WXXI AM News

The "new" Little Theatre Marquee is about to be revealed

Jun 7, 2017

An East Avenue landmark will soon have a new look.

The marquee at the Little Theatre is being replaced for the first time in about 85 years. The new marquee is being installed Wednesday and a lighting party is scheduled for this coming Monday evening.

Theatre spokesman Scott Pukos won't divulge exactly what the debut message will be when the lights go on for the first time.                       

“I think the main message of it will be a thank you to all our generous donors who helped make this possible, without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do this much needed renovation.”

The marquee will use LED display panels, replacing the plastic letters that required someone getting on a ladder to change the titles. 

The previous marquee, which dates back to the early 1930s is being replaced with one that will keep that vintage look.

“It’s going to look a lot like it did in the 1930s….it won’t look super old, it will look kind of like a throwback, so we’re really super excited about it,” Pukos said. The old marquee was dismantled last September and during the last several months it was meticulously restored.

Funding for new marquee, which cost about  $250,000, is part of a more than $1.5 million dollar historic renovation project at The Little's Theater 1.  The fundraising for the total project is still going on.

A number of private donors and foundations contributed to the project.

There will be food trucks, live music, and free movie screenings. After a brief set of presentations at 8:30 p.m., the new marquee will be switched on for the first time at dusk.

East Avenue will be closed from Winthrop Street to Pitkin Street from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the June 12 marquee relighting celebration.

The Little Theatre is operated by WXXI

Here's some video of the work that went on Wednesday: