I’ve gone through all of maps at my California pages in the Signs section at my website and I’m happy to say that most things are still standing or hanging firmly with little human alteration. All of the photos below were taken by me except for the “after” photos snipped from Google Street View (too depressing for me to reshoot).
This sign in Anaheim has been adapted. The Ben-Key Pool Center sign has been reworked for a Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. Here’s the “before”:
and the “after” courtesy of Google Street View:
And many losses — the Stardust Motel sign in Bell in 2014. Replaced with a plastic box reading “Diamond Bell Inn & Suites”:
The Century Bowl in Merced closed in the mid-1990s. This sign stood tall over the vacant lot until last year.
These two signs at The Spot in Richmond disappeared last year. The second sign shown below has a twin in San Francisco which is still in place:
Part of the Wheel World sign in Culver City fell to the ground last year and what remained has been removed. It doesn’t sound like there’s any plan to replace it:
The Cockatoo Hotel in Hawthorne was demolished in 2005. The new hotel let this sign remain until last year. I assume it was destroyed:
The Catalina Pools sign in La Mesa disappeared in 2016:
This sign at the Heel & I in San Francisco disappeared last year:
The replica Schwab’s Restaurant sign in Los Angeles disappeared last year. Just the scaffolding left now:
Prepare yourself for a couple of really sad examples repurposing.
Garfano’s Pizza opened in Los Angeles in 1959. That might have been at a different location since this sign’s design appears older than that. And this paint job looks a little modern with mismatched fonts:
But still, it looked much better than what was to come. In 2015, it was painted black and adapted for the L.A. Hookah Lounge:
And then, in 2016, it was made even uglier by L.A. Hot Wings:
Moving on to the sad saga of the Royal Viking Motel, also located in Los Angeles. There were two legitimately nice signs there:
Then, in 2014, the place was renamed the Pod Inn and the signs were f***ed up:
Last year, strangely enough, the name was reverted to the Royal Viking Inn. The Viking helmet and spear are still there are least (for now…):
But the other sign looks worse than ever:
Well, tat’s enough bad news for now. How about a dash of good news? MONA (the Museum of Neon Art) has finished restoring their Grauman’s Chinese Theatre dragon. It’s currently at the Pomona warehouse but I’m sure it will make its way over to the museum in Glendale soon. It was unveiled this week:
I’m moving on to other states in my website updating. I just might have another depressing post for you next weekend. Stay tuned!
Shoot ’em while you can folks,
dj & the dogs