After years of work, preservationists and a developer finally agreed to a deal to reuse the former Golden Gate Theatre in East Los Angeles as a CVS pharmacy. But who knew that preserving the 1927 Spanish Churrigueresque-style landmark would also include the recycling of a classic midcentury burger stand sign located next door? The Jim’s Burger – one of those ubiquitous restaurants named after Jim, Rick, Tom, etc – that once sold “char-broiled” burgers and pastrami sandwiches was demolished as part of the new retail CVS project at Whittier and Atlantic boulevards. But, somehow, the Jim’s Burger sign facing Atlantic Boulevard was salvaged and remade into a new sign promoting the upcoming CVS/Pharmacy drive-thru. A spokeswoman for the L.A. Conservancy said the preserving the sign was part of the agreement struck with the developer, Charles Co., but wasn’t required.
East Los Angeles resident C.J. Salgado said that using the Jim’s Burger sign to draw attention to the former Golden Gate Theatre – a national historic landmark – seems a bit ironic. “The historic theater is entering new life with a sign that is reminiscent of something out of the futuristic “Jetsons” cartoons of 1960s.”
P.S.: Fans of charbroiled burgers and Jetsons-like signage should head to the Jim’s Burger in Boyle Heights at First Street and State streets.