By Scott Pukos
I witnessed the purest form of wonder and curiosity this week.
You may have noticed another touch to our renovated marquee recently -- the addition of neon chaser lights at the bottom of the structure (pictured). Well, walking down the sidewalk (after fueling up on Bubble Fusion sushi), I spotted someone else admiring this electrifying beauty.
A one-year-old boy was in his father's arms directly below the marquee -- his unwavering gaze was fixed on the lights. His eyes were wide, his arm pointed toward the green and pink neon. His mother's beaming smile nearly matched his own as she tried to get a picture of this truly adorable moment.
My first thought: This is a great moment, I NEED to capture this for social media.
My second thought: Don't sneak a picture of them, you super creep.
So, I went to introduce myself and request that if they were to post this great Little moment on any social media site could they pretty please tag The Little. But as I went to do this, I did a double-take.
"Hey," I blurted out before saying the father's name. As it turned out, this was my ultimate "small world" moment. I went to high school with the father! We were soccer teammates, and sat next to each other in the trumpet section of our high school band. I hadn't seen him since, well, high school, which made this coincidental moment even more incredible. And I'm happy to report, the son continued to point toward the lights during our stop-and-chat.
After all this, I forgot to ask the young family about a picture. But hey, this moment was way better than any Instagram post.
I'm telling you this mainly because it was super adorable, but also because we want to inspire more of these moments! As you're aware, we've been working hard over the last several years to bring The Little's technology up to 21st Century standards. By renovating and preserving The Little's historic architectural features we're aiming to enhance your experience, and make it accessible for all to enjoy -- even one-year-old movie fans!
With that said, I am pleased to tell you that we anticipate the renovations for Theater 1 and Theater 5 (new seats, new interior, upgrades pretty much everywhere) to be complete by the end of 2018. I'll have more updates as we get closer to a potential construction date.
In order to help accomplish these needed renovations, The Little has received a critical grant of $225,000 from the Empire State Development Fund. Our challenge now is to raise matching funds so that we can access this grant and complete the restoration and renovation.
We know that many of you have donated before and we are so thankful for your continued support. It’s incredible, and so are you. Thanks for being such a big part of The Little!