Ready to Go
Employees of Lauretano Sign Group get ready to start putting the new Bradley Playhouse marquee into place March 13.
PUTNAM --- It might not have been an easy installation but when all was said and done March 13, the Bradley Playhouse was again proudly crowned with an elegant marquee.
The theater's Business Office Manager, Pat Green, said the marquee raising culminated three years of work and fund-raising.
The maroon and gold aluminum marquee harkens back to the marquee that graced the theater in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Lauretano Sign Group of Terryville's Mike Lauretano said the company designed and constructed the marquee based on the photos of the theater's front from 1934. Construction took two to three weeks, he said.
"We recreated the old feeling and design," he said. The marquee is made of aluminum so it won't rust. It weighs about 400 pounds, according to Lauretano officials. More than 130 LED bulbs ring the marquee and fill out the 2-foot tall fabricated letters that say "Bradley."
Using a computer program inside the theater, the coming attractions will appear in lights on the two side panels.
The sign was reproduced as closely as local zoning and building regulations permit, Green said. The $66,000 price tag was funded from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the state Department of Economic and Community Development and the Putnam Redevelopment Agency's Commercial Facade Improvement Program. The remaining funds were donated by Bradley Playhouse patrons, community business and members in response to the theater's "Bring Back the Bright Lights" annual campaign along with a gift from Rogers Corporation in memory of Emily Westbrook, Green added.
Workers from Lauretano drilled holes through the 17-inch wall to put three-quarter-inch steel bolts through the wall and marquee to hold it up. Steel brackets were also added on the inside wall to support the marquee. Electric cables were run through the wall. The marquee is 11 feet wide and 3 feet high in the front and about 5-feet, 8-inches high to the top of the tent.
The sloping sidewalk challenged the workers, but when it was finally settled into place and lighted, the marquee looked at home.
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