It’s done. Salt Lake City closes its sale of the Utah Theater, makes way for new skyscraper

The aging Utah Theater on Main Street. Faced with prohibitive costs of completely renovating Utah Theater, city officials have now clinched a deal to redevelop the Main Street site with a mixed-use skyscraper at least 30 stories high, with affordable housing, a public green space, parking structure and reuse of key elements from the history theater. (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)

From The Salt Lake Tribune: Salt Lake City has clinched its controversial sale of the Utah Theater to developers.

Final papers cleared on Wednesday on the long-negotiated deal, the city’s Redevelopment Agency announced late Friday, letting Houston-based Hines take ownership of the Main Street property for zero dollars and enact its plans to demolish the historic playhouse and replace it with a residential skyscraper, small park and other amenities.

The conveyance marks a final step, the RDA said in a statement Friday evening, in moving ahead with nearly $100 million of residential and commercial development to revitalize that downtown neighborhood, including an infusion of affordable housing tucked inside in a 31-story luxury tower to be called 150 Main Street Apartments.

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Racism along this historic Maryland route was rampant in 1961. Then students helped ignite change

From USA Today: ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Joyce Barrett marched past the jukebox inside Barnes’ Drive-In, prepared to break the law.

Her eyes met those of Charles Barnes, owner of the mom-and-pop diner. She saw him take in her white skin and wavy brown hair, the sternness on his face as he sized up the group of 18 Black and white students behind her.

“We don’t want colored in here,” Barnes snapped.

Barrett and the others slid into booths and tables as Barnes snatched the phone and called the police. “I got some of them Riders in here,” he said into the receiver. “Come on, quick.”

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Historic Casa Vega Dishes Out $1.98 Combo Plates on 65th Anniversary Next Week

Casa Vega. Casa Vega

From Eater Los Angeles: Iconic Valley restaurant Casa Vega celebrated its 65th anniversary this week, and now the casual LA Mexican restaurant in Sherman Oaks is opening up the party to the rest of the city. On Monday, November 15 owner Christy Vega will be rolling back prices to 1956 levels on the restaurant’s most popular combo plate, serving up the dish for just $1.98 during lunch hours from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The menu item, known as combo numero uno, comes with choices between different enchiladas, tacos, or tamales grouped together on a plate. Happy anniversary to the LA legends.

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Nonprofit rallies support to save shuttered Royal Oak Main Art Theatre

“This is one of the reasons my wife and I decided to live in this community – I went to all the great movies of my youth et, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars with this amazing love of film,” said Jason Krzysiak.

Krzysiak couldn’t be happier that he was able to raise his own family by coming to the Royal Oak Main Art Theatre. But last June,  the 80-year-old cinema that became known for showing independent and foreign films, was forced to close.

Signs of the times: Preservationists aim to relight Sonoma County with neon

The newly restored Linch Jewelry sign in Petaluma on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)

From The Press Democrat: Back in the mid-20th century, neon signs were on the skids.

Public tastes had turned against the ubiquitous glowing letters and cocktail glasses that beckoned people to dime stores, diners, laundromats and lounges in virtually every town in America, from tiny burgs to big cities. Neon, associated in the public’s mind with Vegas gambling and prostitution, became a tarnished symbol of the worst of modern life.

Even as early as 1946, in the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey finds himself thrust into the future “Pottersville,” a hellscape of neon signs signifying moral decay.

But local landmark preservationists and enthusiasts who appreciate both the cultural history inherent in neon signs and the artistry that went into their creation are sending out an SOS to spare the few neon signs that are left.

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Iconic pink-striped ‘old diner from the ‘50s’ makes 51-mile trek from Grand Rapids to Muskegon

The former Pal’s Diner is hauled down I-96 with a special trailer in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. The diner is being moved from 6503 28th St. to Hot Rod Harley-Davison in Muskegon. (Joel Bissell |

From GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A 60,000-pound, pink-striped diner rumbled down the highway Monday, making a 51-mile journey from Grand Rapids to Muskegon.

It took about 90 minutes for the truck carrying the 15-foot-wide, 55-foot-long restaurant to reach its new home at the Lake Michigan town.

Pal’s Diner, an iconic, 1954 New Jersey diner, was relocated from 6503 28th St. in Grand Rapids to Hot Rod Harley-Davidson, 149 Shoreline Drive, under new owners Scott and Mark Campbell.

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