A new look: West Twin Cinema receives new sign for the first time in 81 years | CraigDailyPress.com

A new look: West Twin Cinema receives new sign for the first time in 81 years

Crew members from Platinum Signs put up the new West Twin Cinema sign Tuesday morning as snow falls in downtown Craig.
Max O’Neill / Craig Press

For the first time in 81 years, the West Twin Cinema will have a new marquee sign hanging out front.

The original cinema sign came down for storage Monday afternoon, while the new sign was hung in place Tuesday morning. The theater is using a new company for the first time in the history of the theater, as Gordon Sign, which made the original sign, went out of business back in March.

“Never Say Die” starring Bob Hope and Martha Raye was the first movie to be displayed on the old marquee in 1939. It is unclear what movie will be the first one displayed on the new sign.  

While the businesses around the West Twin Cinema have changed over the years, the sign has remained the same. Which makes it an iconic part of the town, something that co-owner Andrea Camp reflected on.

Crew members from Platinum Signs out of Grand Junction work on taking down the old West Twin Cinema sign Monday afternoon.
Max O’Neill / Craig Press

“I think everybody is familiar with the West Twin Cinema based on this sign and just knowing that it’s been here since 1939, which just makes it really historic and a major part of our community,” Camp said.

The sign, which hangs off the side of the West Twin Cinema, was renovated in the 1980s in order to add neon lights.  The sign was in disrepair in 1986 when the back of the movie theater collapsed and they opened a drive in movie theater.

Platinum Signs out of Grand Junction removed the original cinema sign and was in charge of placing the new marquee sign on the front of West Twin Cinema. It’s the same company that put up the wayfinder signs around town over the summer.

According to Platinum signs, the new piece will have LED lights and a brand new metal wire marquee allowing for lettering to display the movies being played at the theater. The neon lights will be run by a 9,000-volt transmitter, allowing it to shine brightly when it’s warm, which presents problems in the winter but easy brightness in the summer. In contrast to previous signs, Platinum Signs used new wiring with a ground fault protector, preventing it from catching fire when it shorts out.

Mike Blackwelder, the President and Owner of Platinum Signs, said that the new marquee should last for roughly 40 years.

Camp said she hopes that the new sign serves as a town landmark, just like the old one.

“I think it will make a big impact on this downtown area and just really again, working on improving the look of the downtown to make it more visitor friendly and make it to where people want to come down here and take a look around,” Camp said.

According to co-owner Amy Updike, the funding for the sign came from her and her husband, Victor Updike, as well as Camp and her husband Dale Camp.

Additional funding was also given by the City of Craig’s Economic Development Grant Program, which provides matching grants to revitalize the downtown.

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