Turning on a movie marquee usually isn’t typically cause for celebration, but on Sept. 2, hundreds of people are expected for a three-hour event that will end with a new high-tech digital sign being lighted on the old Suffolk Theater on Riverhead’s East Main Street.
The theater’s sign has been dark since the 800-seat movie house closed in 1987. It is undergoing reconstruction and is expected to reopen in 2012.
The event, organized by the East End Arts Council, will start with a gallery reception from 5 to 7 p.m. for its first “red dot” show, an exhibit in which buyers will display works by Long Island artists they have collected. In galleries, a red dot is typically placed on the frame of a sold painting.
The Arts Council promotes local East End artists and wanted to give the collectors who purchase their works a chance to compete for recognition, according to marketing manager Stephanie Smith. The artists’ signatures will be covered, and a juror will choose the “best find” among entries.
As part of the program, arts journalist and museum curator Charles Riley will give a talk and, at 7 p.m., Riverhead Townscapes will be sponsoring a concert by the Sunnyland Jazz Band in the open space behind the Arts Council building on the Peconic River.
At 8 p.m., the theater marquee will be lighted. A dozen local restaurants will stay open late and offer discounts on their menus. The new Hyatt Place hotel on East Main Street will be giving out free coffee, Smith said.