Building Renovation



January 17, 2022

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It's time to play... WHAT THE???

I think I know what it is but I want more information. It's an electrical device that until recently actually had the power for our entire marquee running through it. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!? Yeah, that's how I felt.

One long deferred, necessary, upgrade led to a question to which this device was the answer. It was tucked into a corner in a crawl space behind the upper façade. No one knew it was live. YOW!

I've been told that it's a mechanical chaser for the original neon signage. AND THAT IS SO COOL! If you look at our signs today and note the effect of the LED bulbs "running" around the sign, that's chasing. So, I'm starting a little research on how they worked and when it was used. If anyone knows anything, let me know!

January 14, 2022

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. - Toni Morrison

Ah water... must you? Waiting for more water testing. Actually, waiting for sunny weather so we can DO more water testing.

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Water leaking down the wall between the concrete structure and the surface applied terracotta.

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One of my side projects has been to replace a broken corner piece of terracotta. For a 96 year old building our upper facade is actually in pretty good shape, at least as much as can be assessed from the outside. This is one of only a handful of pieces that are truly broken. Architectural Castings took molds from the broken piece when they were up there taking the molds for the new quoins. They then recreated the piece in it's entirety. Pioneer Waterproofing took down the broken piece. The terracotta pieces are actually attached to the concrete structure with metal anchoring wires. In the photo on the left below you can see the kind of gap that can exist between the tile and the concrete. Unfortunately this creates a lovely path for water...which can also rust the metal anchors. Water may be life but it's not a friend to architectural terracotta.

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Broken piece on the left of image. Repairing it wasn't an option so we needed to do a full replacement.

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Broken piece halfway off. It turned out to be quite a task to remove!

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The recreated piece. It will be installed as soon as weather conditions permit. Architectural Castings did a fabulous job.

December 2, 2021

It's been a very busy week at the theater. We've met with the terrazzo installers, North American Terrazzo, and given approval for the custom aggregate mix they made up for us based on the original. Our wall tile choice is finalized. We've received a color sample from Architectural Castings for the new quoins. VERY exciting!

I've also been working on a water issue that needs to be solved before we build new walls. We've had water infiltration issues for years in the corner of the theater behind the Hollywood blade sign. Now that we've taken down the 1965 walls we can see that there's water getting in between the surface mounted terracotta and the concrete walls to which it's attached. The big question is, where?

The inimitable Bruce Lee once said of water "Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it." and boy does it. So this week we had Pioneer Waterproofing out to do some water testing. That means spraying water at the building starting from the bottom and working up with the help of a big lift. Then we wait and see where it runs down. We're zeroing in on the issue and now it's time to get the roofers involved.

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A lift and a hose and a very well timed sunny day.

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The intersection of the blade sign support and the terracotta tile roof. It's my suspected culprit at the moment. Lots of patching of various kinds over the years, none of which have apparently worked very well...


If there's a lift on site, at some point I'm probably on it. I can never resist taking close up pictures of the terracotta.


Upper Facade lighting

Anyone who has been by the theater in the evening these last couple months will notice that the upper terracotta facade is looking a little wonky. The top is rather dim. One of the three niche lights is out, as is the light in the "Juliet balcony". All the lights up there are very old and wired in a "creative" way. We'll be converting all the lights to LED and in the process will highlight some architectural details. The change will give us much more control over when the lights come on and off over the year. Currently they are always on and a waste of energy.

Lower Facade Project


In early - mid November we'll be start an initial demolition phase. This is the first stage in undoing the "remuddle" that the gentlemen in this photo worked on in 1965. We'll be stripping off the wall system they installed, back to the massive concrete foundation. We're doing this now so we can get accurate measurements and so our electrician can start mapping out the routes for all the lighting that we're adding.

You can learn more about the Lower Facade project from our virtual discussion that we held in September. Hear from Director of Facilities, Virginia Durost, and Architect, Paul Falsetto, about the discoveries and plans we've made as we worked on this project.

For more information, please contact:
Director of Facilities, Virginia Durost, at


The gateway to our dynamic film programming has always been our striking façade. Your gift will support this critical renovation, and will help us continue to steward and protect the historic beauty of our landmark theater. Every gift truly makes a difference! Make a gift today.

Donors who give $250 or more will be recognized OnScreen at the theatre. Donors who give $2,500 or more will be recognized OnScreen and on a commemorative plaque in the theatre lobby. Donor gifts from previous building campaigns (Marquee, Roof, and Restore the Doors) will be counted toward the $2,500 recognition level. Gift commitments of $500 or more may be paid in installments over a period of up to six months.

For donation assistance, please contact:
Development Director, Christen Fulk, at