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The Minskoff Theatre Welcomes the “King”

The Broadway smash switches theatres, prompting a sign switch.

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The Minskoff Theatre, at Broadway and 45th, inherited a new show for its stage and a new sign package – a marquee, a blade sign and a block-wide window sign – to dress up its lobby and street-side display. The show, Disney’s Lion King, had already been a smash at the New Amsterdam, also on Broadway. Before Lion King moved across Times Square into its new venue, the Minskoff’s existing blade/marquee paled compared to the hit show’s stature.

Spectrum Signs (Farmingdale, NY), a full-service sign company, took charge of giving Lion King a new sign glow. Tom Morra, director of the company’s NYC projects, described the project’s components:

• The blade sign comprises a double-sided, flexible-face sign cabinet, with a translucent vinyl signface, backlit with fluorescent lighting. The sign cabinet’s custom-fabricated, anodized aluminum cladding sports edged, decorative, crown-molding elements that outline its vertical presence.

• The marquee, fabricated with anodized, dark-bronze aluminum, has a three-sided sign face that measures 62 x 9 ft.; the marquee side, which faces Broadway, spans two-thirds (40 ft.) of the length to create maximum sign exposure. Translucent vinyl, with backlit fluorescent lighting, illuminates the faces. Above the marquee, closed-faced, aluminum, channel letters spell out the theater’s name.

• The light-cabinet sign package, on the building’s Broadway side, totals more than 2,700 sq. ft., which makes it reportedly the largest in Times Square. The east-building elevation comprises 45, 10 x 15-ft., glass-window bays that face Broadway. In the second-floor lobby, a series of double-faced, interior-lit sign cabinets were placed in 18 window bays, and two other cabinets were mounted into the window bays that face north and south. Each aluminum, double-faced sign cabinet has a translucent-vinyl-placement system, internally lit with 8-ft. fluorescent lamps.

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The light cabinet’s design allows full access from the rear (the lobby side) to service front and rear graphics, interior lamps and ballasts, and to clean cabinets and windows. A custom retainer/extrusion, graphic-support system aids the lightbox graphics’ insertion and removal.

The exterior Broadway sign face displayed the familiar Lion King graphics. Inside, a beautiful, custom graphic was designed by Mariuca Brancoveanu. All signage graphics were printed on translucent, roll-fed, flexible-face vinyl with a specially adapted VUTEk printer.

Spectrum, which usually installs its own sign packages, had scheduled myriad other sign projects, so it contracted Service Sign Erectors (NYC) for assistance.

Each light cabinet attached to the window bay by connecting to a matching, vertical, building column positioned between each window bay. To reach the columns, Spectrum workers cut into the building’s interior aluminum cladding and exposed the vertical-column steel. Each cabinet was installed against welded connection plates on each vertical column.

Such positioning required an elaborate, custom-designed scaffold with a unique rigging system to lift each cabinet to a bay, where it was secured. After each cabinet was installed and tested, the vinyl sign faces were installed.

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