Images Cinema's new marquee was installed on Friday. The movie theater has been without for at least 30 years.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Images Cinema is doing its part to eliminated rubber-necking on Spring Street.
The nearly 100-year-old theater on Friday afternoon added a brand new marquee, which will allow passersby to know at a glance what is playing at the historic, independent, single-screen venue.
"When the street changed from two-way to one-way, people had to turn around and look backwards to see our poster boxes," Images Executive Director Sandra Thomas said on Friday.
Those poster boxes, on a wall in an alley next to Images, face south, which does not do very much to help the southbound motorists who pass the theater.
Now, there is a triangular marquee that sticks out over the cinema's front door and announces to drivers and pedestrians coming in either direction what films are showing.
"It's been a number of years that we've wanted a marquee," Thomas said of the non-profit theater, which traces its roots to the Walden Theatre that opened in 1916.
"I think the last marquee that was on the building was probably in the 1970s or '80s. It was taken down when the building was renovated.
"Probably about a year ago we started talking seriously about it — after the digital cinema was implemented."
A small fund-raising campaign helped pay for the marquee and new poster boxes that soon will be added to the front of the building.
On Friday, a crew from Pittsfield's Callahan Sign Co. came and installed the new sign, which will offer three lines of text that can be changed easily with the use of a pole to manipulate letters.
The marquee was up and running just in time to serve its ancillary purpose: community message board.
"We'll be able to use it as a community space as well to some degree — like with Holiday Walk ... ," Thomas said on Friday. "The No. 1 thing people want to know is what's playing at the movie theater.
"We're really excited. After we regained our front entrance in 2008 ... this is almost the next step to bring [Images] back to where it's been as an anchor on Spring Street and help contribute to the vibrancy of the street."