Niagara Gazette

April 21, 2014

Riviera marquee instillation work to begin

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — NORTH TONAWANDA — The installation of the Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center’s newly restored marquee is set to begin this week. 

The work will begin Tuesday and will be completed Friday, and the box office will remain open during the installation. The project marks the end of a three-year fundraising effort to restore the marquee to its original glory and give it technological improvements.

The iconic 1947 marquee was removed in October and transported to Ohio, where the Wagner Electric Sign Company completed the restoration. The marquee will be transported on a flatbed truck and installed in its original location, according to Director of Development Gary Rouleau.

Frey Electric Co. also completed electrical updates to the theater in preparation for the marquee’s reinstallation. 

The improved marquee features its original 1947 paint scheme, which was discovered through testing and research, the restoration of its green and neon lights, metal restoration, new wiring and electronics, including LED display panels that mimic the appearance of the original lettering.

Although the marquee received state-of-the-art restoration, the theater worked with the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation to make sure it was restored to its original look. The building’s status as a historic landmark means exterior renovations must be approved by a state panel and must seek to maintain the building’s historic nature.