“The courtesy of the past is maintained: soft voices, soft footsteps, soft music. The busy world is forgotten. Around the corner they still live as they did yesterday. . . . And who can say which is the envious one? The aged plaza that lifts its tired eyes to the modern, admired City Hall of Los Angeles, or the sunburned building that looks down on the peace and restfulness of the Street of Memory?” So said the narrator of Street of Memory (1937), a tourist-oriented documentary film that attempted to situate Los Angeles’s Olvera Street as a piece of Old Mexico surrounded by a modern American city. The fixation on surviving relics that seemed to defy the march of time was (and is) a tried-and-true way…