Neon Sheep! A Giant Shoe! And More! Exploring Bakersfield’s Americana Gems
As mentioned in my last post, Bakersfield has a lot of vintage neon still out in the wild, plus a few pretty amazing backlit plastic signs, which was one of the reasons we wanted to visit. And boy did we find some great signs, plus we stumbled upon some abandoned locations as well.
“John’s” 14441 S Union Avenue
Highland Lodge 9350 S Union Avenue
Globe Motel 1701 S Union Avenue
Abandoned house 2341 Taft Highway
Arizona Cafe 809 Baker Street
This place was hopping when we stopped to snap this photo, so perhaps we may make an effort to grab a bite here during a future visit to Bakersfield.
Dueling Pool Halls – Lazo’s Pool Hall and Eight Ball Pool Hall 801 and 803 Baker Street
Luigi’s 725 E 19th Street
Sadly Luigi’s was closed during our visit, but I am eager to return and visit sometime in the future, as it is an institution, operating in the same location since 1910.
Pyrenees Cafe 601 Sumner Street
Pyrenees French Bakery 717 E 21st Street
The Silver Fox 702 18th Street
If the sign looks familiar, it’s because you just saw it in my Kern County Museum post. This is a replica that replaced the original, which was then sent to the museum, in April of 2020.
Mexicali 631 18th Street
Abandoned bar or storefront 819 E 18th Street
Silver Spray Drugs 2191 Niles Street
Wool Growers Restaurant 620 E 19th Street
Palms Liquors 1207 Chester Avenue
Bail Bond Leon 1440 Chester Avenue
Big Shoe Shoe Repair 931 Chester Avenue
At 25 feet tall and 32 feet long, the Big Shoe Shoe Repair is a prime example of “California Crazy” architecture built in 1947.
Rice Bowl 1119 18th Street
The Mint 1207 19th Street
The Fox Theater 2001 H Street
Located in downtown Bakersfield, the Fox Theatre opened on Christmas day, 1930, and was designed by Los Angeles architect S. Charles Lee. The only air-conditioned movie theater in the San Joaquin Valley, it seated 1500 movie goers and originally it featured a Mediterranean village interior. In 1953 it received an Art Deco update, revamping the marquee and box office, along with adding a concession stand to the lobby. In 1977 the movie palace closed, and was threatened with demolition, but the community rallied to save it, and it reopened in 1994, staying a movie theatre, while also proving a venue for performing arts and local events.
The Padre Hotel 1702 18th Street
Like many hotels of its time, the Padre Hotel features an amazing rooftop neon sign that still lights up at night. Built in 1928 the Padre Hotel is located near the Fox and a plethora of antique malls in downtown. It is also supposedly haunted!
Guthrie’s Alley Cat 1525 Wall Street
Established in 1940, Guthrie’s Alley Cat features an amazing Streamline Moderne “awning” of sorts and an adorable cat instead of the word “cat” on its neon sign.
The Nile (now Resurrection Church) 1721 19th Street
Originally the home of the Bakersfield Opera House in 1906, it became The Nile in 1924, and underwent various remodels, including becoming a twin screen theatre in 1976. It closed in 1994, later transforming into the Nile Bar & Grill in 2006. Like other old cinemas, it is now a church. Also, like the Padre, it is supposedly haunted.
I highly recommend taking a spin around Bakersfield if you find yourself on a road trip through it. And for more great signs and a bite to eat, I recommend Andre’s Drive-In!
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4 comments on “Neon Sheep! A Giant Shoe! And More! Exploring Bakersfield’s Americana Gems”
These are fab, thanks for sharing!
Fantastic photos! You have such a great eye, Janey, and really help to breathe continued life into these captivating remnants of the not-too-distant past with your beautiful images of them.
Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life
Aw, thank you so much!
I always love seeing your photographs of vintage neon and abandoned buildings. This post was another great journey!