The marquee lights on the Lindsay Community Theatre may just be switched back on, soon. It’s been more than a year, since the marquee succumbed to age, weather and vandalism – while the theatre inside remained busy, the landmark marquee was dark.
While originally repairs only had been in mind, the idea of “going green” and increasing energy efficiency came to the forefront just recently. Jim Kliegl, theatre manager, had been looking for someone to properly repair the marquee for almost as long as it has been inoperable. No one, at least close by, seemed up to the task, he said.
A Fresno company, that’s representatives he had spoken with several times, decided they didn’t want to work on something that old – they wanted to stick with new installation. He finally located a company to do the work, but it was located in North Hollywood – mileage alone seemed almost prohibitive. But, then he found a company in Bakersfield.
It was the CEO of Bakersfield Neon who suggested renovating in LED (light-emitting diode).
“It’s going to look the same,” said Lance Hill, company CEO, “but it will be changing from high to low voltage. It’s changing from 250,000 volts to 120 volts.”
It is the equivalent to running a television or refrigerator, he said.
“It reduces the carbon foot print and is considered going green,” he added.
The project, which started early last week, was estimated to take about 10 days, but they are still working out some kinks. Not unusual when working on an old building, Kliegl said, who added that he is use to the inconvenience.
The cost of the switch to LED is around $6,500, he said. That’s not much more than repairing and retaining the old fixture – but it will cost 90% less in operations.
And, “LEDs are almost indestructible,” Kliegl said. “You can practically jump on them and they won’t break.”
The repair and upgrade expense will come out of the theatre’s general fund and had been a discussion point with the theatre board since the lights went out. Repairs are a never-ending process, Kliegl said. As work begun on the marquee, the curtain malfunctioned and the theatre group had to resort to blackouts for the changing of scenes, until new cables could be located through a company that could install them.
Luckily, the theatre made a little money last year, he added.
While the theatre has wrapped up its 2016-17 season, ending with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory last weekend, the theatre will be mostly quiet now until the fall. However, the marquee may just be turned on as a major Lindsay landmark, during some evenings throughout the summer – afterall, it won’t cost much, and the theatre is proud of its historical marquee.