What Should Become of the Old Warwick Marquee?

The Warwick Theater's trademark marquee will be replaced with a replica when Warwick Place opens. What do you think should happen to the original?

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a request Monday afternoon for an overhanging sign at Warwick Place that is expected to be a replica of the original Warwick Theater marquee.

When the original marquee was taken down and preserved prior to the demolition of The Warwick in the summer of 2011, those planning the project said they were unsure whether they would refurbish the original or replace it all-together.

It now appears that architects will be moving ahead with a plan to attach a replica to Marblehead's new , which is expected to feature a combination high-end restaurant and movie theater.

So, we have to ask - if it were up to you, what would you do with the original Warwick Theater marquee?

Marblehead does have an antique sign museum in the basement of Abbot Hall.

Do you think it should be sold for charity? Would you like to see it worked into the new building's interior somehow? Is it time to just throw it away and move on?

Let us know in the comments section below.

ach October 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM
If they cannot find a way to incorporate it into the new building, it should go into the sign collection in the lower level of Abbott hall.
Kristen Nyberg October 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I would be interested to hear the reasoning on this decision, as it does not reflect what the developer told the public initially. With 20 years experience in the signage industry I'm not sure I understand why the original cannot be refurbished and used. Vintage signs are saved and reused all the time. The original is part of Marblehead history and clearly should be given to the town, especially as they have a sign museum already.
Pepere Belanger October 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM
When I was a lad of 14 back in the early 50'sI started working for Bob NcNulty at the Warwick, following in the footsteps of my older brother, Ray, and our Uncle Ray Gagnon, who had worked there prior to WW II. Indeed, I was still working there when I got married in 1961. Many, many, many times my buddy, Eric Nyberg, and I changed the movie titles on that marquee. I, for one, would think it a crying shame if this treasure were to be discarded onto the ashheap of Marblehead history. My vote is to have it refurbished and re-hung....at very least, preserved in the sign museum, which is quite problematic, due to its size. Albert "Skip" Belanger, Brentwood, NH
Dori Lynch October 23, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The whole sign as a unit is fairly unwieldy due to size! Can you use just the neon "Warwick" name portion inside the lobby over the cash wrap or some such place?
Kristen Nyberg October 23, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The size fit fine on the older building, which was much smaller. The facade is being rebuilt to duplicate the old one, so the sign should work well where it originally was. Theoretically, it would look exactly the same as it did before building demolition.
Lisa Kirk October 23, 2012 at 09:32 PM
The original plan was to put the old sign back. I think it's disgusting that that plan has changed. Why would the board vote that way knowing that all the work that has been done to save the Warwick included the understanding that the old marquis would be put back? I also wonder why we need a "high end" restaurant there. How about something that everyone in town can afford? The original idea was to have a theatre and a small cafe that everyone could enjoy. I'm very disappointed by the decisions that have been made regarding this.
fred brink October 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM
SAVE the old "Warhoop" sign! Contact Wayne Butler, town archivist, who heroically saved and designed the display of the old Marblehead signs in the Abbott Hall collection. If therre's no room right now of for it in the basement, make the new theater owners store it somewhere safely until there is.
Kristen Nyberg October 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM
There are plenty of local spaces that could house the old sign, and the folks at the Warwick Theatre Foundation would be happy to help facilitate.
John Buba October 24, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Looks like the story behind the story here is the new owners and the Foundation set up to save the building are at odds. Perhaps this is why there was a feud over the outdoor seating. Let's get this controversy out in the open. If the new owners do not use the sign (they should) then put it up at the community center and use the signage to announce local events like the banners they hang over the street sometimes.
Kristen Nyberg October 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM
John, The new owners and the Foundation actually met last year on how they could work together, and the Foundation supports their effort to bring theatre to town as well as the outdoor seating. However, part of the reason the Foundation was formed was to save the original facade and sign from destruction, hence the disappointment that is would not be restore and reused as the owner originally planned. I appreciate your idea that the marquee be used elsewhere in the community!


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