Friday, January 15, 2010

Mystery photo from the late 1960s

Maybe you can help me identify this photo. I found it in a Orange County Planning Department booklet published in 1968. The image was uncaptioned, but it was used to represent how much Orange County had changed from its rural beginnings. In it, we can see signs for a Consumer City discount department store, a Burger Chef fast food restaurant, a bowling alley, and Shell, Hancock and Douglas gas stations. Any guesses?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did a bit of research in ProQuest and may have an answer for you. A couple of 1967 display ads in the Los Angeles Times show the following addresses: Consumer City at 2025 W. First St., Santa Ana, and
Burger Chef at 2217 W. First St., Santa Ana. Could this be the correct locations? In any case, thanks for posting this photo! Love that Burger Chef! - Daralee

Anonymous said...

Good call Daralee,

That was the correct address for the Burger Chef 2217 W. First St.
The Building still stands and open for business selling fast food.
The orignal Burger Chef sign is gone from this restraunt.

Note: research Burger Chef and find out, in the 1960's it was the number 2 fast food chain in the USA. 80% of there building & signs are still out there today in business as other fast food havens. (Take a look at Angelos on St. College in Anaheim - Craig

DregerClock.org said...

I thought that was a familiar looking burger sign... I grew up close to Angelos in Anaheim. That sign looks a lot like the Angelos sign... but is different enough to know it is not the same sign. Interesting that the sighs look so similar!

Chris Jepsen said...

Thank you Daralee and Craig! Nice work!

I looked at the ground-level photos on Google Maps, and it seems like that area hasn't exactly improved since the 1960s.

B. von Traven said...

Dude, you're messing with my mind. I did a little research and quickly found someone--a Chris Jepson--who answered this question back in March. (See OC Memories.) Um, but aren't YOU Chris Jepson? So I guess maybe you shoulda asked yourself that question, since you knew the answer.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I think some things have gotten worse over time. Signage. This street scene may be visual overload in some respects but at least the signs employed good design and neon.

my 2 cents

romleys said...

I love these 1960s era photos of street scenes and shopping centers! Keep em' coming!

Chris Jepsen said...

B. von Traven: Ha! You're right! Guess I had more time to do research back then! They say the memory is the first thing to go. I forget what the second thing is.

Pasadena Adjacent: I agree.

David said...

Hi, I remember going to the Burger Chef there, as well as the bowling alley in the background. My parents and aunts and uncles would bring my cousins and I for the "big weekend bowl"! Diffrent lanes on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons once a month forever. I seem to recall these places to be on 17th St.(Westminster Blvd. in G.G.). We lived on Merello St. in G.G. and it seems we would just shoot straight down 17th right to these places. Consumer City seemed like a big discount everything store. My cousins and I would hang out at the Burger Chef and wander around that little strip mall after we got tired of bowling. Great fun for a bunch of pre-teens in the
60's. I've lost all of my photos from that period in my life, this photo brings back great memories! Thanks!
Dave

Bill said...

I still have a fiberglass waterfall my grandmother purchased at Consumer City around 1960.
The bear that lived on Harbor blvd. we would stop and buy him a coke. :)

Anonymous said...

First st SA, I grew up on Borchard and my folks used to bowl at Consumer City.

Eduardo Schmidt said...

I grew up in Santa Ana, California. This burger joint was our favorite. We'd also bowl there, near the 'Bunny Patch', one of the first TOPLESS/go-go dancers venues on the area back in the 60's.

Anonymous said...

The location is First Street in Santa Ana, CA. The Burger Chef is now Dino's Hamburgers and the Consumer City is now a thrift store. I remember Consumer City and Burger Chef. I went there as a child and have fond memories.

Anonymous said...

Behind the Consumer City sign is the Holiday Bowl sign. Holiday Bowl on 1st Street was opened, I think around 1960? My Grandfather was the original general manager, Larry Baird. The group he was with then opened Santana Lanes on, I think, Bristol and Warner.