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Rosslyn Neon Sign Lit... For Filming

By Dave Bullock
Published: Monday, September 10, 2007, at 11:31AM
Rosslyn Hotel Signs Lit Dave Bullock [Flickr]

Downtown Los Angeles was once a mecca for neon signage. There are hundreds of neon signs in the Historic core, some of which are functional, but many that are nothing more than empty glass tubes. Sometimes the City will go out of its way to re-light these glorious neon accouterments, like they did with the Rosslyn's sign supposedly for the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Not too long after the DNC the sign went dark.

The Rosslyn sign was lit again last night, but this time not by the City or the landlord Rob Frontiera, but by a film crew for the new David E. Kelley TV show: Life on Mars. The film crew didn't connect the sign to DWP mains, but to their wonderful fume-spewing diesel generators.

The irony about connecting the sign to the generators stems from the City having funded the sign's overhaul almost a decade before in which they connected it to a metered main. The city never paid Frontiera for the electricity the sign was using even though they signed a 10 year contract to do just that and eventually the sign was turned off.

Personally I think it would be in the City's best interest to light as much of the Downtown neon as possible. Not only is it visually stunning, it also provides a feeling of vitality in places that can feel deserted and abandoned once the sun goes down.

Of course, I wasn't the first or only person to shoot the temporarily lit sign, Jim Winstead, Bert Green and Sha In LA also shot and blogged about the sign. You can see more of the photos I took on flickr or


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