Charles Phoenix loves Christmas. This December, Silver Lake’s “Ambassador of Americana” is taking his retro holiday slide show on the road, making outrageous Christmas desserts (and judging them on TV), and on Saturday he’s trimming the Apollo lunar capsule, which is on display at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey. “It’s kind of in the tradition of what I’ve done in the past for Christmas,” says Phoenix. “Choose something that desperately needs to be decorated with classic Christmas lights, and this year it’s the Apollo command module.”
Phoenix is a purist about vintage illumination who insists on using strings of classic C-9 bulbs. In previous years he has embellished Bob’s Big Boy Broiler, a 1958 drive-in coffee shop in Downey, and the Wigwam Motel, a Route 66 roadside attraction in San Bernardino.
This year’s festivities include a donut exchange and hot chocolate served on the grounds of the museum, where the lunar capsule is on permanent display. The orbiter is a symbol of the 1960s but Phoenix wants to inspire his younger fans in conversations about history. His cousin’s kids are 13 and 17, and he wants to remind them that man went to the moon. “I kind of want to bring attention to these landmarks by decorating them with Christmas lights,” Phoenix said. “They become a focal point, and we’re able to tell each other why these icons are significant in the realm of our pop cultural marvelousness.”
Charles Phoenix Apollo Space Capsule Holiday Lighting
Saturday, December 3, 2016 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Columbia Memorial Space Center
12400 Columbia Way