Florida Signs (page 4)

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Miami, FL
Little River Seed [gone]
Miami, FL
The 35-foot-tall Coppertone sign was created in 1959. Originally, there was painted text on the wall next to the dog and girl that read "Tan Don't Burn" in addition the Coppertone letters. The sign was located downtown on Biscayne Blvd. until 1992. It was then refurbished and moved to Flagler St. where it remained until 2008. It was then removed, refurbished, and reinstalled in 2008 at its present location on Biscayne. Each letter and the figures are composed of backlit plastic panels. The colored panels are actually recreations of the originals. [map]

There were at least three other Coppertone billboards installed in Miami, Miami Beach and Hollywood, FL. One near a freeway exit featured an animated terrier tugging at the girl's bathing suit. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

This photo of the Little River Seed sign is from 2009. The Poodle piece was bent and twisted in the opposite direction then. The sign had been removed by 2011. The metal was straightened, the neon restored, and the sign sold to a collector. For more, see this website.

Ball & Chain Bar & Lounge
Miami, FL
The Ball & Chain Bar & Lounge opened in 1935. This sign might be from then. If so, the text has definitely been reworked from what it was originally. The sign might also be a modern retro recreation since there was a 20-year period where there was another business here. In 2021, the projecting sign was removed. I'm told that the City required it to be removed and that the owners are fighting to have the sign deemed "historically significant" so that it can be reinstalled. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Frankie's Pizza
Miami, FL
Frankie's Pizza was established in 1955. The business moved to this location in 1957. The pole sign looks maybe 1960s to me. For more, see this website. [map]

Parrot Jungle
Miami, FL
Gold Dust Motel
Miami, FL
Rayco Auto Interiors [gone]
Miami, FL
Parrot Jungle opened in 1936. In 2003, the tourist attraction moved and was renamed Jungle Island. This sign was built by the 1950s for Parrot Jungle. It was moved to the new location. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Gold Dust Motel was designed by Maurice S. Weintraub and built in 1957. It went by many other names over the years. The original sign was gone by 2007. It was recreated in 2021 when the motel was renovated. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Rayco Auto Interiors has been around since the 1950s. By 2009, the signs had been removed and a paint store was occupying the building. I believe the round sign at the left is in a private collection.

Seven Seas Motel
Miami, FL
The Seven Seas Motel was built in 1955. These signs appear to be from then. [map]

More Miami:
Allen's Drugs [gone]
Frolics Motel [vintage; gone]
Robert's Drugs [gone]
Tobacco Road

The Regent
Miami Beach, FL
Casablanca Hotel
Miami Beach, FL
The Regent Hotel and Cocktail Club was built in 1941. In 2012, the building was restored. This sign was built as a replica of the original. [map]

The Casablanca Hotel, now the New Casablanca on the Ocean Hotel, was designed by Roy France and built in 1948. I believe this sign was installed then. It features Arabian Nights-style genie statues supporting the canopy. The hotel design was inspired by the movie "Casablanca". [map]

Fu Manchu
Restaurant [gone]
Miami Beach, FL
Cisco's Cafe [gone]
Miami Springs, FL
The Fu Manchu Restaurant opened in 1935. The restaurant closed in 2006 and this rooftop sign is now gone. Another Chinese restaurant occupies the building now. For more, see this website.

The Cisco's Cafe sign was probably modern. The restaurant was demolished in 2007 and the sign is gone. For more, see this website.

former Caribbean Gardens

Shell Factory
North Fort Myers, FL
The Shell Factory first opened in 1938 in Bonita Springs. Destroyed by fire in 1952, the store was rebuilt here. The store nearly closed for good in 1997. The buyer renovated and expanded the place. In addition to the huge gift shop, there is also a restaurant, trails, a petting zoo, a video arcade, bumper boats and mini golf. The sign's panels have changed a bit and the neon is now missing from the arch. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Cameo Photo Supply [gone]
Ocala, FL
2009: 2020:
Cameo Photo Supply opened in 1951. The store moved to this location in 1958. The signs are probably from then. The store closed in 2011. The building housed a lawyer's office after that and the signs were adapted. The neon and arrow were gone. The sign is gone now. The building has been painted white and black. [map]

Sundays Motel
Ocala, FL

Sun Plaza Motel
Ocala, FL
2007 and 2009: 2020:
The Sundays Motel and Sun Plaza Motel have the same plastic sun incorporated into their signs. I don't know if the motels were related but certainly these signs must have been produced by the same company.

The Sun Plaza Motel was built in 1950. In 2015, the sign was restored. At that time, the sun face was replaced with a new "BG" panel. The owner, Bobby Genovese, renamed the motel the "BG Sun Plaza." For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [night photo thanks Robby Delius] [Sundays map]; [Sun Plaza map]

Lorito's Italian Kitchen [gone]
Ocala, FL
2009: 2021:
Lorito's Italian Kitchen opened in 1970. This 14-foot-tall neon sign was built at that time. In 2009, just after this photo was taken, the sign was knocked down by a car. The sign suffered extensive damage. Instead of repainting the sign, vinyl overlays were affixed to the sign's original steel faces. The sign company felt this was the best way to reproduce the sign's shading and texture. A UV coating was applied to prevent fading in the sun. The neon was also replaced. By 2017, the sign was pretty faded and the panels were painted. The restaurant closed in 2023 and the sign was removed soon after that. For more, see this website.

Holiday Motel [gone]
Ocala, FL
The Holiday Motel was definitely inspired by Holiday Inn signs. The arrow sign also borrowed the font style. The neon tubing at the top of the larger sign also mimicked the Holiday Inn starburst. These photos are from 2009. By 2013, the arrow sign which was at the base of the sign was gone. By 2020, the neon had been removed from the larger sign and it had been painted white. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

More Ocala:
Silver Princess Motel

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