what to put in a time capsule from 2013.

“The year we open is the 100th anniversary of Beverly Hills. So the time capsule becomes even more important. But we will be putting in a new one during our dedication ceremony,” she said.


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