Jun 23, 2015


Marquee revitalization to pair iconic design with up-to-date digital capabilities

Olympia Entertainment today announced the renovation of one of Woodward’s most-cherished illuminated gems, the marquee of the historic Fox Theatre. This multi-phase revitalization will preserve the historic integrity of the signature 1988 marquee design, while adding modern LED reader boards, animations for the Theatre’s griffins and new audio capabilities.

“When my parents Mike and Marian Ilitch purchased the Fox Theatre in 1987, they had a vision of restoring the theatre to its original splendor and making it a Detroit destination that created pride for our entire community,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “More than a quarter century later, the Fox Theatre continues to be one of the most beloved destinations in our city. We’re excited to renovate this important community icon as so many other exciting developments are taking place throughout Detroit and its main street, Woodward Avenue.”

The project began on Thursday, June 18, with the deconstruction of the existing marquee. The renovation, which will preserve the historic integrity of the signature 1988 marquee design, will involve more than 7,000 sheets of aluminum, 342 square feet of video display and approximately 5,000 feet of new neon and 1,024 LED canopy lighting components. In addition to marrying the iconic look of the Fox Theatre with state-of-the-art digital capabilities, the renovation will improve structural foundations for the marquee.

Detroit-based contractors Fairmont Sign Company and Spectrum Neon Signs and Lighting, will join with national leaders Daktronics and YESCO to complete this project.

The highlights of the renovation include:

  • LED reader boards: The marquee’s dynamic content capabilities will be expanded by anchoring two LED Daktronic reader boards measuring 8.4 feet high by 20.4 feet wide on both sides of the horizontal Fox canopy. The 8 millimeter pixel layout will also provide content zoning designed to show one large image or multiple windows for any combination of show information, graphics or sponsorship messaging.

  • New animation: Spectrum’s locally-handcrafted neon will outline the marquee’s replicated aluminum design highlighted by new animation to both of the Fox Theatre’s 14-foot griffins, allowing the venue’s guardians to flap their wings. New modular LED YESCO puck lighting will also display programmable lighting sequences under the marquee canopy utilizing a variety of colors and movements.

  • Audio: Recessed within the canopy panels, four new speakers will be added to the marquee’s structure allowing for venue announcements.

  • Improved structural foundation: Structural construction in steel and aluminum will afford enhanced longevity and serviceability of the marquee’s framework.

“The renovation of the Fox Theatre marquee will provide a new and exciting visual experience for the more than 12 million visitors to the sports and entertainment district each year,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “This marquee will increase reach and visibility with our patrons and sponsors while also serving as one of the many developments, including the new Detroit Events Center, that continue to add momentum on Woodward Avenue.”