Walt Disney. Photo courtesy Nasawikimedia

From OC Weekly: In 1940, Walter Knott turned his berry farm from a roadside attraction into America’s first theme park, and one of his biggest supporters was another man by the name of Walter. Walt Disney was simply fascinated by just how long folks were willing to wait in line to eat a fried chicken dinner and visit with a sad-eyed mannequin in a ghost-town jail cell.

In 1952, Walter Knott invited Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian, to be honored guests at the inaugural run of the Calico Railroad attraction. However, three years before Disneyland opened, Disney took inspiration from much more than just Knott’s steam locomotive.

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A neon sign of the times: Picatti Bros. landmark sign renovated to celebrate 90 years of business

A neon sign is escorted back to Picatti Brothers Inc. by Yakima police, boy scouts and vintage cars in a miniature parade down Yakima Avenue on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in Yakima, Wash. Evan Abell, Yakima Herald-Republic

From YakimaHerald.com: When the widely recognized neon sign outside of Picatti Bros. came down in the 1970s, a casualty of a more modern design scheme, drivers on South Third Avenue started missing their turns — they needed the sign as a landmark, company President Doug Picatti said.

Now the sign, a large, double-sided neon beacon dating to 1948, is back at Picatti Bros., 105 S. Third Ave., waiting to be installed next week. It was driven there ceremoniously Wednesday afternoon, the highlight of a parade down Yakima Avenue from Naches Avenue to Third, accompanied by a police escort, several vintage vehicles and a group of Boy Scouts.Read More

Beloved, historic Davis Theater celebrates its storied past

From Curbed Chicago: In 1999, Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood almost lost an icon: the 100-year-old Davis Theater. The owners had listed the building for $1.6 million, suggesting the ornate theater could be razed for a shopping mall instead.

The Art Deco theater is the city’s longest running movie theater, which celebrated its centennial anniversary on November 6. One of the reasons this piece of Chicago history is still around is because of the residents who refused to let it go.

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A peek behind the curtain: Academy offers first look at restored theater ahead of December reopening

A detail of art found in The Academy Center of the Arts’ newly restored Academy of Music Theatre November 19, 2018. Taylor Irby/The News & Archive

From The News & Advance: “One of the coolest things in watching people enter this space right now is seeing the looks on people’s faces,” said Geoffrey Kershner, executive director of the Academy Center of the Arts, on Monday evening as the arts organization opened the newly restored historic theater to the media. “It reminds me that this isn’t just another theater; it’s something really special.”

Sixty years in the making, the restoration of the historic Academy of Music Theatre is almost at an end.

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The Forgotten Remnants of Route 66

Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2000. Edward Keating

From CityLab: Photographer Edward Keating captures the history of Route 66 over the decades as towns along “the mother road” have fallen into disrepair and obscurity.

Keating traveled the road with a mission to capture the forgotten towns and people that continue to occupy old Route 66’s sidewalks. “I’m always surprised that nobody had taken this road on photographically as more than just 2,400 miles of amusement park with one roadside attraction after another,” Keating told CityLab over the phone last month. That’s what Keating aims to capture in his new book Main Street, The Forgotten Dreams of Route 66, showcasing nearly 100 photos that capture the bleak current manifestations of the old highway.

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