Gas Giants: Vintage Neon Signs Come Blazing Back To Life


As the Museum of Neon Art works to complete their spectacular new home in Glendale, more and more historic neon signs have been coming back to life all over Southern California. The Downtown Rialto and United Artists Theater marquees were relit by Urban Outfitters and the Ace Hotel earlier this year, and last Tuesday their Broadway neighbor, The Globe, flickered on and began to rotate after decades in the dark. At the same time, the giant Rosslyn Hotel neon heart was spotted blazing atop the century-old hotel at 5th and Main, and the King Eddy Saloon a block away sports a new electric sign that looks like it could have been there when they opened in 1933. On Thursday MONA held a ceremony to light their rooftop replica of a neon diver that once hung above a roadside motel. The warm glow from this glass and gas revival is a welcome respite from the fluorescent world of 2014.

Two photo exhibits pay homage to some of the gas giants of vintage neon: Sign Geeks opens July 12th at Space Gallery in Pomona and Sign Of The Times: California is up through July 10th at Perfect Exposure Gallery in Koreatown.

Photograph by Eric Lynxwiler.

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  • Molly Block

    All of this is great info to read!

    FYI: The bit about the Sign Geeks group show at Space Gallery in Pomona mentions the exhibit “runs through July 12”; it actually opens on July 12. (Come to the opening that evening — starts at 6 p.m. — and meet a bunch of vintage sign-loving photographers, a.k.a. sign geeks, from around the world!) Our photos will be on display at the gallery through August 2.

  • Steve Spiegel

    Thank you for the mention of our Sign Geeks exhibits. I just have a minor correction. The exhibit at The Space Gallery in Pomona begins on July 12th.
    Thanks again!