Managing an art-deco art house movie theater sounds cool — until you deal with the realities of managing an art-deco-era building.
“Out of the blue, our marquee lights went out,” says Ellie Mednick, executive director of the Lark Theater, whose iconic neon sign normally brightens several blocks of Magnolia Avenue in downtown Larkspur. “The marquee was dark for two weeks this summer. It was awful.”
The Larkspur Community Foundation responded quickly to a proposal from Mednick, granting the town’s entertainment anchor $7,000 to fix the marquee and marking the foundation’s biggest grant since its founding in 2013. And the restoration came just in time for the Lark’s close-up: Mill Valley Film Festival screenings begin on Friday, and the new season of the incredibly popular MetOpera in HD season debuts on Saturday.
Not only did power return to the lights, the foundation grant enabled the nonprofit theater to repaint the marquee, anchor it more securely to the building, and clean out years of spider webs from its bulbs. Says Mednick, “Now our marquee is more sparkly than ever.”