By Charly SHELTON
The Alex Theatre in Glendale is turning 90 years old. She looks great for her age, but she could look better. After last year’s renovation to the interior of the theatre, patrons have now noticed that the exterior is showing its age. Glendale Arts is trying to fix that.
“The Alex Theatre is 90 years old in September,” said Nina Crowe, director of Fund Development and Community Partnership with Glendale Arts. “We have what we call our ‘Alex90’ and it’s basically a year-long celebration to honor the traditions of the Alex Theatre. We’re kicking that off with a campaign to fully restore and overhaul the neon tower and spire, which is really the face of the Alex that everyone sees.
“For many, many years the lights have not all been working properly. Last year we completed our 6,600 square-foot expansion and felt that, at the 90th birthday, it was really an opportune time to almost put a bow on the package and say, ‘Look at our beautiful new theater. We are really honoring what we’ve done in the past but now we are really looking towards the future.’ Through our RocketHub crowdfunding campaign, we are looking for the community to come up with $25,000 of the $75,000 budget for the restoration.”
Under the “Illuminate” crowdfunding campaign, the spire will have new neon lights added and the circuitry redone inside to make the chasers work as they used to. When the project is completed, the tower and starburst sphere will be restored to their original glory as they were back in 1940, when the marquee was installed. To celebrate the occasion, a birthday party will be held with a commemorative lighting of the restored spire and kickoff of the Alex90 campaign, which will run all year with special events and even street pole banners.
“What we are focused on is that so many people have memories of the Alex Theatre,” said Crowe. “It’s an important part of the city. Glendale was established and 10 years later the Alex Theatre was built, so it has really grown up with the city of Glendale. We feel that Glendale is a better place because of the Alex Theatre; it has a little bit of something for everybody – a place of history, an economic engine, a community hub and a landmark. We want people to donate and contribute for the reason that’s important to them and we primarily want to just make sure that we can honor the Alex Theatre.”
To support the crowdfunding campaign and for more information, visit alextheatre.org/alex90.