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Suffolk Theater marquee deemed historic

Even though the curtains closed on the Suffolk

Even though the curtains closed on the Suffolk Theatre in 1987, it's not hard to picture it in its glitzy heyday with bright lights beaming down on crowds of locals. Opened in 1930, the 800-seat movie house now sits silently on Main Street in Riverhead. The theater's front facade and marquee were restored in 2001. (Aug. 5, 2010) Photo Credit: Colleen Harrington

Riverhead officials have just designated an LED-powered, computer-driven sign as having enough historic character to become a part of the town’s historic district.

The sign is attached to the marquee of the Suffolk Theater, which has stood above East Main Street since 1932.

The 800-seat Suffolk Theater building has been part of the downtown historic distinct since it was designated as a landmark in 2004. The marquee has been dark since the movie house closed in 1987. The building, now under reconstruction, is expected to open next year.

The town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission officially voted to declare the character of the digital message board — set into the space where letters were once hung to advertise the movies being shown — “comparable with the historic character of the marquee.”

That allowed the town board on Thursday to unanimously vote that the marquee was a historic sign and that the electronic message board was “in keeping with repairs or restorations performed to other historic and nationally recognized marquees."

Pictured above: The marquee of the Suffolk Theatre on East Main Street in Riverhead. (Aug. 5, 2010)



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