Friday, August 31, 2018

A Christmas Story House



“A Christmas Story” was a sleeper hit that has become an annual holiday classic. Naturally if you go to Cleveland, Ohio, you MUST stop by the Tremont neighborhood to visit this 19th Century Victorian home that was used in the film for exterior shots in the movie.



There’s even a leg lamp sitting in the window as you enter...



just like the movie!



I couldn't resist.



Although the interior shots were filmed on a soundstage, the owners of the house have done a masterful job of reworking the layout and acquiring vintage furnishings to make it look as much like the film version as possible.





Hiding behind the tree is the Red Ryder BB gun that was coveted by Ralphie:



The museum has the screen-used prop:



The upstairs bathroom, where a number of key scenes in the film occurred:



Few details have been overlooked, including this gnawed on bar of red Lifebuoy soap:





If you pick up the upstairs phone, you can hear a conversation from the movie!



The staircase was reconfigured to match the one in the movie:



Who could forget poor Ralphie descending in his Pink Bunny suit from Aunt Clara on Christmas morning?



The pattern used to make the suit is also in the museum:



Another key location for the movie was Higbee’s department store in downtown Cleveland:



Although Higbee's is now Jack's Casino, the sign still remains:



Kitschy and fun, this home is a must on your list of things to do in Cleveland!

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Cruising with MONA, Pt. 3



On our last MONA (Museum of Neon Art) Neon Cruise post, I left you at the Chapman Market near Koreatown. Disneyland fans might find this building a bit familiar, especially if they compare it to Off the Page in Disney California Adventure:



The drive-in Chapman Park Market opened in 1929 and was one of the first markets in the western U.S. designed for the automobile. Today it thrives with chic Korean shops, restaurants, coffeehouses, and clubs.







OK readers...let's bring it on home! A few more shots as the double decker bus made its way through Saturday night traffic to show us what's left of the glorious vintage neon that once burned brightly throughout Los Angeles. The Gaylord Building (I'm not touching that one).





The Bryson, made famous by author Raymond Chandler:



Park Wilshire:



What's left of the Westlake Theatre sign. Please fix!!



Those beautiful light standards of Wilshire Boulevard:



And what better place to stop after your Neon Cruise than Clifton's Cafeteria, which looks even more splendid at night!



I HIGHLY recommend you check out the MONA (Museum of Neon Art) Neon Cruise for yourself!

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nature's Wonderland Interlude



Before I wrap up the final installment of the MONA Neon Cruise trilogy, I thought I'd insert these two previously unpublished shots of Nature's Wonderland, a beloved Disneyland attraction of the past. First up is a fairly empty overall view of the loading area and Pack Mule queue from April 1958.

This 1956 shot features the Rainbow Mountain Railroad getting ready to take another batch of guests on their journey through Nature's Wonderland.



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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Cruising with MONA, Pt. 2



Hop back on the bus with me after our Chinatown interlude to continue the MONA (Museum of Neon Art) Neon Cruise. How about this evening view of the Los Angeles City Hall? No neon, but it's still a great view one gets from the top level of our double-decker cruise bus!

Here we see the historic KRKD radio tower, which has been around since 1932 atop the Spring Arcade (R-KD; get it?) Building near Broadway and 5th. A 2014 demolition application to remove the towers was rejected since they are a historic landmark. Another win for preservation!



There are lots of vintage movie house signs in LA, such as the Los Angeles Theatre:



The Palace:





and the Pantages:



I don't remember what this Aztec fa├žade is from, but boy is it cool!



Jesus has lost his “s,” which points out how important it is to keep neon working properly. As Eric pointed out, would you buy your gas from a SHELL Station if the “h” was burned out?



Your typical no-tell motels:





The legendary Tommy's, where you get unparalleled chili burgers:



Our bus has pulled up in front of the Chapman Park Market near Koreatown for another interlude, where I will leave you until we continue.



More vintage neon wonders in my next post!

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Cruising with MONA, Pt. 1



One of the things on my bucket list was the MONA (Museum of Neon Art) Neon Cruise. I am happy to say that I have now checked it off...for now, at least. Beause I had so much fun I want to do it again!

Designer and neon aficionado Eric Lynxwiler was our tour guide, and I can't imagine a better or more entertaining host. We boarded the double-decker bus and had unparalleled views of Los Angeles. Just watch out for those tree branches, folks!





The former Tower Theatre, which is about to find new life as an Apple Store.



The Golden Gopher Sign was one of my faves.



This restaurant near Union Station is supposedly the original home of the French Dip sandwich.



Eric dropped us off in Chinatown so that we could feast our eyes upon all the vintage neon signs and trim that highlighted the buildings. To quote Eric, it was FAAAAAAAABULOUS!











This one cries out for a detailed view:





Hop back on the bus tomorrow for more vintage neon wonders!

See more MONA Neon Cruise photos at my main website.

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