Behind the Curtain of the Museum of Neon Art at Their Warehouse
As some of you know, one of my favorite museums in Southern California is the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale. As amazing as the museum is, it’s quite small, and neon signs tend to be quite big, so it’s no surprise the museum has a warehouse where they house signs not currently on display, recent acquisitions that are awaiting restoration, and more. Normally the warehouse is off-limits, but they recently started offering tours of the space, and we had a chance to check it out.
Our tour was conducted by friend, and neon, Eric Lynxwiler. Highlights of the tour included finally being able to see the Brown Derby sign (which hasn’t been on display during any of my visits to MONA), an up-close look at the massive K that used to sit top the Sky Cabin at Knott’s Berry Farm, the Flynn’s arcade neon from Tron: Legacy, and insight into the acquisition and restoration process, including boxes and boxes of vintage tubes. One of my favorite items was a miniature of a vintage billboard for The Sands, which featured extremely thin neon, and was made for the 1982 Francis Ford Coppola film One From the Heart. Not familiar with the film? You can catch the miniature in action here, and see some behind the scenes footage here.
While MONA is in Glendale, their warehouse is located in Pomona, and right next door to a brewery, dubbed Neon Bear, drawing inspiration from their neighbor and the iconic Vodies bear signs. Inside the brewery are several signs (including a Vodies bear) on loan from MONA, and our tour even included a pint of beer from them.
Be sure to follow the Museum of Neon Art on Instagram for the latest information, including when they will be offering warehouse tours next. In the meantime visit the Museum of Neon Art at 216 S Brand Boulevard in Glendale. For more information on the museum, including their unique tours (such as their Neon Cruise which we’ve done), and becoming a member, visit their website. Grab a pint at the Neon Bear Brewery at 560 E. Commercial Street #21 in Pomona.
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