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Nighttime at Las Vegas’ Neon Boneyard

I stopped by the Neon Museum during a quick trip to Las Vegas last week. It’s actually less a museum and more of a neon sign graveyard, or boneyard as they call it. There are some signs from Vegas’ early days and many of them aren’t actually neon signs but just old light-up signs. Most of the signs are inoperable but a few, such as the one for the La Concha Motel above, have been restored. In fact, when two newly restored signs were unveiled last week, it made the local newspaper.

The tour takes about an hour and while there’s some cool photo-ops, it’s actually not a very photographer-friendly venue. The rules prohibit more than one lens or camera and don’t allow video. Camera bags are also not allowed. Before you begin the tour, they warn you that any photos you take are for your personal use only. According to the museum’s website, “Still photography for any additional artistic or commercial use is strictly prohibited on tours.” I get the commercial restriction, but prohibiting “any additional artistic” use seems strange and rather unenforceable.

If you go, I’d recommend a wide zoom. There’s cramped quarters in the boneyard. I used the equivalent of a 50mm prime lens and found it a tad too tight. Tickets, which should be purchased in advance, are $25.

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Joe Newman

I'm Joe Newman, multi-media story teller, non-profit do-gooder, international street photographer, serious poker player, intrepid traveler. Bourbon drinker.

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