Installation of the new Metropolis marquee was underway Tuesday, June 30, 2020, and was looking good and lit to perfection Thursday night July 2, 2020 at 111 West Campbell Street.
Theater officials are confident the new sign will generate walk-up foot traffic for theater performances advertised by the sign. Increased attendance is expected to bring as much as $800,000 in new annual revenue.
The front of the marquee is illuminated with large letters spelling out “Metropolis Performing Arts Centre,” while the left and right sides facing east and west have dynamic electronic displays promoting upcoming and current theater productions, and ads from third-party sponsors. The side panels were not illuminated at 10:00 p.m. Thursday.
The sign measures 26 feet wide, almost 9 feet tall and extends 9 feet over the sidewalk. The marquee is only slightly larger than the stone and glass entrance canopy that was replaced.
All of the lighting on the sign, except the ceiling under the marquee, must be turned off between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., according to rules approved by the board in December 2019. All three vertical panels are filled with individually illuminated LED bulbs.
Lighting in the ceiling under the marquee is allowed to remain lit until 3:00 a.m., which is one hour after the weekend closing time of the Arlington Ale House, located on the third floor of the building.
The Arlington Heights village board granted two variations from village sign code — the permission of electronic message displays instead of manual displays, and permission of advertising from outside entities on the displays from theater sponsors.
The marquee canopy sign cost $300,000, and was built by South Water Signs in Elmhurst — a national sign company that was selected during the approval phase finalized in December 2019. South Water Signs recently renovated the Wrigley Field marquee, reinstalled a large vintage United sign at a hangar at O’Hare International Airport, and is the maker of the Tao Nightclub sign, 632 North Dearborn Street in Chicago.
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