The Best Vintage Neon Signs In LA

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library
Marnie Sehayek

Earlier this year, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) found its new home in Glendale, exhibiting a stellar collection of signage from around the world all under one roof. There are more than a few examples from Southern California, including the iconic Brown Derby sign from the eponymous restaurant chain back in the days of postwar Hollywood. These days, there are still a few shining examples of neon lighting the streets of Los Angeles. Here’s a look at the best of them.

Loved by over 40s

Circus Liquor

Store, Shop

Burlesque, brash, and 32 feet tall, the towering clown above Circus Liquor in North Hollywood goads gawkers to stop in and pick up a drink. This clown may not be evil (wait, are those crosses for eyes?), but he has a creepy reputation, having been immortalized in several unsavory crime scenarios in films like Cluelessand Snoop Dogg’s music video for ‘Murder Was The Case.’ Still, the grandeur of his bedazzled neon jumpsuit and pom pom-tipped toes makes this sign a showstopper. Plus, the store it stands for is one of the best in town.

Earl Carroll Theatre

Library, Theater

The Earl Carroll Theatre
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library
The unique neon signs at Universal Studios, many restored to their full grandeur by MONA, are the saving grace of what otherwise is a terrible tourist trap. The CityWalk is host to several awesome old LA signs such as the one that used to hang above the Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. The theater of yore was replaced by Nickelodeon’s stage facility, but the sign lives on for our enjoyment. Neon lines compose a bombshell’s visage, framed by the words, ‘Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world.’

The Seventh Veil

The Seventh Veil

Hollywood’s infamous Seventh Veil has played muse to some really good-in-a-bad-way hair metal bands. Mötley Crüe name-checked them in their stripper anthem ‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ and the club has coaxed a whole lot of spectators seeking late-night entertainment – meaning the spectacular neon façade. Undulating purple lines curve around Middle Eastern-style archways and form a bulbous shell around the front awning. A marquee juts out of the glow, alternately illuminating the words ‘girls, girls,’ and finally ‘girls’ in red, then yellow, then purple.

The Seventh Veil, 7180 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Chop Suey

Gastropub, Bar, American, Asian

Far Bar, Los Angeles
Courtesy of Freddy Smalls Bar + Kitchen
Whiskey lovers from every cranny of the city are acquainted with Far Bar, coming to find special spirits on their wide-ranging menu. Finding the bar itself, on the other hand, can be tricky unless you know what you’re looking for. A big neon sign might be obvious if it said ‘Far Bar,’ but it doesn’t. It says ‘Chop Suey,’ and if you look closer, ‘Far East’ in smaller letters. The sign harkens back to Depression-era Los Angeles when the building housed the Far East Café. Established in 1935, the café was a fixture within the Japanese-American community, and the building was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.



Kitty-corner to the University of Southern California campus is a three-sided neon rendition of Felix the Cat, leaning spryly with one paw propped on his hip and the other pointing to admirers below. In 1958, Winslow B. Felix opened his Chevrolet showroom at Jefferson and Figueroa, bringing the feline Felix along as a logo for the business. Felix, the car dealer, was a friend of Pat Sullivan, whose studio designed the cat character. The sign remains one of LA’s beloved landmarks, and today, Felix is an official cultural monument.
Please note the Felix sign now uses LEDs and is technically no longer classified as a neon sign.
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.