The Fresno Fairground added three more signs to its historic collection of signs that surround the Paul Paul Theater: Fresno Motel, Eddie’s Speed Shop and Louie Kee Market.
The rescued, vintage 1950s neon sign from the motel features a diving woman. It was rescued after the motel was set for demolition in the path of high-speed rail along Golden State Boulevard north of Roeding Park.
The Fresno Motel sign weighs around 2,500 pounds, and is made of steel and aluminum. It was restored by A-1 Signs of Fresno. Redoing the neon, wiring, paint and metal work took around two months. It was in rough shape when the fair got it, as it was rusted and had broken neon and bullet holes.
The Eddie’s Speed Shop sign was donated to the fair by Teri Garrison, the widow of Mike Garrison, who ran Eddie’s Speed Shop on Blackstone Avenue in the 1970s and ’80s. There Garrison would tune motors to make dragsters and race boats run their fastest. He died in May.
Louie Kee Market in west Fresno closed last October after 93 years in business.
Fresno Neon manufactured both the Fresno Motel and Louie Kee signs.
Other famous signs from Fresno’s past are on display at the theater.