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Playhouse Square unveils plans for new theater marquees: First look at the new designs

The project is expected to be complete by June of 2023.

CLEVELAND — The iconic marquees at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland are getting an upgrade as part of a $10.2 million project that's slated for completion in June 2023.

“The marquees you see today have served their purpose,” explained President and CEO Gina Vernaci. “Now, as we commemorate our centennial, we have the opportunity to create a unified visual vocabulary to welcome guests to Playhouse Square and aid in wayfinding. These new marquees brilliantly set the stage for our next 100 years.”

Here’s what you can expect...

New marquees

The Connor Palace and Allen, Hanna, KeyBank State and Mimi Ohio Theatres – Playhouse Square’s five historic venues out of 11 total performance spaces – are being crowned with new marquees that complement one another and will add to the ease of wayfinding for guests and visitors.

"In the spring, we'll see the process start to begin as the marquees will be replaced one by one," Vernaci said. "It's going to be bold, beautiful, colorful and it will really add to the experience of coming to these grand, wonderful theaters."

Take a closer look at the new marquee designs:

“Each theater’s unique design – inspired by ceiling detail and other elements found within the venues – has a daytime and nighttime personality with video screens, music and lighting that can change color to match shows or seasons,” Playhouse Square officials explain. “The Bulkley Building is being outfitted with its own marquee to assist guests with locating Outcalt and The Helen Theatres.”

Hanna Building: Signage adorning the Hanna Building will call attention to Playhouse Square’s seven illustrious resident companies: Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

“These sensational marquees will stand as an enduring public tribute to everyone who has brought us through our first 100 years and to the bright possibilities ahead,” added Vernaci. "They're going to have a vibrancy and a presence like you just haven't seen here in Cleveland."

Technology upgrades

Video screens and sidewalk kiosks installed eight years ago are receiving the latest technology upgrades for an even more dynamic visual experience throughout the Playhouse Square District.


Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story on Aug. 9, 2022.

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