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San Diego Area Signs (page 1)

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former Thriftimart
Spring Valley, CA
Catalina Pools
La Mesa, CA
Chico Club
La Mesa, CA
This former Thriftimart sign is the sole surviving "Big T" sign. These 40 foot tall, red neon signs were installed at other locations in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, as well as Las Vegas, in the 1950s and 1960s. Thriftimart was sold to Safeway in 1984 and these signs were destroyed. This Spring Valley location's building now houses the Veteran's Thrift Store. [map]

The Catalina Pools sign is located alongside I-8 but is fairly concealed behind trees at this point. I don't believe this business exists any longer. The sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. [map]

The Chico Club opened in 1940. This sign is probably from then. [map]

Cafe La Maze
National City, CA
Masonic Lodge
Chula Vista, CA
Broadway Liquor
Chula Vista, CA
The Cafe La Maze opened in 1940. I believe this sign is from then. The bulb arrow was added later. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

This Masonic Lodge was established in 1925. This sign appears to be from the 1950s or later. [map]

The Broadway Liquor sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. Between the 2008 and 2014 photos above, plastic panels were installed over the letters to protect the neon. [map]

El Patio Restaurant
Chula Vista, CA
The El Patio Restaurant opened in 1954. These signs are probably from then. [map]

Villa Capri Motel
Coronado, CA
The Villa Capri Motel opened in 1956 and this sign is probably from then. The motel is now known as the Villa Capri by the Sea. [map]

Aztec Bowl
San Diego, CA
Sunset Temple
San Diego, CA
The Aztec Bowl operated from 1959-2001. This sign was installed on the roof. When the bowling alley was demolished for a housing development, the sign was saved and reinstalled at the former site. For more, see this website. [map]

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sunset Temple has been housed in this building since 1933. This sign may be from then but is more likely from the 1940s or 1950s. For more, see this website. [map]

College Grove Shopping Center
San Diego, CA
Campus Plaza
San Diego, CA
This sign at the College Grove Shopping Center was originally installed at the Campus Drive-in Theatre which opened in 1948. The baton-twirling San Diego State University drum majorette was part of an 80 foot long neon mural on the backside of the screen tower. The mural also depicted the San Diego State University campus with mountains, a football goalpost, a building, and a bell tower. The 42 foot tall majorette sign was taken down and put in storage in 1983 when the drive-in was demolished. The sign was restored in 1985. In 1988, it was installed at the Marketplace at the Grove now known as the College Grove Shopping Center. The shopping center is located near the site of the former drive-in. The baton twirls at night. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3. [map]

The Campus Plaza shopping center occupies the site of the former Campus Drive-in. There are several neon signs installed on the buildings that pay tribute to the former screen tower's sign. Does anyone know when they were built? [map]

Chito's Shoe Repair
San Diego, CA
Aero Club
San Diego, CA
Lindy's Auto Upholstery
San Diego, CA
The Chito's Shoe Repair sign was created in 1949 for Wink's Shoe Repair. It featured an animated hammering elf. In the 1950s, Wink's had 30 locations. This sign was moved here in 1960. In 1962, the neon continued shining when the store became Dituri's Shoe Repair, then later Shoe Palace, and finally Chito's Shoe Repair. Chito's relocated nearby recently but the historic resource was required to remain in place. In 2014, the store moved to a new location and were not allowed to bring the sign with them. The sign hung in place until 2015. Despite being landmarked, the sign disappeared for about a year. The sign was restored and reinstalled in 2016. For more, see this website. [map]

The Aero Club opened in 1947. The plane represented on the sign is a Delta Dart. These planes were developed in the late 1950s so the sign is probably from then. At night, the jet's neon exhaust flashes on and off. [map]

This Lindy's Auto Upholstery sign is probably from the early 1960s. I don't know if it is lit at night but the neon appears to be in good shape. [day photo thanks Gregory May] [map]

Jimmy Wong's Golden Dragon
San Diego, CA
Pacific Liquor
San Diego, CA
Jimmy Wong's Golden Dragon opened in 1955. This sign appears to be from then. The restaurant was sold in 2006 and is now the Asian Bistro. This neon sign remains. For more, see this website. [map]

The Pacific Liquor sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. The bulbs were probably animated originally. [map]

Glenn's Market
San Diego, CA
Jack in the Box
San Diego, CA
The Glenn's Market sign is probably from the 1940s or 1950s. It was originally installed on a Streamline Moderne building. Just before this photo was taken in 2014, the business moved down the block and brought along this sign. [map]

This Jack in the Box drive-thru order sign is located at the San Diego Automotive Museum. It is most likely from the 1960s. When this photo was taken in 2014, the sign was in storage. The first Jack in the Box was built in San Diego in 1951. The chain also featured Jack in the Boxes on top of its pole signs. There is another one of these signs on display at the Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth, CA. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

San Diego Area
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