Wheaton Grand Theater

I have fond memories of seeing movies at the old Wheaton Theater when I was a child. These days, it looks a lot different, mainly because it’s currently sitting vacant, but I was happy to see that the old sign is still hanging above the marquee.

Vintage-Style Signs at Cabana Bay

Since I shared pictures of the neon display at Laumeier Sculpture Park yesterday, I thought today I’d take a look back at our vacation this summer, and share my favorite vintage-inspired signs from Cabana Bay Beach Resort. They might not be original to the era, but they definitely catch the spirit of mid-century signs!

Neon Signs at Laumeier

Did you know that Laumeier Sculpture Park doesn’t showcase only sculptures? I actually didn’t realize that before our recent visit to see a non-sculpture exhibition on display in theĀ Aronson Fine Arts Center: “David Hutson, Memory & Desire: A Personal Exploration of Neon Art, Past and Present.” As the name suggests, this exhibition focuses on the work of David Hutson, and includes restorations of local neon signs, as well as original neon work by Mr. Hutson. While the original work is fantastic, my interest was in the vintage neon signs, and I was definitely not disappointed!

This exhibit will be on display at Laumeier through January 13, and I highly recommend it…it’s a fantastic glimpse into the past!

Greenway Motel

In my continuing search for great vintage road signs, I came across the Greenway Motel in the Granite City/Mitchell, IL area. I’m sure it looked even better when it still had neon, but it has that great retro shape and aesthetic that I love. Old Route 66 may not be a major thoroughfare anymore, but you can still find some great throwbacks to when it was!

Ted Drewes

Would you believe that with all the vintage road signs I’ve photographed, I’ve never intentionally gotten a picture of the iconic Ted Drewes sign? I have photographed it once before (it’s actually the first use of the “vintage road signs” tag on this website!), but it wasn’t a great picture, and I wasn’t even getting the shot for the purpose of capturing the sign…instead, I was capturing a moment of celebration after a Cardinals game. Anyway, I figured I should correct that oversight, with a picture of the Ted Drewes sign in all its glory!

Luna Cafe

My continuing quest to find and photograph cool old vintage signs took us to the Granite City/Mitchell, IL area last weekend, where we drove down part of old Route 66, and came across this sign for a still-operational business…Luna Cafe.

Flip’s

I’ve already shared about the great food at Flip’s in Glen Ellyn, IL…today I want to focus on their cool, vintage sign! I’m assuming the covered part is a branding issue (possibly it used to say Scala’s?), but other than that, it’s the same sign I remember from my childhood, and from who-knows-how-long before that!

Firestone

While I have on occasion photographed some cool vintage signs of local store chains, I have only once ever photographed a sign belonging to a national chain. But this Firestone sign, from the location on Chippewa in St. Louis, has a great vintage shape, and even has functional neon, so I’m making another exception.

Highland Manor Hotel

I thought I had done well to find two vintage signs to photograph in the Chicago area last month, and then one night, on the way from Elmhurst to Wheaton, we drove by the Highland Manor Motel. Of course it was on the wrong side of the road, so I had to turn around and go back to photograph it, but it was worth it…this is a great example of the style of  vintage signs that I love!