matchbook delight Posts

061. Matchbook Delight! Part 15, The Chart House.

Today the Chart House is a chain of steak and seafood restaurants owned since 2002 by Landry’s, the owner of an empire of high-end chain-restaurant brands such as Morton’s, Claim Jumper, and McCormick & Schmick’s. Judging by the Yelp! reviews, the remaining Los Angeles-area locations are expensive and mediocre. Despite its present mediocrity, the Chart […] «Read more»

057. Matchbook Delight! Part 14, Lloyd’s of Running Springs.

Lloyd’s of Running Springs was established in 1953 as the primary nice restaurant in the town of Running Springs, a mountain community of 5,000 persons in the San Bernardino National Forest and a way station in between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake. It appears to have ceased operations within the last decade, although the […] «Read more»

053. Matchbook Delight! Part 13, The Kettle.

This matchbook for The Kettle shows another nice utilization of two-color printing. Gradients were not an option and thus the print technology encourages a flattening aesthetic – in this case, a traditional iron kettle is abstracted into a skewed shape that brings to mind a fat, cute animal, just the kind one likes to eat. […] «Read more»

049. Matchbook Delight! Part 12, PSA Hotel Islandia.

I liked the look of this matchbook, with its jaunty, pre-Starbucks mermaid logo and friendly logogram, rendered in orange in a chubby-serifed variant of the Cooper typeface that I used for the Matchbook Delight! logo above. I had to do a little web-browsing to learn the very 1970s story behind this hotel. The “PSA” of […] «Read more»

045. Matchbook Delight! Part 11, Stardust Hotel and Casino.

The Stardust was an epic work of the Lower Modern, a hotel-casino that exemplified the “Decorated Shed” advocated by Venturi and Scott Brown in Learning from Las Vegas. The graphic elements of this matchbook, rendered in cleverly harmonizing hues with a three-color print process, echo the forms of YESCO’s great 1960s electrographic sign. There are […] «Read more»

041. Matchbook Delight! Part 10, Royal Tempe Sands Hotel.

This small chain of Sands Hotels has a nice logo – over a bundle of stripes, a shape like an abstract crown that also brings to mind chefs’ hats and caravan tents. The backside features a bullet list of their hotels with hand-drawn starbursts in place of asterisks. The script of “Sands” contrasts with the […] «Read more»

037. Matchbook Delight! Part 9, Jai Alai at the MGM Grand Hotel.

The date of this matchbook can be narrowed down to between the years 1974, when they began playing Jai Alai at the fronton in the new MGM Grand Hotel, and 1980, when a disastrous fire broke out in the unsprinklered hotel, killing 85 and putting an end to the “fastest game in town.” It has […] «Read more»

033. Matchbook Delight! Part 8, Caesars Palace.

This matchbook looks as though it must be at least 1500 years old, with its edges oxidized like ancient parchment. But do not be fooled, it is all part of the illusion! The letterforms that make up the “CAESARS PALACE” logogram are inspired by Roman inscriptions, i.e., this kind of thing. The characters are made […] «Read more»

029. Matchbook Delight! Part 7, House of Prime Rib.

The House of Prime Rib, a hella old school establishment in San Francisco, was established in 1949. This matchbook, probably from somewhere around 1970, has a pleasing character. Printed in two colors on a yellow-cream coated card stock, the book features “House of Prime Rib” in Old English lettering in red on a circle configured […] «Read more»

024. Matchbook Delight! Part 6, SEITA Chamois.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I have learned that SEITA was the Service d’Exploitation Industrielle des Tabacs et Allumettes – the French national tobacco monopoly. It appears that “Chamois” was a trademark for matches that they distributed. This was among the only foreign matchbooks in the collection I inherited, so evidently the collector was not a frequent […] «Read more»

020. Matchbook Delight! Part 5, Sambo’s Pancakes.

Though little remembered today, Sambo’s was a chain of coffee shops that rivaled Denny’s in ubiquity – there were 1,200 restaurants in 47 states as recently as 1979. The restaurants were named after its founders Sam and Bo, but their branding imagery derived from a turn-of-the-century children’s book called The Story of Little Black Sambo. […] «Read more»

014. Matchbook Delight! Part 4, Flamingo Hilton.

I present the first of many Las Vegas casino matchbooks in my collection, this one from the Flamingo, historically the greatest of all the Las Vegas resorts. We can presume this matchbook is no older than 1974, for according to Wikipedia, that was the year in which the Flamingo was renamed “The Flamingo Hilton”. It […] «Read more»

010. Matchbook Delight! Part 3, May Co. Department Stores.

May Company was one of the great American department store chains until 2006, when the brand was entirely subsumed by Macy’s. The now extinct May Co. brand will be remembered by architectural historians for its great late-Streamline Moderne store at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, designed by A.C. Martin, which is now a part […] «Read more»

007. Matchbook Delight! Part 2, Eaton’s Restaurant and Hotel, Arcadia, Calif.

Today’s installment of Matchbook Delight! features a book from Eaton’s Restaurant and Hotel, formerly of 1150 West Colorado in the city of Arcadia – part of Route 66. A little internet search-engine research helps us find a historic postcard of the Eaton’s site, a sprawling roadside rancho with a googie-izing sign out front and a […] «Read more»

004. Introducing Matchbook Delight! Curly Jones Family Restaurant.

This post introduces an ongoing series of featured lomo matchbooks to be called, “Matchbook Delight!” Last year I bought a large collection of matchbooks at a yard sale, kept the ones I liked, and gave away the rest. Most of those I kept are from the 1960s and 1970s and are Lower Modernist in style; […] «Read more»