Work begins, again, on Glove Theatre marquee sign

The Glove Theatre's general manager and volunteer, Nino "Tony" Pazzaglia, and theater volunteer Joseph Borden work Monday to repair the theater's marquee sign that was damaged in late February when a delivery truck driver backed his vehicle into the sign. The cost of the repairs will be covered by the driver's insurance and Pazzaglia said the work will likely be complete by the end of summer. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE –Work on the Glove Performing Arts Center marquee sign has begun to repair damage caused in late February when a delivery truck driver backed his vehicle into the sign.

A driver for convenience store supplier Harold Levinson Associates struck the theater’s marquee sign while driving in reverse to park the vehicle on North Main Street, on Feb. 22 shortly before 5 p.m.

At the time, city police Lt. Mike Shang said the driver hadn’t realized he hit the sign until he exited the vehicle. Shang said the vehicle struck the edge of the sign while the driver was attempting to back into a parking space due to the height and angle of the truck.

The Glove’s marquee sign hangs over the sidewalk in front of the theater, stopping at the edge of the curb. No one was in the theater at the time of the accident.

In March, Glove Performing Arts Center Executive Director Richard Samrov said the damage to the sign was extensive and the metal frame was bent. Samrov said the accident was a setback, requiring restoration work that had already been completed on the sign last year to be redone.

Samrov was at the theater on Monday where repair work was just getting underway.

“I feel very excited,” Samrov said. “With the people that are going to put it back together I have great confidence that they will do an excellent job bringing it back to where we had it before the accident.”

The Glove’s general manager and volunteer, Nino “Tony” Pazzaglia, and theater volunteer Joseph Borden are undertaking the work that will require replacing metal framework, straightening the sign structure and replacing metal panels.

Samrov said the delivery driver’s insurance will cover the total cost of the repairs that are estimated at $18,000.

Pazzaglia said Monday the estimate includes materials and some labor costs due to the need to repeat already completed restoration work. He and Samrov are hoping the repair work will be completed by the end of the summer with Pazzaglia and Borden working on it when they can, mostly on weekends.

“I’m 100 percent positive we’ll be able to bring it back to the way it was before it was damaged,” Pazzaglia said.

In addition to the time needed to make the repairs, Pazzaglia noted that historically accurate metal panels must be fabricated in the sign’s original colors from when it was constructed in 1938 to replace the damaged pieces.

The Glove was built in 1914 as a live performance venue for opera, Vaudeville shows and orchestral concerts. The theater was later purchased and converted into a movie house in the 1920s. The theater was sold again in the 1960s due to low ticket sales before closing in 1976.

In 1995 a group of locals formed the Gloversville Theatre Corporation establishing the theater as a community based not-for-profit organization and initiated a restoration project throughout the building that has continued through today.

Pazzaglia completed restoration work on the marquee sign last year funded by more than $13,000 in donations from the William H. St. Thomas Family Foundation, the class of 1967 and community members.

The marquee was damaged during a windstorm in February 2016. The cost to have an outside company replace the sign would have been between $120,000 to $150,000.

The next step in the restoration was to replace the lights on the sign and install a digital display, which Samrov is still hoping will happen in the future, but his focus now is on getting the sign repaired.

“It’s going to be beautiful again,” Samrov said. “I think it’s important for us to have curb appeal.”

Samrov said the digital display that will be installed down the line will be similar to the marquee sign at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, only on a smaller scale. The sign will give the Glove the ability to advertise upcoming events and local businesses.

The theater currently features a concert series and a summer children’s theater program. Samrov said shows earlier this month by Hey Jude the Beatles tribute band and Sawyer Fredericks were very successful, drawing a number of people downtown and raising operating revenue for the theater.

Samrov said activity at the Glove could help generate customers for other downtown businesses as people look for places to go before or after shows, sparking future development.

“There’s two things that bring people downtown and that’s entertainment and food. We have food already in Mohawk Harvest, we need to continue to have the theater going to provide entertainment,” Samrov said. “This is the hub of it all, because once people come in to the theater, and it’s going and it’s exciting, then maybe restaurants will come in and little businesses will come in.”

As renovation work continues at the theatre, Samrov is hoping to be able to reopen the balcony, possibly doubling concert attendance in the future.

“We are still looking for donations,” Pazzaglia pointed out.

“That’s very important, the more donations we get, the more grants and things like that, we can continue to keep the theater alive, because it’s one of the gems on Main Street,” Samrov said.

More information about the theater, upcoming events and how to make donations can be found online at www.glovetheatre.org

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