July 31, 2020

Newly Revealed Photos From the Library of Congress Show San Antonio’s Vintage Signs and Storefronts

Last month, the Library of Congress published more than 10,000 vintage photographs of American roadside curios snapped by photographer John Margolies.

Margolies captured images of garish and unusual roadsigns and storefronts while zipping around the U.S. on 40 years of highway journeys. His collected work offers a view of forgotten roadside Americana, including more than a few Alamo City treasures.

“My parents’ generation thought it was the ugliest stuff in the world,” Margolies told the Washington Post in 2015. Well, maybe, but it's also pretty fascinating in its own tacky way.

All 11,710 of Margolies' photos are available on the Library of Congress website, but since they're public domain, the Current pulled a few of our favorites. See how many of these San Antonio-area attractions you remember, from the Spanish Galleon Restaurant to the Joy Theatre.

All photos via John Margolies Roadside America Photograph Archive.
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Spanish Galleon Restaurant, San Antonio, Texas
Mission Drive-in Theater, Roosevelt Avenue, San Antonio, Texas
F Road Drive-in Theater, Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, Texas
Frozen Food Lockers, 1706 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas
Club Prelude sign, San Antonio, Texas
Pig Stand, San Antonio, Texas
Pig Stand, San Antonio, Texas
Armadillo sign float, San Antonio, Texas
Welcome Travelers gas, San Antonio, Texas
Ray Rogers Mobil, San Antonio, Texas