31 August 2009

Lost City: Louisville Edition: Show n Tell Lounge

Two sure signs that a downtown is failing: many empty storefronts; and a thriving strip club industry.

Louisville, Kentucky's bears both earmarks in spades. But who can complain when the girlie joints have signage like the Show n Tell Lounge on West Chestnut?

You may be saying to yourself, "Sure, great sign. But why is it shaped like an old-time camera?" Good question, for surely cameras are not allowed or encouraged inside the Show n Tell. So, here's why: the storefront, and its neon sign, originally belonged to Schuhmann's Click Clinic, a camera store which opened in 1946 and closed in 2001. The early 1950s sign was adapted to suit the needs of this strip club.

A second Schuhmann sign (below), behind the store on the wall in the parking lot, survives intact.

It is perhaps appropriate that Schuhmann's show have been turned into a strip club; to me, Schuhmann's Click Clinic is about the dirtiest-sounding name for a camera store I ever heard.

1 comment:

Joey Harrison said...

I take issue with your comments that Louisville's downtown is failing and that it's home to a thriving strip club industry.

Our downtown is actually pretty healthy. Active storefronts far outnumber empty storefronts, even now in the difficult economy.

As for strip clubs, there are only two downtown, right next door to each other. There's a big cluster of them on the south side, miles from downtown.