Welcome to 2020! At The Grand, we ended the decade with a show of lights, just as Macon got ready to light up downtown for the Christmas Lights Festival. After a year of our marquee sitting dark, we were able to install a new marquee that was bigger and better than ever. This is thanks to a group of generous community donors, businesses, and nonprofits that helped to make it happen.
The history of the marquee is really interesting. Over time, several different marquees have been installed, and sometimes there has been none at all. However, without the marquee, the “grand” presence of the theater inside gets lost in the frontage of the building. Look at this photo above without the — it’s hard to tell what’s inside.
A passersby may not be able to envision the beautiful performance space that awaits without a marquee. But the actual aesthetic of the marquee has changed over the years. The lively and colorful nature of the marquee has caught the attention of passersby as a major attraction in downtown Macon. Here’s a few of our marquees over time:
Eventually, technology evolved enough to have the vibrant screen we have today, which is capable of motion and video:
The marquee we just installed is different from others in several ways. One of these is that it has cloud-based software, meaning it can be updated anytime, anywhere through the Internet. Our old system had to be updated through a single stationary computer in The Grand’s offices. This marquee can show different content across the three panels, running simultaneous video and animations. Most importantly for the longevity of The Grand, the new marquee has a long parts and labor warranty, which means that if something goes dark, the staff won’t have to scramble. Installing it took a few days and included a fascinating look behind the marquee panel…
Truth be told, we were only able to make this happen because of incredible donors that managed to raise a six-figure sum for the project. These passionate community members and businesses have ensured that the lights will continue to shine on Mulberry Street and bring attention and awareness to our work in the theatre inside. To honor our donors, we’ve been featuring their names on the marquee. Check it out:
We love hearing stories and seeing photos from our patrons enjoying their night out. Now that we have the marquee back up, The Grand Opera House would love to see your photos taken in front of the show signs. We’re offering a prize once a month and featuring submissions from patrons on our blog in our “Send Us Your Selfies” campaign if you tag @thegrandmacon on Instagram or Twitter or Grand Opera House on Facebook. Hope to hear from you!