Eric’s salvaged Sunset Palms sign shines on his LA loft

Eric and Phil by Gary Leonard

I met Eric after spotting the fabulous pink bathroom from Villa Basque on flickr… then moved to the whole photo set… which was taken by Eric aka Jericles Cat. He then sent me this terrific photo of him and his partner Phil. This is their LA loft – which is tended over the wonderful salvaged Sunset Palms motel sign. Eric also then found a vintage photo of the original place. Isn’t the sign against the orange wall great!

Click thru for Eric’s story — and a photo of the original Sunset Palms motel –>

Here’s Eric’s story:

I saved it when the motel changed owners. I was unemployed at the time and plenty of opportunities to go to the motel site and bug the new owners, “Where’s the sign?,” “What sign company did you hire?,” “I’d like to save it, where is it?” I finally wore them down and they gave the name of the sign company. I looked them up and was there an hour later, bravely driving to the back of their yard and loading the sign into my truck. Once I had every letter (and this is a two sided motel sign so I have two copies of the lettering), someone finally approached me. I told the woman I’m saving the sign for a museum exhibit at the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) in downtown LA which was partially true and then I drove off.

Years later I finally have a wall to show off the whole thing. A portion of the other side of it is on display at MONA, so I wasn’t really lying about my noble intentions after all.

(I asked Eric at one point if he got the sign dumpster diving. He answered): Dumpster diving! Yep, that account for a good quarter of my art and furniture…


Thanks, Eric. Keep up the good work! Oh, and I meant to ask: What happened to M-O-T-E-L x2?

Sunset Palms Motel, Hollywood

  1. Tanya says:

    My Parents, Luke & Vicki Mitchell managed that motel in early 70’s. A man named Edward Miller was the owner. He lived in Inglewood at the time, but owned several properties all over So. Cal. Really fun times growing up in Hollywood.. ! After my parents had it, and moved to other properties, that Motel had several movies shot there. There was also a 2 story apartment type building on the back of the property, that were used for monthly rentals.

  2. Jules says:

    F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!! I’m inspired to begin my adventures this spring in Indiana and Ohio in search of great retro treasures of signs from days gone by…

    If anything, I need to photograph, archive and at least make fun magnets from my photos to share with retro friends.



    P.S. My great room, and living room are this exact shade of orange!

    Tre’ chic!


  3. Brenny says:

    This post is the first thing I thought of when I got home yesterday a.m. Imagine my surprise when I arrived home from work @ 0730 and a big big truck was broken down in my front yard, practically. The truck bed was not covered and it appeared to be some sort of sign that was being hauled. I walked up to the bed and guess what?? OMG, it’s not one but TWO vinatge neon Weight Watchers signs. !!!!!!!I would die to see these lit up. They are still there. I cannot believe it! It’s not the sort of sign that you would want to display in your living room, BUT they are vintage and neon and Weight Watchers! How cool is that?

  4. karmi_woolfe says:

    Eric and Phil — glad that scrap treasure went to someone capable of picking the perfect background color! I never would have thought of doing that, so you deserve it! Neon sign companies might have to start guarding their piles of discarded goodies though…I can just imagine all the retro reconnaissance going on at this very moment. Oh… and instead of ‘dumpster diving’, I prefer the term Hollywood Shopping, which seems appropriate in this case. Thanks for sharing!

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