When neon ruled Kamloops and Okanagan nights

Penticton’s downtown was once a hotbed of neon signage. Image Credit: Penticton Museum Archives PMA 3250

From InfoNews.ca: It was another era, a time when Kamloops and Okanagan valley cities’ downtown streets lit up in the glow of neon signs.

The brightly lit signage was especially noticeable on winter nights when the day’s early evening darkness gave way to the bright neon lights of downtown.

Some of the signs were iconic – in Penticton, the Elite Restaurant is a long-lasting survivor of the age of neon. So too were the Paramount Theatre in Kelowna, the West Canadian in Vernon, and the neon signs of Victoria Street in Kamloops.

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Fans of El Cortez’s floral carpet can now own a square of Vegas history

El Cortez Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas retired its beloved old carpet, left, and replaced it with a new woven Axminster carpet by Brintons. However, for fans of the original design, the property’s gift shop will sell 16-by-16-inch sections for $19 each. El Cortez Hotel & Casino

From the Washington Post: Since 2007, the carpet at El Cortez Hotel & Casino has cushioned the feet of gamblers, barflies, Zappos employees, a social club of baby boomers and vintage Vegas aficionados. Business executives have dropped to their knees upon entering the downtown property, the floral pattern grazing their slacks like a butterfly kiss. Artists have memorialized its design in pins, stickers and T-shirts. And then in September, the carpet was gone, replaced by a new floor covering.

But fans needn’t cry over carpeting that has soaked up countless spilled drinks and tears. On Jan. 1, the hotel gift shop will start selling squares of the beloved fabric.

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Colonial Theatre & the invention of electric Christmas tree lights

Courtesy photo/The Laconia Historical & Museum Society

From The Loconia Daily Sun: Bonnette, Page & Stone Corp. in Laconia is part of the ongoing renovation of the historic, downtown Colonial Theatre. One of the many things we enjoy about working on historical construction projects are the stories shared with us by those with past connections. Historic structures given a second chance by being brought into the present can evoke emotions, reactions and spark memories to be shared.

A Lakes Region native shared a memory with us he had of the theater manager who kept a friendly but acute eye on everything taking place there. Recently, we had the pleasure of learning of a fun story, timely for the holiday season, involving that same theater manager.

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The Empty Spanish Resorts of Covid Summer

From Bloomberg CityLab: In his photo series “Discoteca,” photographer Francois Prost captures eerie scenes from Spain’s beach towns, built for crowds of tourists that the pandemic kept away.

In another ten years, the Spanish bars, clubs and strip joints featured in French photographer Francois Prost’s new photo series “Discoteca” may no longer exist. Located on the intensely developed tourist beaches of the country’s east coast, these nightspots saw their regular crowds evaporated by the coronavirus pandemic this summer and fall. But, as Prost’s images reveal, their faded splendor does not suggest a bright future after the virus recedes.

Prost captured the empty nightspots during a drive from Alicante to the French border this autumn. In a normal year these venues would have been packed all summer — and still open for the season’s last gasp — filled with visitors attracted to a coast famous in Europe for its ribbon of concrete hotels and endless opportunities for cheap partying.

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Southern California’s Roadside Architecture in All Its Glowing, Midcentury Glory

Chips Restaurant in Hawthorne. Ashok Sinha

From Los Angeles Magazine: Ashok Sinha racks up a lot of miles on his rental car when he comes to visit his
family in Los Angeles. For the last four years, the New York-based photographer has been hunting for L.A.’s midcentury roadside architecture and going to great pains to capture the sparkling neon and stucco motels, coffee shops, and gas stations for his new book, Gas and Glamour. “I had this idea of Los Angeles as sort of a dream city,” Sinha says. “In my fantasy, there should be a certain kind of a glow to it. That’s where I got the title.”

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