Oregon Design and Architecture Oregon History Portland History

Thunderbird/Red Lion 1977

Remember when ads used to be long-form, almost essay-like? Championed by Ogilvy and often utilized by ad agencies throughout the 1970s [coke-fueled art directors must have loved working on them] well into the 90s, these types of ads actually took some time to, you know, read. Back when there was time to relax with a magazine.

This full-pager [go here to the Flickr account for the big version in all its 1970s orange glory or click on the ad below] is a perfect example. It’s a bit dated but it’s well written, breezy and does its job. The type justification, though? Shoot me. Ragged left, people. Ragged left.

Whoa, man, like, fire. Far out.

Why are you wearing my clothes?

Mommy, who’s that man with the funny accent on the TV? That’s our president. He’ll make a better ex-president.

I haz menus!

The Thunderbird is currently shuttered. The Red Lion is open and has, um, mixed reviews from visitors.

10 replies on “Thunderbird/Red Lion 1977”

We always stayed at the Thunderbird before plane trips, I thought it was so fancy and cool. Always felt very grown-up walking through those dark hallways to our room.

Funny, I spent some time this weekend looking at an old magazine and noting that same thing about the ads. They’re so _wordy_. I started to wonder how they expected people to read all that, but then I remembered that people probably actually had something of an attention span back then.

My family often went to the Red Lion on the Vancouver side for Mother’s Day brunch. As a kid I always liked the little lights in the ceiling and the views were pretty nice of the river and, um, I5.

That’s wonderful- My family also has many of those same memories. Do you know where the Red Lion city center was located and what building it is currently? I know the name has changed, but we would also frequent that place

It was originally built as a Ramada Inn…321 SW Lincoln…246 Room, Center 4 Lounge and the waterbed was in Rm 149!

The original Thunderbird is now demolished, it was by the other river. when Red Lion merged with Thunderbird they started to build all service motor lodges. RL has red color scheme and Thunderbird purple color scheme? It was around this time they changed the logos. They also had mansard roofs and shingles when they changed red lion and thunderbird logos. I really miss Thunderbirds and too bad Red Lion does not bring back logo brand and color scheme for Thunderbird and designate Thunderbirds to smaller properties rather than full size motor inns. the Quay across in Vancouver is the oldest property and then the Thunderbird Jantzen Beach was built and then Red Lion Jantzen Beach. The abandoned Thunderbird was my favorite and such a shame it’s not being used.

The Thunderbird on the Portland side went up in flames on Sept. 2, 2012. It had been shuttered for several years and the sprinkler system was turned off. All that’s left is memories.

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