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TOPIC: Marque

Marque 19 Apr 2006 22:32 #29035

  • jacker5
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I have a dilema. The theatre I am purchasing is in dire need of a new marque. It has the over hang one.
Here are my choices:
1.Redo old one.
2. Get a new Over hang marque
3. Go for a new Flat marque!

The theatre is in a four season cliamte and I think the overhang serves well to keep people out of the elements of Rain and snow!
As of now the tickets are bought in the lobby but is a disasater and is a mess with the concession stand. I am going to put in a booth in the center of the entrance and people will buy before they enter the lobby!
Any suggestions!
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Re: Marque 20 Apr 2006 09:53 #29036

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While in the end this question may boil down to how much money is available, I feel that any cinema's best bet is to retain the old overhang (canopy) marquee. Not only does that provide weather protection for patrons, but more importantly, it identifies your place as a cinema, so as to stand apart from most surrounding businesses. You want to hang on to as much glamour from the past as you can, and a multilevel -- even architectural-- marquee does that better than anything else on the exterior.

If people are out cruising at night looking for entertainment, you want your establishment to be a pool of inviting, beckoning light. A glittering marquee (Name sign, Attraction Boards, and brightly lit Canopy) will go a long way to achieving that.

True, the maintenance and electricity costs must be carefully weighed against the potential of greater audience draw, but if you don't attract the crowd, will you be in business at all to pay for a lesser draw? Yes, LED boards are all the rage and for the good reasons of easy maintenance and graphic versatility in the larger models, but do they really give the 'sparkle' quality of incandescent lamps that so animates the traditional marquee in the eyes of the public? You can use a million LEDs, but not get the sparkle of a hundred light bulbs, and that eye-catching quality is what you are after. LEDs can simulate many colors, but not the way neon and bulbs can. And you can no longer compete by using color alone since any store can install an LED sign these days, but few of them will go to the expense of a true Marquee (the lighted awning usually being the closest they get).

So if you already have some sort of canopy, by all means, rework it to as grand a standard as you can afford --whether or not you have outdoor ticketing. Rent or buy the Jim Carey movie THE MAJESTIC for the sake of noticing what the new marquee therein did for that fictitious theatre; your place isn't fiction, but I believe the situation is often similar!

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: Marque 20 Apr 2006 10:14 #29037

We have a historic theatre, of which we just are completing the restoration of the marquee. We were very fortunate that a local sign company donated their time and effort to complete the project. We have over 1400 lights, and we felt that this would definitely be a downtown attraction. We got controllers for the lighting from a sign company in Las Vegas.. Very reasonable...For the advertising, information that can be seen from the street, the dazzling effect of the lights, I would recommend to keep the marquee..
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Re: Marque 20 Apr 2006 12:31 #29038

  • leeler
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I have to agree. Keep the old marquee. I did and it really lights up the whole downtown at night. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be in this town at night and not know what is playing and what the showtimes are.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Marque 20 Apr 2006 12:52 #29039

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I should have mentioned the obvious: that my remarks above were primarily directed to the indie exhibitors who make up the major audience of this web site. The chains are really another story, for while the chains of the past (Warner, Paramount-Publix, Loew's, etc.), also worked their names into the marquees or the Vertical Signs, todays chains do not represent studios, but conglomerates which firmly believe in the god of advertising and "brand loyalty." For this reason, the chain cinemas of today have their cookie-cutter 'marquees' designed as much alike as possible, that the chain may have only a couple variations of one brand design duplicated by contract to the same maker and automatically ordrerd as needed whenever a new cinema is opened. The chain saves lots of money by using this trademark design off the same jigs and dies at the same maker who will ship them nationwide.

The fact that most megaplexes of today are surrounded by acres of parking lots, with cinemas designed as templates by the same design by the same staff or retainer architect, demands that they look similar wherever they are and be able to accomodate the same stamped-out marquee design as the chain's other cinemas. For the most part, they are not really on a roadside to attract the passersby, and so feel no need for the old style marquee --even if the municipality would let them construct such near the road, which they usually won't these days.

Many indies are on road or street sides, so the older paradigm still applies, and they usually have no mass media brand mname to foster. Instead, indies want to be as different from the cheapskate, indifferent-to-showmanship chains as possible! If your exterior is different and better than the chains, the public may see your interior offerings as better than theirs also.
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: Marque 20 Apr 2006 13:06 #29040

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jimor:
<B>I should have mentioned the obvious: that my remarks above were primarily directed to the indie exhibitors who make up the major audience of this web site. The chains are really another story, for while the chains of the past (Warner, Paramount-Publix, Loew's, etc.), also worked their names into the marquees or the Vertical Signs, today's chains do not represent studios, but conglomerates which firmly believe in the god of advertising and "brand loyalty." For this reason, the chain cinemas of today have their cookie-cutter 'marquees' designed as much alike as possible, that the chain may have only a couple variations of one brand design duplicated by contract to the same maker and automatically ordrerd as needed whenever a new cinema is opened. The chain saves lots of money by using this trademark design off the same jigs and dies at the same maker who will ship them nationwide.

The fact that most megaplexes of today are surrounded by acres of parking lots, with cinemas designed as templates by the same design by the same staff or retainer architect, demands that they look similar wherever they are and be able to accomodate the same stamped-out 'marquee' design as the chain's other cinemas. For the most part, they are not really on a roadside to attract the passersby, and so feel no need for the old style marquee --even if the municipality would let them construct such near the road, which they usually won't these days.

Many indies are on road or street sides, so the older paradigm still applies, and they usually have no mass media brand name to foster. Instead, indies want to be as different from the cheapskate, indifferent-to-showmanship chains as possible! If your exterior is different and better than the chains, the public may see your interior offerings as better than theirs too.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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: Marque 20 Apr 2006 14:24 #29041

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Another reason for restoring what you have, rather than doing something new, could be any sign ordinances that might apply to you.

Usually, you can fix what you have without having to deal with permits, inspections and the related delays you might have to consider with any new construction.

Just a thought...
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Re: Marque 20 Apr 2006 18:39 #29042

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Continuing RodeoJack's prior post:

Fixing what you have is generally grandfathered. Something new requires meeting current updated codes and ordinances.

In many communities today current sign codes often restrict size (or make the size dependent or amount of building frontage), restrict the height, prohibit certain types of signs (e.g. no flashing or strobe lights, prohibit overhangs (meaning it must a flat sign affixed to the front of the building walls). On top of that in my community there is even a sign committee which has approval of the design, colors and type faces!

If you should decide to replace with something new be absolutely sure you review the applicable codes (including electrical)as well as all sign ordinances before you even think about ordering your sign.
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