11/13/2013 8:10:00 AM State Theater back in lights
For the past two years, the west side of the Windom Square has been dark, or at least darker than it had been for many years prior.
That all changed Friday evening.
In one of the most anticipated events in recent Windom history, cars lined 4th Ave., and about 125 local residents braved chilly temps to witness the relighting of the Square's west side - thanks entirely to volunteers and donors who were eager to see restoration of the Windom State Theater marquee.
After a five-second countdown, led by Mayor Corey Maricle, new LED lights began changing color in the glass brick columns on either side of the theater doors - a throwback to the neon that glowed in the blocks years ago.
Then, white lights burst around the base of the triangular marquee and on either side of the marquee's display.
Moments later, the marquee signs lit up, displaying the show times, the relighting time and the movie that was showing - "Freebirds, PG."
And, finally, red and blue LED rope lights burst into view, outlining "STATE" and the marquee's iconic art deco motif.
The refurbishing of the Windom State Theater marquee was complete.
"We were blown away by how bright and shiny and vivid all the lights are," said Buckwheat Johnson, president of Windom State Theater, Inc., the nonprofit organization responsible for bringing the theater and the marquee back to life.
Indeed, the marquee relighting event was a scene right out of 1950s America. In fact, there was even a vintage 1950s car parked next to the theater. Just as it was since the marquee first went up in 1937, night life returned to the west side of the Square.
However, it was a moment that was two years in the making. It was almost exactly two years ago that the marquee began coming down with hopes of repairing and refurbishing it.
For details on the refurbishing, see the story in the Nov. 13 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen on newsstands today.