GLOVERSVILLE – The Glove Theatre marquee will be set aglow again Saturday at 4:30 p.m. during a “relighting ceremony.”
The marquee had a brief “soft opening,” relighting Monday during Gov. Kathy Hochul’s visit when she announced the 12 economic development projects set to be funded by the state $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative in Gloversville. The largest of the projects is a $1.9 million restoration of portions of the interior of the vintage theater.
James Hannahs, president of the theater’s Board of Directors, said the marquee is an important symbol for its resurgence.
“This is really going to allow us to show the community that we’re putting money back into the building, in things you want to see,” he said.
The marquee was first damaged during a windstorm in February 2016. Then it was damaged again on Feb. 22, 2018 when a convenience store supplier accidentally backed a truck into it, forcing the theater to redo restoration work that had already been completed, including replacing metal framework, straightening the sign structure and replacing metal panels.
In 2018, Glove Theatre officials told the Leader-Herald that an insurance claim of $18,000 would be used to repair the sign, which required historically accurate metal panels to be fabricated in the sign’s original colors from when it was constructed in 1938, to replace the damaged pieces.
Hannahs said an additional $15,000 was also donated to pay for the sign’s restoration from the William H. St. Thomas Family Foundation, the Gloversville High School Class of 1967 and other community members. He said the coronavirus pandemic also played a roll in the four-year delay to complete the project.
First Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss, a member of the class of 1967, explained how some of the fundraising for the marquee restoration happened.
“I know that when our class had our 50th reunion in 2017, Nancy St. Thomas stood up at dinner and invited the class to make donations,” Weiss said. “She is the head of the St Thomas Foundation and said they would match our donations. That is what repaired the marquee, and then the truck hit it.
The insurance covered the repairs, but it was never completed. When the Glove board did a fundraiser we collected money and Fulton County Electric came in and upgraded the lighting. It was basically done in segments. After the truck hit it, the marquee was never totally put back together until now.”
Hannahs said the theater is ready to begin its interior renovation immediately using the state grant. He said one of the first things people will notice from the project is restoration of the plaster walls inside the theater.
“The marquee is sort of foreshadowing what we hope the community will latch onto with the walls,” he said.