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Patchogue officials to seek grant to light up theater sign

Village trustees want to replace the marquee at

Village trustees want to replace the marquee at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts with a bolder, bright-lit one reminiscent of Las Vegas, at an estimated cost of $212,000. Above, the theater is seen on Feb. 22, 2014. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Patchogue wants one of its biggest downtown attractions to light up like Las Vegas when promoting upcoming performing acts.

The village board of trustees unanimously passed a series of resolutions Monday night, clearing the way for officials to apply for a Suffolk County grant to help replace the faulty marquee outside the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.

“It’s 18 years old and doesn’t always work,” Dennis Smith, executive director of Patchogue’s Business Improvement District, said of the existing sign.

A bolder, bright-lit marquee showcasing upcoming events would cost an estimated $212,000, Smith said.

Trustees adopted a series of resolutions to conduct an environmental impact study and approve an easement, among other efforts toward obtaining the grant.

Patchogue officials plan to apply for $100,000 in funding from the county’s Downtown Revitalization Grant Program to help offset the marquee costs.

“The theater is the anchor to downtown. The more we can promote it the better,” Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri said Tuesday. About 150,000 people will visit the theater this year, many of whom will arrive to performances early or leave late to drink and dine downtown, he said.

The theater conducts about 160 shows annually.

“The marquee is critical to making the theater attractive,” the mayor said.

The venue reopened in March after undergoing $1 million in renovations to replace the theater’s seats, which now number 1,049. Parts of the roof were also repaired.

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