#110 June Status Report

June 3, 2016

This month’s article finishes the tale of lighting the EnterTRAINment Junction (EJ) layout’s Fox Theater marquee and sign.  Figure 1 shows how it looked in “daylight” lighting before its upgrade.

The Unmodified Fox Theater Sign and Marquee (14 Dec 2015)
Figure 1 The Unmodified Fox Theater Sign and Marquee (14 Dec 2015)
To avoid leaving a “void” where the original sign and marquee had been while the upgrade was underway, a temporary sign was built of Gatorboard ® covered with photographic reproductions of portions of the original (Figure 2).  It was installed right after removal of the original.
Fox Theater Temporary Marquee and Sign
Figure 2.  Fox Theater Temporary Marquee and Sign

The previous two articles (No 108 and 109) provided details of the lighting installation and the modifications made to both the marquee and the “Fox” sign.

As mentioned in the previous article (No. 109), there was a misspelling in the original’s marquee’s playbills.  Bud Abbott’s name should have been spelled with two “Ts.” Unfortunately, there was no way to correct the spelling on the original playbill signs, and creating whole new signs would have been very difficult if they were to match the detail of the originals.  Another option would have been to just ignore the problem in the hope that no-one would notice, but that was not a very satisfying choice.  To the rescue came a creative thinking EJ volunteer who suggested the idea of simply “embracing” the error as part of the story being modeled: the error was made by one of the theater employees, who was subsequently sent out to correct it, and who in the modeled scene was just in the process of making the change on the first of the two playbills.  Note that in addition to the letter “T” in the employee’s hand, he also has the letter for the other playbill in his back pocket (Figure 3).

A secondary benefit to the view in Figure 3 is that it provides a close-up of the newly added ticket booth.
Correcting the Misspelling (Sort of)
Figure 3.  Correcting the Misspelling (Sort of)
With the installation complete, the original reason for the upgrade was “brilliantly” addressed (Figure 4).
Dazzlingly Lit for Night
Figure 4.  Dazzlingly Lit for Night

Fox Theater Marquee and Sign, Before and After Upgrade
Figure 5.  Fox Theater Marquee and Sign, Before and After Upgrade

The first part of the upgrade completed (Figure 5), the focus of activity could return to the addition of interior detail for the first floor of the theater building.  That will be the subject of next article.  Stay tuned.

© 2016 Tom Bartsch
MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator