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How Museum of Neon Art in Glendale tell stories of immigrants, entrepreneurs

Looking to enjoy the weekend without the rain? The Museum of Neon Art in Glendale can be the place to escape.

Since its inception in the 1980s, the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale has passionately upheld and preserved this unique artistic form.

“It tells the people’s history of Los Angeles, of the United States, of the world,” said Corrie Siegel, Executive Director of the museum.

Through the museum’s corridors, visitors are greeted with a kaleidoscope of hues.

“These signs tell stories of entrepreneurs, many of them immigrants, who recognized the power of neon to attract customers,” Siegel explained.

The museum’s collection often comes from donations, preserving relics of a bygone era.

One notable sign, bearing the name “Doc Kilzum,” once adorned a building near the junction of the 5 and 2 freeways.

This sign served as a trademark of the Paramount Pest Control Company with roots tracing back to the 1940s. Its significance was brought to light when a member of a yoga class noticed it outside a window, obscured by boxes, and promptly alerted the museum.

“They peered through the clutter and noticed the figure of a frantic doctor, hastily retreating, concealed within,” recounted Siegel.

Neon faced a decline in the 1980s, deemed eyesores and regulated in some communities. Yet, a cadre of artists has revitalized the craft, crafting new pieces on site.

The Museum of Neon Art stands as a testament to Los Angeles’s storied past where all those stories can be preserved in bright, flashy signs forever.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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