If you have ever walked down a city street and found yourself fretting because your favorite neon sign or hot dog stand is no longer there, a trip to the Valley Relics Museum in Los Angeles, California is an absolute must. Valley Relics Museum founder Tommy Gelinas spent decades collecting discarded restaurant menus, dusty ashtrays, and framed photographs so that he could put California’s robust contributions to popular culture on display for the entire world to see.
The Valley Relics Museum features over 25,000 treasured bits of L.A. history that locals and lovers of the City of Angels alike will instantly recognize. Gelinas has rescued countless neon signs, including Valley Shoe Repair’s beloved glowing green shoe. The Henry’s Tacos exterior—equipped with a fully intact menu—never fails to make visitor’s mouths water as they dream of a simpler time when tacos cost 35 cents a plate.
Visitors can spend an entire afternoon looking at rows of BMX bikes, classic cars, autographed portraits of Hollywood legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, and old yearbooks donated by residents who grew up in the San Fernando Valley.
The Valley Relics Museum only has approximately 45% of its total collection on display at any given time, so repeat visits are encouraged if you like what you see. One of the most popular recent additions to the museum is a collection of several pinball machines and arcade games which once resided at the Family Fun Arcade in Granada Hills.
A few hours spent wandering the Valley Relic Museum will transport you back to a calmer time before cell phones, social media, and QR codes. If you have long lamented the closure of a beloved L.A. restaurant or business, there’s a good chance that Tommy Gelinas has a piece of your favorite establishment tucked away for safekeeping in his extensive collection.
7900 Balboa Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 91406