Route 66 News

Lights on at Highland Theatre

The historic Highland Theatre sign in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles was relighted during a ceremony Tuesday night, reported the Highland Park Patch.

The link includes a video of the sign being relit. But here’s a YouTube video of it, also:

The sign contains 502 light bulbs. Its restoration was paid for by donations and a cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. The theatre’s sign is one of only two large incandescent-bulb signs still in use along Route 66 in Los Angeles. According to the Patch, it was the first time in a decade that the sign had been lit.

It will be a while before the sign is activated regularly, however:

Although the Highland Theatre sign was relit, it still needs major electrical work and it will be one to two months before it shines on a somewhat regular basis.

Inouye estimates that the lights will be turned on during weekends throughout the summer and a maintenance plan will be generated after examining how long the new light bulbs will last.

The theater itself dates to 1925, and is still used as a multiplex cinema.

The North Figueroa Street corridor in Los Angeles was part of historic Route 66 from 1931 to 1934 and again from 1936 to 1960.

Later this year, the nearby Manning’s Coffee Store sign will be relighted also. The North Figueroa neighborhood also is the site of the Chicken Boy mascot that once graced the rooftop of a downtown Los Angeles restaurant, also on an old alignment of Route 66.

UPDATE: Here’s another video of the relighting, shot by Ted Soqui:

UPDATE2: Scott Piotrowski has posted a bunch of photos from the ceremony on his Flickr account.

UPDATE 5/21/2011: Here’s a nice video that shows the atmosphere in the neighborhood before the big event:


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