IMG_7315Felix the cat has been gutted–or is it greened? It depends on who you ask.

The 1956 neon sign at the corner of Figueroa and Jefferson downtown is hard to miss. And it’s expensive to light: the folks at the Chevrolet dealership that hosts the giant cat say it was costing upwards of 12 grand a month to illuminate. Replacing the neon tubes with LED, they say, makes Felix greener, and cheaper to keep up.

But the new look has got the backs up of preservationists like Kim Cooper.

IMG_7323

Two Felixes: Founder Winslow, and the fabled cartoon

Cooper, with her husband Richard Schave, runs a tour company in LA and they are encyclopedic in their knowledge of LA history. They’re disappointed that the city didn’t landmark the sign, which would have made it impossible for Felix Chevrolet to make the switch. And they say the new LED Felix isn’t as bright–and that the lights go out, making for a sloppy and burnt-out cat. They’ve collected 500 signatures in support of their request to the owners of Felix to please restore the neon.

A spokesman for Felix Chevrolet says the sign has never been brighter, and, while he respects the right of Cooper et al to protest, “They must have a lot of time on their hands. We think Felix looks great.”

Here’s my talk with Cooper at the scene. Drive by at night and tell us what you think:

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  • http://www.esotouric.com Kim Cooper

    If you suppose the restoration of the Felix the Cat neon, please visit the petition link below and chime in: http://www.change.org/petitions/general-motors-th

    For more about this cause, see http://fixfelix.blogspot.com/

  • Bill Concannon

    I question the dealership's estimate of $12K per month to keep it lit. I doubt the electric bills are that high, and if that figure includes maintenance, well, the new sign will need to be maintained too. But mostly I dislike the change in the color of the Chevy cross from a 50's Turquoise to an 80's Miami Vice Purple. Tacky.

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    Let Cooper pay the electric bill. If the sign is hosted by the Chevrolet dealership, they decide what to do. Maybe some people do not like that, but again, let them pay the bill.

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    I'm hoping Felix the cat will make a comeback. This is a neat article and the sign looks great. We are immersed cat lovers and specialize in litter box reviews.

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    Way to go Felix the cat I always wondered if the odd couple character was named after him, or even Felix Lighter from James Bond.

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