Pizza Palace's Iconic Neon Sign Good As It Was 50 Years Ago reports, “The ""Pizza Palace’s iconic neon-and-porcelain sign just turned half a century old, but the familiar image of the smiling chef holding the piping hot pizza and proudly proclaiming “mmm-mmm” never looked better. Aided by a grant from Knox Heritage’s Save Our Signs program, the colorful piece of Americana is as spiffy as it was on Aug. 10, 1961, when the popular Knoxville drive-in opened for business on Magnolia Avenue. ‘Historic signs, at some point, sort of transcend being an advertising sign and become an icon for folks in the community,’ said Kim Trent, executive director of Knox Heritage.”