One such place hides in plain sight along Brookhurst Street in Anaheim. The Polynesian Motel has enjoyed a 50 year run, providing comfortable lodging for the budget-conscious traveler.
Here's our first shot of the Polynesian, taken when it was newly minted. Note the jaunty sign, which once broadcast the siren song of the South Seas to the adventurous. The rest of the motel appears to be rather scant with the Tiki accoutrements, but I guess we can give them a pass based on the strength of the sign itself.
One should take note of the phone booth at the base of the sign. These are getting very hard to find these days, as cell phones have become as common as these glass boxes once were.
I'd love to slip back in time to around 1960, and be standing in this booth around 9:00 PM on some warm summer evening, with the neon lighting of the sign filling the booth with color and movement. Perhaps I'd call a cab to take me down the road to Linbrook Bowl* where I could roll a few frames and mix with the locals in the Kopa Room*.
Now here's the Polynesian in December, 2007. The grounds are well maintained and the paint is fresh, but the excitment and lure of the place has suffered with the removal of it's neon beacon.
Another card from the late 60's focused on the pool scene (sorry for the poor quality).
The pool area as it is today:
One more thing: if you decide to step out for a smoke, make sure you grab a matchbook when you pass by the office.
Unfortunately, it looks like they skimped a bit on these, as the cover depicts a generic roadside motel, not the exotic Polynesian...
* This locally-treasured alley and lounge still exist, and will be the focus of a not-to-distant future post.