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TOPIC: Ambler Theatre keeps improving

Ambler Theatre keeps improving 27 Mar 2009 08:41 #31270

  • Mike
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We’ve fabricated a new marquee (actually it’s called a “canopy” when it doesn’t have a sign) and a new sign board (above the doors), which match the originals. Installation is scheduled for next Wednesday, April 1st (and, no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke). Here’s a picture of the new canopy in the shop:

A special thank you to the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission for the Keystone grant that helped make this possible.
And thank you to Bartush Signs of Orwigsburg, PA (above Reading), for their expert craftsmanship. The canopy and sign boards are made out of aluminum and will outlast the originals by two or three times. (Bartush also did our neon tower.)

The only design change from the originals is that the new canopy is 24” shorter in sticking out from the building. Now it won’t hang over the street and get hit by trucks, which has happened 6 significant times since we reopened in 2003 (in addition to uncounted minor hits).
So why was the canopy sticking out over the street, anyway? Were they that dumb in 1928?
Of course not. The original canopy hung safely over the sidewalk. In the seventies or eighties, the borough helped design a cut-out in the sidewalk to accommodate the widening of the road in front of the theater, in order to add a turning lane. The canopy now hung 6” over the cutout, but the cutout only had parking spots in it. So far, so good, no problems for the canopy. Then we came along and reopened the theater in 2003. We asked the borough to take out the parking spots and to have the cutout used as a dropoff and pickup spot. The borough agreed. No problem with that use either. The PROBLEM came when trucks realized that they could use the cutout for deliveries. And when some BIG trucks came in, they wacked the canopy. OUCH! And OUCH, again.
The original canopy and sign board were on their last legs, anyway, so then it was definitely time to replace them.
We hope that the shortened canopy will prove to be a more difficult target. (And we’ve added 4 protective bollards on the sidewalk – just to be safe. Those bollards will be painted, by the way – either black or very dark red to match the tower.)
And that’s the story. Hope you like the new work.
Thanks to all of our members and friends and to everyone who has helped make the Ambler Theater a great success.

John Toner
Executive Director
Ambler Theater
Michael Hurley
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Re:Ambler Theatre keeps improving 27 Mar 2009 19:22 #31279

  • tratcliff
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I hope you post pictures.
I'm sure we'd all love to see it.
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