Neon Extension Signs (page 3)

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Whispering Palms
Ritzville, WA
Fifth Wheel Food [gone]
San Leandro, CA
Anchor Inn
Anacortes, WA
Cerbat Lanes
Kingman, AZ
The Whispering Palms Restaurant sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. It is the only example that I know of with a neon palm tree off of the sign panels. Apparently, there was another palm or something else on the other side of the sign. There is another neon sign in the window. [map]

The Fifth Wheel Food opened in 1946 and this sign is probably from then. The fifth wheel refers to the coupling used to connect semi-trucks to their trailers. The freestanding neon in the corner cut-out was a representation of the coupling. The tubing was gone by 2023. There was a sign in Detroit, MI that was built in the shape of a fifth wheel.

The Anchor Inn sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Cerbat Lanes opened in 1995 and this sign was built then. The animated sign is about 10 feet wide and features a white bowling ball and red pins. It's unknown if the sign's designer or the business owner were inspired by the freestanding neon rolling balls and crashing pins at the Sheridan Lanes or the Plaza Lanes (see below). While it's rare, it's nice to see that these artful neon sign extensions are still being made. [map]

Sheridan Lanes
Tulsa, OK
The Sheridan Lanes sign in Tulsa, Oklahoma was built in 1957 by Claude Neon. In 1998, the bowling alley was purchased by the AMF chain and the sign was taken down and replaced. After pressure from the community, the neon sign was reinstalled around the corner. The neon and animation are still maintained. The sign is lit with pink, green, yellow, red, orange, white, and blue tubing. The bowler's arm moves back and forth, the ball rolls, and the pins explode. The panels are about 10 feet wide. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Plaza Lanes [gone]
Des Moines, IA
The Plaza Lanes was built in 1957 and this sign was built then for $40,000 by Cox Neon Signs. It was installed on the roof and featured an animated bowler, ball, and pins. It's possible that it may have been inspired by the Sheridan Lanes sign described above. The nine separate rolling neon balls were sequentially lit across the roof. The bowler was about 10 feet tall. These photos are from 2012. In 2017, the building caught fire and was completely destroyed. The building was demolished in 2018. The bowler sign was supposedly discovered in the rubble and saved by the owner.

San Jose Radiator
San Jose, CA
Safari Motel
Las Vegas, NV
The San Jose Radiator sign features neon steam escaping from an overheated radiator. This business was established in 1944. The sign might be from the 1950s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Safari Motel opened in 1956. These signs were here by the late 1960s. The pole sign was originally painted red and black. It features a grid of diamond-like neon tubing. The property was fenced off in 2021. There are plans to convert the property into apartments and restore the pole sign. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Westways Court Motel
Delta, CO
2012: 2023:
The Westways Court Motel was established in 1946. This sign is probably from the 1950s. It features a stylized sun with red and blue neon rays. By 2021, the sign had been repainted and the panels covering the poles at the bottom had been removed. For more, see this website. [map]

Lou Gentile's Flower Basket
Fresno, CA
The Lou Gentile's Flower Basket opened in 1950. This sign appears to be from then. [map]

More-Skinny Used Cars
Pueblo, CO



More-Skinny Used Cars opened in 1939 as Moreschini Used Cars. In the 1940s, the business was renamed More-Skinny Used Cars which was easier for people to pronounce. The dealership moved here in 1949. The neon sign is from then. "Skinny" on the main sign has an animated pointing neon arm and hand. In 2016, the dealership moved. The building at the previous location was demolished. Only the main, figural neon sign was moved to the new place. It now has a plastic text panel below instead of neon. The neon text panel and other "skinny" signs were not allowed to be displayed at the new location but they were saved by the owner. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

El Rancho Hotel
Wells, NV
The El Rancho Hotel was built in 1948. This rooftop sign was installed in 1949 when the hotel opened. The owner chose the design from several sketches prepared by the YESCO, Young Electric Sign Company, office in Salt Lake City. The neon cowboy and bucking bronco part of the sign is about eight feet wide. Originally, there was a yellow, neon lariat which extended from the cowboy to the left of the "E". It continued downward to encircle the borders of the sign panels. This lasso border was animated. The cowboy's airborne neon lariat has been missing for decades but some of the metal spikes that supported it are still there. The cowboy and bronco were apparently lit in at least three-part animation. The colors are unknown. The sign went dark long before the early 2000s. Although the panels' paint is very faded, the text "CAFE BAR CASINO" is still readable.

In 2008, the hotel was rocked by an earthquake. Most of the damage was to the roof and second floor. However, the sign was not affected. The City has expressed no interest in restoring or moving the sign. In 2014, the sign was briefly and partially lit with the use of a generator for a car show. By 2019, the building had been stabilized. The projecting addition to the building was removed. The sign was still on the roof. The letters above the first floor had been bent back into position. For more, see this website. [map]

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