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TOPIC: marquee design?

marquee design? 24 Feb 2004 19:31 #28543

  • sals
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I'm in the process of purchasing a theater in a small town. The marquee is in terrible shape and probably needs to be replaced--it was added in the 1980's. The theater is historic and the town is undergoing an economic revitalization. Some grant money may be available for a facade improvement.

My question is whether there is anyone that helps with the design of marquees? The grant is probably modest and I'd like to give as much work to local people as I can.

I've been looking at the electroflourescent tape (looks like neon) and will definitely need to replace the plexi and backlight fixtures, also new letters. A builder would be able to handle the structure and the drainage.

If anybody has done this, I'd love to hear your ideas. Thanks!

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Re: marquee design? 24 Feb 2004 23:47 #28544

  • trackfood
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Just call a local sign company in your area. Let them know what you would like and have them draw up some plans with a price quote. They should also be able to give you some nicely proposed pictures.
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 10:17 #28545

  • jimor
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If your theatre is truly "historic" and the town is revitalizing, you may want to return to a version of the first or second marquee the theatre had in the early days. If so, there is an entire large booklet of the designs of the past from the Theatre Historical Soc. of America at: www.HistoricTheatres.org on the sidebar on their first page, with the link ANNUALS and on that page drop down to the title: "MARQUEES" and at the bottom they tell you how to order a copy. There are many firms that have made reproduction marquees in harmony with these and many other designs. Today, they can use aluminum and plastics to duplicate the look of the old steel ones without having the certainty of rust that comes with the steel ones.

Of course, you will have to determine what building code restrictions are present in your area and if you will have to get variances to any of them in order to build what you want. Use the search function here to locate several discussions of Marquees and what people have done with them. If the grant is big enough, and the code allows, you might also want to return to the VERTICAL SIGN days of old and plan that right along with the Marquee. By the way, your local sign company may NOT offer the best deal nor have the greatest ability in this specialized area; do prepare some simple sketches/drawings of what you are generally thinking of and send them to sign companies within a 300 mile radius, since a job of this scale will warrant their transporting the marquee/vertical sign that distance. Phrase your invitation for bids as though it would be an advertising feather in their cap to be able to show they did your work. By all means, determine the grant if any, first, and then you will be better able to give them the ball park price figure you are able to live with, and this will help them know what to offer you realistically. Best Wishes.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 10:38 #28546

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Thanks Jimor, I found the publication....that undoubtedly will be useful. That's a great site, btw...haven't had the time to really check it out.

The only original details left on this old theater are on the front of the building. It would be preferable to put up a historic-looking marquee.

The only thing is, I don't have the amount of the grant yet but presume my budget including it will be around 6000.00. Is there much that can be done for that amount? I spoke to Wagner and theirs start at over 25,000.

For 6000.00, I may be considering redoing the marquee that's there.

thanks....

Sally
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 11:00 #28547

  • outaframe
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Hello SALS, could you possibly post a link with several detailed pictures of what you have there, then we might be able to help you come up with a solution to fixing up what you have...
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 14:32 #28548

  • Large
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This year we replaced our sign with a new marquee.

It took $40K, 2 revisions and 8-months to wend it way through the town's design review.

It was all worth it in the end.

Take a look: http://www.rialtocinemas.com/photopage.htm
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 16:57 #28549

  • revrobor
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What a beautiful marquee Large. Congratulations.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 17:05 #28550

  • leeler
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I second that. Nice job, Large.

We redid our marquee last fall. It has the same shell as it did in 1941 when the theater was first opened but everything else is new. It cost in the neighborhood of $14K. We redid the neon and changed out the incandescent backlights to flourescent ones. We also sandblasted and repainted it. It truly lights up the whole downtown at night and I have had lots of compliments on it.

Here is a photo: http://www.elkadercinema.com/MARQUEE.JPG

[This message has been edited by leeler (edited February 25, 2004).]
"What a crazy business"
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Re: marquee design? 25 Feb 2004 21:43 #28551

  • sals
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Large,

Your marquee is absolutely gorgeous. So worth it. Who did the design of your Rialto logo?

I really like the tile in the lobby and the concession stand. Nice colors.

I'd actually been following your pictures, been lurking here afraid to say anything until I was sure my deal was coming through.

Athena was beautiful...she looked exactly like my Vera, who turned up under our deck last Memorial Day. She made a wonderful addition to our family. I'm thinking of adopting a theater cat next but don't know what to do with it when the show is on...

Anyway, this is a really wonderful forum and I appreciate all I'm learning here. Been in the business 23 years and look forward to contributing as well!
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Re: marquee design? 27 Feb 2004 00:14 #28552

  • RoxyVaudeville
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This is a test. I have never added a picture to a post here, and am testing to see if I'm doing it correctly.


Well... I guess it worked.

This is my marquee. My signman told me that it would cost over $50k to replicate. I think I'll just continue to maintain it so hopefully it never needs to be replaced.

[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited February 27, 2004).]
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Re: marquee design? 27 Feb 2004 08:12 #28553

  • sals
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That is a most beautiful marquee. If I were driving through, I'd have to stop there!

So I guess I asked my question in the right place. I've gotten some great suggestions, and now have to wait to nail down the budget. Meanwhile when I close on the theater, the first thing I do is get the electric working.

I'll post pictures when it's actually mine!

sally

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Re: marquee design? 27 Feb 2004 15:55 #28554

  • D. Bird
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I picture the "O" on the side wobbling, does it?
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