PLMST marquee

The Port Lavaca City Council approved to bring the Port Lavaca Main Street Theatre’s marquee back to its original state after Hurricane Harvey destroyed it. (Ross Stapp/Wave photo)

Port Lavaca City Council approves to repair, restore Port Lavaca Main Street Theatre marquee

Port Lavaca City Council took a big step forward in the effort to enhance the look of Main Street in its meeting, Monday, Aug 12.

Since Hurricane Harvey, the lights in Port Lavaca Main Street Theatre’s historic sign have been non-existent. In Monday’s meeting, the council addressed that need.

The theatre attracts people from other counties and areas, which stay in hotels/motels in Port Lavaca, which would qualify the theatre to use Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds to update and repair the broken marquee.

One side of the marquee was completely blown out by Hurricane Harvey and is inoperable. Since the theatre falls under the qualifications for HOT funds, City Engineer Jody Weaver received three different types of bids.

One bid was to restore the marquee to its original condition, while the other two included LED digital displays.

Weaver said if the city decided to restore it to its original condition that they would replace bulbs with LEDs.

One of the topics discussed was the addition of LED digital displays to the marquee. The main point in adding the displays is the city would have the opportunity to advertise its events.

“The reason we like the digital idea is that we can advertise events to outsiders. I’d like to see the marquee fixed and have the LED display,” Mayor Jack Whitlow said.

Russell Cain was present at the meeting to discuss and answer any questions the council might have had regarding the theatre. Jim Ward asked if the outside of the theatre was modernized with LED displays whether the Main Street Committee would be upset.

“I think it would take away the critique (historical value or preservation) of the theatre,” Cain said. “We need to fix the marquee. I like the old way, and it costs the city less money.”

To restore the marquee to its original state, replace the lights with LED bulbs, and include a wand to place the letters on the marquee would cost the city $7,024.30. Of the other two options that include the LED displays, one would be over $14,000, and the other would nearly be $24,000.

“I would like for you guys to listen to Jody. We need the marquee fixed the original way it was set up.” Cain said.

Weaver said she had several conversations with people in the community, and it seems to be that there are a lot of people who would like to see the original look of the theatre maintained.

Councilman Jerry Smith suggested putting the electronic display at another location and not necessarily on the theatre.

“I’m not opposed to having a display to advertise events, but I think we could find a different location,” Smith said.

“I hope the history of our Port Lavaca Theatre will go on,” Cain said. “Anything we do down there is going to improve Main Street.”

After hearing Cain’s and Weaver’s suggestions and proposals, the council approved to keep and restore the theatre to its original state and use $7,024.30 in HOT funds to do so.