L.A. gets a new neon sign

Raymond Chandler wrote "there ought to be a monument to the man who invented neon lights." Much of the neon glow that gave Wilshire Boulevard, Hollywood and downtown their classic look was turned off during World War II and not relit until the city started a restoration effort about 10 years ago. Now there are evocative colored roof signs along the older stretches of Wilshire, for example. On Sunday night, Aug. 24, another biggie will be reignited at the former Helms Bakery at 8800 Venice Boulevard. Eric Lynxwiler of the Museum of Neon Art emails:

It is an electric extravaganza and promises to be one of the best pieces of flashing neon in the city. Recently restored by the renowned Ray Neil for Walter Marks Inc., the neon and incandescent Helms sign is a one-of-its kind giant. The ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. but get there early. Following the relighting, there will be film shorts projected on the former bakery's exterior walls.

The emailer leads neon tours of Los Angeles for MONA in a double-decker bus, and he's also my partner on the Wilshire book.


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