Suffolk Theatre marquee gets a touch of the 21st Century

08/10/2011 2:15 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Don Pettinato and Keith McPhillips of Accurate Image Advertising of Pennsylvania have been working on the sign all week.

The old neon marquee at the Suffolk Theatre is going digital.

The sign’s plastic lettering is being replaced with a newer style, LED digital sign that will be computer programmed, said project manager Frank Summers, who is overseeing restoration work on the long-shuttered East Main Street theater.

The structure’s undercarriage has been repainted with colors picked out by East End Arts Council’s executive director Pat Snyder.

But the theater’s owner is “keeping the old-fashioned appearance of the marquee,” Mr. Summers said. “It is very important to us.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Summers said construction work is moving along.

“We are concentrating more on the office area, but are working on the whole building,” he said. “We have permits for the whole building. We have a very big ball rolling now and things are going well.”

Theater owner Bob Castaldi also said the restoration project is starting to pick up speed.

“The bathrooms are rough plumbed in,” he said. “We found a lot of rotten flooring. Every time we open something up there is something else to fix. We got the front half of the building under control. Most of the unknowns are now known. It took a lot of time.

“Sometimes it is easier to tear down and rebuild than it is to restore. You have to work around things.”

Don Pettinato and Keith McPhillips of Accurate Image Advertising of Pennsylvania have been working on the sign all week, he said.

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