Atlantic City, New Jersey: circa 1949.
Unbound. Large marquee sign measuring 83.5" wide with a height ranging from 32" to 48" at its tallest and a depth of 8". The neon tubing of the 5's of "500" are broken but the remaining tubes which reads "500 Club" twice lights up. The sign is overall very good with most of it in working order. It includes a curved side created so it nestled into the building it was hung from.
A neon marquee sign for Atlantic City’s infamous 500 Club for performances of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as well as Harry James and Frank Sinatra. The sign is from the late 1940s when Martin and Lewis were in the middle of their 10 year working relationship and Frank Sinatra was rebuilding his career. Sinatra played the club so often that by the 1950s the club’s sign would simply read “He’s Back.” Martin and Lewis began a decade’s long act at the 500 Club which propelled them both into stardom when the two were scheduled to play separate acts and when they failed the two combined forces to save the night. The club was owned by Sinatra’s friend the mobster Paul "Skinny" D'Amato from 1942 until it burned down in 1973. It was one of the most popular night spots on the East Coast and illegally started the first casino in Atlantic City. The sign itself lights using three plugs, two for each of the white lights behind the performers and one for the neon used for the club name. When plugged in each letter in “500 Club” lights up individually and then flashes twice as the full title.
A unique artifact from the heyday of nightclubs in Atlantic City featuring superstar performers.