This iconic S.F. hotel’s neon sign has been shining for 50 years. It’s about to change


Netting surrounds the iconic neon signs of the Palace Hotel on Market Street San Francisco, California Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. The Palace Hotel’s stately but poorly maintained rooftop neon signs are being replaced with new LED ones that will be able to broadcast in a variety of colors. Jessica Christian/The Chronicle

From the San Francisco Chronicle: The Palace Hotel has dominated the corner of San Francisco’s Market and New Montgomery streets since 1873. Rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake, it’s a stately block topped, incongruously, by two roof-level neon signs that date back at least 60 years.

Now, those signs are cloaked in black netting — but they’re not coming down.

Instead, the clear tubes filled with neon gas are about to be replaced by “neon-like” LED lighting, a hotel spokesperson said this week. The idea apparently is to join the trend of buildings old and new that use eye-catching illumination to attract attention in the city’s northeast corner.

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L.A.’s Historic Movie Theaters Are Springing Back to Life in 2024


Actors Estelle Taylor and Noah Beery in a promo of the Egyptian Theatre when it first opened in Hollywood in 1922

From Los Angeles Magazine: “A great movie will take you places you could not imagine,” Guillermo del Toro enthuses in Temple of Film: 100 Years of the Egyptian Theatre, the first film Netflix presented as it unveiled its remodel of the theater in Hollywood in November. “And if it happens at a temple — a building dedicated to it — the experience is transcendental.”

Netflix’s gorgeous restoration of the Egyptian is just one of many revived venues sure to get movie lovers off the couch and excited to experience the magic of cinema again. The success of Barbie and Oppenheimer in July, not to mention the hordes of Swifties reliving The Eras Tour on the big screen, have helped bring audiences back into movie theaters post-pandemic.

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Historic McKenzie’s sign moves to New Orleans museum


From WGNO: NEW ORLEANS — Do you remember McKenzie’s king cakes? Back in the day, McKenzie’s was the spot to go for king cakes before it shut down.

The once-popular bakery is now being remembered at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

All lit up in hot pink neon letters, “McKenzie’s” is once again shining bright.

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Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton closes doors, property in escrow after lengthy buyer process


The iconic sign for Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton attracts numerous tourists traveling along Highway 101. The century-old eatery has shuttered its doors after its recent sale. Len Wood, Staff file

From the Santa Ynez Valley News: Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton has closed its doors and the property is in escrow after longtime owner Milt Guggia Enterprises listed the landmark for $4.7 million in August 2020.

“It’s been listed for several years,” explained Krista Guggia, Guggia Enterprises property administrator. “There have been many interested parties and [Milt Guggia, Jr.] turned down a lot of offers. He didn’t want it to go to someone who who didn’t have a real heart for preserving what is a huge piece of Buellton — and California — history.”

According to Guggia, while the sale is not complete, the escrow process is closing “very soon.”

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Providence’s Olneyville New York System Auctioning Off Historic Neon Signs


From WBSM: PROVIDENCE — One of Rhode Island’s most famous eateries is about to put a few iconic pieces of its history up on the auction block.

Olneyville New York System in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence has been serving up its hot wieners since 1946, and has amassed fans from all over.

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‘Fast Food and Car Culture’ Screening Takes Angelenos for a Nostalgic Ride


From Los Angeles Magazine: The LOST LA series screening of “Fast Food and Car Culture” took attendees on a ride of nostalgia and L.A. history Wednesday evening.

Celebrations kicked off around 5:30 p.m. at the iconic Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank. Guests munched on complimentary burgers, fries, and milkshakes, getting a taste of an era of drive-in restaurants and car hops. Afterward, guests made their way across the street to Garry Marshall Theatre to kick back and see the movie on the silver screen.

“Fast Food and Car Culture” examines the combined history of Los Angeles’ car culture and the famous fast food restaurants born in Southern California. It was a full house, with some audience members standing to watch the documentary. According to J.P. Shields, PBS SoCal Senior Director of Communications, 180 people reserved spots at the event.

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