Neon Light, Possibly on for a Record 70 Years, Found Behind Wall at Clifton's Cafeteria
Joe the toe stubber
Workers doing renovation at Clifton's Cafeteria downtown discovered a neon light behind a wall that was on and lit up, it was reported today.
A neon history expert told the Weekly that it was quite possible that it could be the oldest continuously lit neon light in the world if it has been on for 70 years, as was claimed in blogdowntown today.
According to the site, Clifton's owner Andrew Meieran says ...
... that behind one wall they found a neon light -- it was on, and had been quietly glowing behind the wall for about 70 years. He's dubbed it the "Eternal Neon," adding that the light has no switch and must be hard-wired into a panel deep in the brick.
Neon experts told Meieran it must be the "oldest existing, continuing operating neon in the world."
We reached out to Museum of Neon Art director Kim Koga today. She said it's quite possible:
It's totally possible. It wasn't a flourescent tube that's for sure. To last that long it would have to be neon.
She said the light would most likely be red or blue, given its age, but that it could also be white, yellow or green if the glass was tinted or if the gas was treated with uranium.
"I'm so curious," she said. "I would love to see the thing. I hope they don't shut it off."
We have a call in to Meieran's publicist.
[Added at 5:47 p.m.]: A rep for Meieran confirmed that the light is still on! Whew.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.