By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
It's time to light the lights
Placeholder Image

The condition of Park Theatre’s marquee will limit what can be done to renovate it. McMinnville officials reviewed plans Tuesday night.
According to W&O Construction project manager Mike Driver, Cook Neon Signs owner Randy Adcock has suggested renovation ideas but he would like the city’s approval before giving the go-ahead.
“I would like to go through your expectations of the final sign,” said Driver, to members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night. “Randy is proposing a neon sign and not an LED sign. He is talking about rebuilding all the metal on the lower part, the horizontal part, of the marquee. Doing the lights underneath. Doing the running lights on the horizontal part. He is going to do his best to refinish, maybe that’s not the right word for it, on the top part of the sign.”
While an extensive renovation will be done to the horizontal part of the sign due to its deteriorated condition, minimal will be done to the vertical part of the sign. Driver says this will make the lower sign look newer.
“There will be some differences in upper and lower,” he said. “Your lower sign will look at bit newer and nicer than your top sign. People will notice the top has been refurbished and the bottom is new if they are looking for it. During the daytime, you will be able to tell. At nighttime, no one will notice the difference because of all the neon lights.”
Adcock says he will not be able to get out all the rust spots on the porcelain around the letters that spell out “PARK” on the top sign.
“As for the top sign, there is no possible way I can make that look new,” said Adcock. “Until I get up there and start scrapping on the rust, I’m not sure how much of the rust will come off. The rust that’s been on there for 15 years, or whatever, probably won’t come completely off. It will be shiny. The porcelain will shine right back up. It will look pretty, but I will be honest with you. I can’t get all the rust off.”
Perfection isn’t expected, says Alderman Everett Brock and Mayor Jimmy Haley.
“As long as it looks OK to the casual eye, I don’t have any problem with it,” said Brock. “Our intention is to make the sign look as original as possible. It’s not going to look perfect. It doesn’t matter what we do.”
Haley added, “It’s an old theater. It’s supposed to look old. It’s not supposed to look like a brand new theater. It’s a 1939 theater.”
Officials did voice some concern with one change suggested by Adcock. Along the top and bottom of the lower sign, there were three staggered rows of white lights. He suggested one row.
“I would like to see three rows of lights, rather than one,” said Brock. “I don’t like the idea of a single row. I know it’s three times more lights to worry about, but these are LED lights. They aren’t going to burn out every five minutes.”
While Adcock’s bid included the cost of one row, he offered to “work the numbers” on how much the cost difference between one row and three rows would be.
Haley says he would like to know the additional cost of three rows.
“I would like to see what it would take to do three rows,” he said. “That’s the way it was designed, just to see if it’s possible.”
Driver asked if the lights twinkled.
“It seems to me they did,” said Brock. “There weren’t any running lights, but there were twinkling lights.”
Adcock says he will be able to tell when he looks inside the marquee.
“If there is a flasher there, they twinkled,” he said. “If there isn’t one, they didn’t.”
W&O Construction has $60,000 in its agreement with the city to hire a subcontractor for marquee renovation.
Also at the meeting were Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Mike Neal, Steve Harvey, and Ryle Chastain. Absent was Alderman Jimmy Bonner.