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Crazy ‘Bout that Neon Cat, FELIX!

Published on: December 11, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.–In Cool California there are plenty of cats lighting up the town with their antics. One of the most beloved was created in a studio and became known as the cartoon character, Felix the Cat, created in the 1920s. In February 2011, Felix Chevrolet, a Southern California institution since 1921, announced plans for an energy overhaul meant to lower its carbon footprint and electricity bills. The company proudly announced its aim to become the state’s first auto dealership to earn Zero Net Energy status. So far so good, right?

But no mention was made of any changes planned for dealership’s beloved neon sign. To the community’s shock, the energy overhaul has resulted in major, unannounced alterations to the dealership’s historic Felix the Cat sign, which has beckoned to motorists on Figueroa since legendary signage pioneer Wayne Heath (Winchell’s, Denny’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken) designed and erected it in 1958. Since mid-September, Felix has no longer glowed with the green, white and orange neon tubes that were the cat’s signature, but instead gives off the cold gleam of tiny LED lights–lights that are failing after just one month–and were not being replaced!

A petition asks the building’s owner to honor the commitment that they made to preserve Felix when they lobbied the Mayor and City Council to block the recommendation of the Cultural Heritage Commission that the sign become an official city landmark. Felix Chevrolet promised the Mayor and the city that they had no plans to touch the sign, and if they did, they would donate it to the Peterson Automotive Museum. Felix Chevrolet must undo the damage that they’ve done and restore Felix the Cat as the neon sign it was created to be, so future generations can enjoy it, says the committee to restore Felix. If you feel passionate about this cartoon character, neon signs, and historical landmarks, here’s the petition link to restore Felix.

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