Monday, May 11, 2015

MEDIA MONDAY: A New Broadway Marquee

Installing a new marquee at Studio 54
The 2015 - 2016 season is already underway, with An Act of God already in previews, and the first new musicals starting up in June and July (Amazing Grace and Hamilton, respectively).  Out with the old and in with the new, they say.

Part of that circle of life, the changing of marquees on Broadway theaters, has always fascinated me, though this is probably no surprise to those of you familiar with this blog.  I love studying the icons created to draw us into a show by creating visual interest and excitement.  But how they do it also intrigues me.

How do they get signs up on crowded city streets?  What are they made of?  How do they get installed so they don't blow away and withstand the elements at the same time?  Until now, I've only been able to see how it's done via on-the-scene photos - I don't live in NYC, so seeing it first hand isn't very likely.  (I have seen them install the "hangers" - those signs under the marquee that announce stars, awards, or brief critical quotes.  No mystery there: a couple of ladders and some eye hooks!)

A complete installation for Hamilton.
There's even a "hanger"!

Now, at least, I have some idea how it all happens with this video from the people behind Amazing Grace.  I'll save my thoughts about the actual logo for another column.

What is your favorite show logo?  Let me know via Twitter (@jkstheatrescene), e-mail (, or leave a comment below.


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