Lake Theatre could get digital sign

Owners to appear before the Community Design Commission with plan

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The historic Lake Theatre marquee could be due for an update, if the village approves a proposal by theater owners to install a digital marquee in its place.

Theater owners will present their plan for the new electronic sign at a meeting of the Community Design Commission, scheduled for Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at Oak Park Village Hall, 123 Madison St.

Lake Theatre owner Chris Johnson told Wednesday Journal that keeping the sign updated can be a major challenge in the winter, when cold weather makes it harder to put the letters up.

"You put it up there and the letters break," he said.

He said the new sign would be expensive in the short run – about $200,000, he said – but it will save the theater in time and broken letters over the long run.

"The technology on signs has come so far that they can make it a really nice picture," Johnson said.

He compared it to the digital sign now used at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood.

"They have a digital sign on their theater, and it looks fabulous," Johnson said.

It's not Johnson's first digital sign to install; he said his theater in Elmhurst has had a digital marquee for several years now.

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Katelyn Power from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2019 11:37 PM

I think this could look really nice! I've just moved to Oak Park and this theatre adds such an iconic look to downtown. A digital sign sounds like it will cost less, and it'll be safer in the winter time when you have to hang those letters when it's snowy or icy out! Or just plain freezing. It's got my vote.

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