Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sweet vintage signage in Sleepy Eye & a theatre in need of rescue June 9, 2014

Classic vintage signage on the King Koin Launderette.

Classic vintage signage on the King Koin Launderette in Sleepy Eye.

EVERY TIME I PASS through Sleepy Eye along U.S. Highway 14 in southwestern Minnesota, I admire the same business signage, especially on the King Koin Launderette downtown.

With no time ever to stop for a proper photo shoot, I settle for a drive-by shot.

That laundromat sign is just so classic. You gotta love it.

Another eye-catching sign on the west side of Sleepy Eye.

Another eye-catching sign on the west side of Sleepy Eye.

Ditto for the simple geometric sign that’s likely marked Mathiowetz Body Shop for years. The garage style building and clutter of vehicles tell me this is a body shop, even if I miss the sign.

Can the PIX Theatre be reclaimed?

Can the PIX Theatre be reclaimed?

And, finally, there’s the PIX Theatre. Each time I observe the clearly abandoned building with those three aging letters and the hole in the marquee, I want to scream, “Please, somebody, anybody, buy this place and restore it.”

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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18 Responses to “Sweet vintage signage in Sleepy Eye & a theatre in need of rescue”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    Signs of years gone by were reflections of each business’ personality…..not so today, when most all have “sub titles” reading “Coca Cola” or “Pepsi” cuz that’s where the $$ for such a placard was sourced. We have become so homogenized and bombarded with so much that ‘uniqueness’ is a vanishing commodity.

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    I haven’t seen a King Koin Launderette is a very long time. Nice find. Classic storefront with the AC unit above the door. When it comes to logo and signage – simple is best. The more complex and busy signage becomes the less interesting it is to me it seams. It is like describing something is less words rather than more.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Good old small town signage….PIX is such a sweet name for a movie theater, I’m with you, I hope someone snatches it up and gives it a face lift. I have never heard of a coin operated laundry place referred to as a “launderette”, just laundromat…. interesting.

  4. Beth Ann Says:

    Love looking at old signage in small towns, too. There is something so magical almost about some of them and then some are so straight forward and to the point. Little known fact—I lived above a laundry mat my senior year in college. I would not recommend it. It seemed like a great idea at the time but boy—-it got hot!!!!!!!

  5. Great Signage – I want to see inside of the PIX 🙂 I have family in Sleepy Eye and have not been there in ages. Love exploring and arm chair traveling with you through these small communities! Happy Week 🙂

  6. I’m a sucker for vintage motel signs. Just love those. Sadly, there are fewer all the time.

  7. cecilia Says:

    I love these old towns and their old signs.. c


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