Saturday, November 26, 2011


I stopped by Rocky Top Sign and Neon today and spoke with owner James Ryan.  We discussed the Princess project, and how things are getting rushed toward the end, and how much pressure he was to get the marquee up!  Naturally, any restoration project is going to be pushing to get it's most visible part up and functioning.  In the case of the Princess, it's the marquee that's the most visible!

I just happened to mention how much I wanted to be there when the first letter, hopefully the "P", was hung to take the historic photograph.  He said, "Why don't you take it now?"

As my granddaughter would say, "What!"

Yes, there they were, all spread out on his shop floor.  I was so happy to see them, and they surprised me too!  In my mind's eye I could see dull looking flat letters fastened to the front of the black and white sign that's now hanging there.  Nope, they will be raised letters, some 8 to 10 inches deep, and in the most brilliant red and blue baked on paint...just like the blueprints illustrate!

Each letter is outlined in a white stripe about an inch wide.  Each letter will have neon that will flash just like the original once did.  I know I've spoken about LED, but that's for the lights beneath the canopy.  The letters will be fitted with the latest in neon technology.

Look closely at the clear plastic letters laying on the new concessions counter (below) and 
you'll see that these plastic letters will enclose the back of each red or blue letter.  The clear plastic shapes attach to the marquee, enclosing the backside of each letter, and allow access for the electrical connection that will light up the neon letter shapes on the front of the letters.
The marquee will be as it looked in 1939 (above), which is much more beautiful than what most of us grew up knowing.  Double click the photo to see them larger!

CLICK HERE  to see what most of us remember.
In the '39 photo, you can easily see that the letters are raised, both the PRINCESS and the THEATRE letters.  You will also note that it is correctly "THEATRE".

Well James, I still want to be there when you hang the "P", but I'll have to say this was pretty exciting too!  Thanks!
Inside I was pleased to see that all the seats are now in place.  It now looks like a theatre!

Also, I can't get over how much the actual photo above looks like the blog header!  The drawings were a better depiction of what we were to see than any of us ever thought.

Everything seems ready for the carpet!
To the rear of the stage a strong trap door has been built to cover the stairs down to the basement, giving the stage an extra three or four feet of performance space.
Out in the lobby, the terrazzo has been filled and sanded down, and over in the concessions lobby the elevator doors are on and the lift is operational.

Hang on won't be long now!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The Princess Theater in Harriman will re-open early next year.

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