San Diego Area Signs (page 1)

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Mart Cleaners
La Mesa, CA
Catalina Pools [gone]
La Mesa, CA
Chico Club
La Mesa, CA
Mart Cleaners opened in 1945. This sign might be from the 1950s. [map]

The Catalina Pools sign was located alongside I-8. It was probably from the 1950s or 1960s. This photo is from 2014. The sign was removed in 2016.

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

former Thriftimart
Spring Valley, CA
Cafe La Maze
National City, CA
Masonic Lodge
Chula Vista, CA
Broadway Liquor
Chula Vista, 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 Cafe La Maze opened in 1940. I believe this sign is from then. The bulb arrow was added later. For more, see this website. [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
Fabulous 7 Motel
El Cajon, CA
The El Patio Restaurant opened in 1954. These signs are probably from then. [map]

The Fabulous 7 Motel now houses a transitional living center. This sign is located behind the former motel. I don't believe this was ever part of a motel chain. [map]

Baptist Church
San Diego, CA
Pacific Shores
San Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
The Fairmount Baptist Church is now known as the Fairmount Community Church. This sign is probably from the 1950s. [map]

The Pacific Shores opened in 1941. The glass block entrance and this neon sign is from then. [map]

This 7-Eleven sign is probably from the late 1960s or early 1970s. These trapezoid-shaped panels are very rare now. There is another one in San Diego and there are a few others in San Jose with the same design. [map]

Sunset Temple
San Diego, CA
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sunset Temple has been housed in this building since 1933. This sign is probably from the 1940s or 1950s. [map]

San Diego, CA
The Kensington sign was hung at the center of the Kensington neighborhood in 1953. This replica sign was created and installed in 2010. [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 sign was designed by Joseph Schmith who worked for the Perry-Christensen-Campbell Co.

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, and 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. I believe the shopping center was built and the signs were installed in 1984. [map]

Aero Club
San Diego, CA
Lindy's Auto Upholstery
San Diego, CA
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
Astor Hotel
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]

This Astor Hotel sign is probably from the 1930s or 1940s. I don't know when the hotel was built but it was there by the 1930s. The building is now a single room occupancy hotel. [map]

Royal Food Mart
San Diego, CA
former Dog House
San Diego, CA
The Royal Food Mart opened in 1944. This sign is probably from then or shortly after that. [map]

This former Dog House sign now advertises for the Pacific Beach Pet Salon and the Church of Steel Body Piercing & Tattoo. I don't know if this sign has always been there or if it came from another location. The Dog House restaurant chain was founded in the late 1940s in Youngstown, OH. By 1966, there were 221 locations in 33 states. I believe the chain went bankrupt in 1968. There are still a few adapted signs around the country including these in Dubuque, IA, Waukegan, IL, Dayton, OH, and Cleveland, OH. There was a San Leandro, CA location but the sign is gone now. The first location may have been in Youngstown, OH: 1, 2, and 3. There is still a location in Cleveland, OH that has a doghouse-shaped building. [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 (moving to Van Nuys, CA in 2018). For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

San Diego Area
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