Website Updating: Drive-in Theatres and SCA Companion Pages

I have only one noteworthy item from the Drive-ins section. The Hilltop Drive-in in Joliet, IL closed in 2001. Here’s one of my photos from 2009:

Last year, it was hit by a storm and now it’s just a pile of rubble:

Moving on to the SCA section. For the past 15 years, I’ve been writing the feature articles about signs for the Society for Commercial Archeology. For most of the articles, I have built separate “companion” pages at my website. Since I can only include about 8 signs in each article, these pages provide more examples of the type of signs covered with more photos/history, links to examples of vintage signs that are gone, and all that.

The “companion page” section home page is here:

You can also buy back issues of the SCA Journal digital or printed publications here:

You also might want to become a member to enjoy the full benefits (Journals 2x year, RoadNotes newsletters 4x year, Zoom presentations on a variety of roadside subjects, etc.)

Starting out with “news” from the Bowling Signs pages. The article for this one will be out in the Spring 2024 issue.

The Golden Pin Lanes in Tucson, AZ operated from 1960-2019:

The bowling alley was demolished last year. But the curved rock wall and signs that were in front of the building will be preserved for the new Palm County Northwest Service Center. Here’s the rendering:

This sign in Cicero, IL is gone now. According to the guy that I spoke with just now, it was removed about three months ago. He said that the city made them take it down as non-conforming and it’s sitting in the parking lot now. It sounds like they are going to sell it:

The Creole Lanes closed in 2018 and this sign in Vincennes, IN is gone now:

The E-Town Lanes in Elizabethtown, KY became the B&B Lanes in February. Here’s the “before”:

and the “after” crappy makeover (the neon is gone and other changes made):

The Hy-Way Bowl in Union, NJ closed in 2018. Earlier this year, the building was demolished and this sign is gone:

The Sugar Bowl Lanes in Belen, NM closed in 2008. In 2021, there was a big fire. The building and sign are gone now.

The Hi-Roc Lanes sign in Saratoga Springs, NY:

is now known as the Saratoga Strike Zone and the sign has been simplified:

From the Diving Women Signs companion page, the diver at the Beverly Motel in Mobile, AL is gone now:

From the Clock Signs companion pages, this sign in Dixon, IL is gone now:

Let’s end this post on a positive note. The Gem Box Jewelers sign in Tampa, FL was just restored. Here’s what it looked like in 2020:

and now:

That’s a very faithful restoration. The domed Gruen clock at the bottom has been preserved. The diamond in the middle was recreated and even the paint color is standard for these mass-produced signs. For comparison, here’s this intact sign in Canton, MS:

Back soon with more signs from the SCA section… starting with the Donuts pages.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

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