Day-to-Night Bash: LA Neon Jubilee

Celebrate the relighting of the Velaslavasay Panorama's marquee.

Velaslavasay Panorama

The Golden State is very much about its various illumination sources, whether it involves a full moon hike in one of our treasured national parks or the sun dipping into the Pacific Ocean each evening.

Of course, our sun and moon obsessions make sense, given that California's very nickname glows. And it's no surprise that our glowful state is home to many natty neon signs, those roadside eye-catchers that cast a colorful light on everything from diners to motels to bowling alleys.

Los Angeles has plenty of retro neon to crow — er, glow — about, and one of the loveliest theater examples is The Union's marquee. The Velaslavaslay Panorama has called the 1939 building home for several years, but the sign is getting a grand relighting on Saturday, Sept. 10, a come-one-come-all hullabaloo with history at its heart.

The relighting isn't only about the marquee. It's also the Los Angeles International Neon Jubilee, a free afternoon affair that'll include cameos from the Bob Baker Marionettes, the Echo Park Film Center (which will be on hand with nifty activities), and the dancing-on-roller-skates LA Rollers.

Once evening arrives, and the turning on of the marquee's neon, things get ticketed, all in support of the jubilee and the spiffying-up of the sign. A ticket is $20.16 (easy to remember), though Velaslavasay Panorama Enthusiast Society members pay $18.98 ("the year NEON was discovered!").

You'll want to RSVP for the free, earlier-in-the-day doings, and secure your evening ticket in advance for this community-cool, old-fashioned-fun, charms-aplenty celebration of the buzziest incandescence around.

"Buzziest," of course, in two senses. Neon has buzz, or cachet, if you prefer, now and always, and that buzzy sound the tubes make, up close, is truly a sound that can't quite be replicated by anything else.

Throw this fabulous buzz-worthy light source a party already.

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