the first phase of reconstruction for harlem's year-old Apollo Theater has been completed. Along with a fully refurbished façade, a stainless-steel and glass storefront, and a new box office, the Manhattan landmark's exterior has undergone a lighting overhaul. Under the direction of Domingo Gonzalez from New York-based lighting design firm Domingo Gonzalez Associates, the façade and marquee lighting have been updated, yet keep with the theater's classic look.
In order for the marquee to resemble the original 1940s design-mandated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and the New York State Historic Preservation Office-the neon tubes of the red 'Apollo' signs, and red and blue bands bordering the marquee, were replicated. While uplights provide general façade illumination, the marquee itself is comprised of a three-sided LED display screen housing approximately 275,000 LEDs, simulating the original hand-applied letters on the formerly backlit white plastic surface. For this reason, while capable of full color, the screens are limited to static, but changeable, messages. On the underside of the marquee ceiling, recessed downlights and incandescent chaselights provide sparkle. According to Mike Lewis of Barr & Barr, the construction management company for the project, the marquee lighting (including display screens) cost approximately $600,000. A|L