By Scott Pukos
If you drove, walked, biked, or hoverboarded past the Little this morning, you probably noticed a big change. If you follow, us on social media (and I hope you do!), you’ll have a little insight into what’s going on, but I’d like to lay down some additional facts for you.
Fact no. 1: Our marquee is getting a renovation.
Now, let’s slow down for a sec, to discuss what this means. Obviously, touching any historical part is a big deal, so why are we doing this? The marquee was installed in the early 1930s (there was just a Little sign for the 1929 opening), that’s obviously very old. As a result of age, the marquee just simply is not in the best shape. In fact, due to rot, deterioration, and other similar factors, it badly needs to be replaced.
Funding is being made possible by generous private donors, along with a grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation.
Fact no. 2: The renovation will keep the historic look intact.
Listen, we LOVE the historic look of our theater. It not only gives it character, but signifies that The Little is an iconic Rochester institution. Just like you, we do not want The Little to be stripped of this. And don’t worry, it won’t be! We have spent a lot of time on this marquee change, and we’re confident this will be an overwhelmingly positive renovation.
Additionally, some of what is being dismantled (e.g. the bottom part of the marquee that you walk under on the sidewalk) was installed in the 1980s. What we’ll add is much closer to the original look.
As for what exactly this change will look like, well….
Fact no. 3: We will share final plans, when they’re available.
The work being done today (Sept. 12) is solely a dismantling. Part of what needs to be done next is to determine what, from a structural standpoint, we can add. Because of this, we don’t have a rendering of what the new marquee will look like, simply because it’s not finalized. And even before we get to that step, any changes need to be approved by the City of Rochester. Once we do have this information and approval, you will know about it! A related note: The restoration work will be done by the Rochester-based Clinton Signs.
Fact no. 4: We’re projecting that this will be completed by the end of fall
This is just an estimated time table, but either way, patience will be required.
Fact no. 5: The Little zig-zag sign is staying put.
Even more historic than the marquee, is the vertical zig-zag Little sign above it. THIS IS NOT LEAVING. We do occasionally have to touch up the neon or the lights on the sign (two things that we’ve done recently), but this bit of awesomeness is staying put.
Please send other questions you have to [email protected].