Suffolk Theatre marquee ceremony set for September

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The digital marquee at the Suffolk Theatre will announce upcoming shows and events.

The old neon marquee at the Suffolk Theatre has gone digital. An official lighting ceremony is set for Sept. 2

Some of the sign’s plastic lettering was replaced with a newer style, LED digital sign that is computer programmed, said Frank Summers, who is overseeing restoration work on the long-shuttered East Main Street theater.

The digital sign will announce upcoming shows at the theater.

And the under part of the sign has been repainted with colors picked out by East End Arts 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,” he said of retaining that distinguished Art Deco look.

Meanwhile, Mr. Summers said construction work at the theater, originally built in 1933, is moving along. The most recent renovations on the historic downtown structure have been underway since last summer.

“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.”