Return Of The Flame Atop Merced
By GWEN HAGAMAN
July 4, 2018
Repainting the iconic Merced Theatre tower
is no easy task. It required a crane lift to take workers
to the top in recent days when repainting was completed.
Other upgrades are in progress, according
to Theatre Manager Heather Holt, including converting the
neon lights (often broken and damaged by birds) to LEDs.
“The LED lights will look a lot like the current
neon ones but will be more reliable. It will also give us
a lot of options on what we can announce in lights,”
Holt explained. “Also, the flames at the top used
to flicker and we are making that work again. It’s
important to us and to the community to get the flames going
The Merced Theatre tower is the most-recognized image of
the City of Merced. It’s initial restoration was completed
in 2012, when the facility began operating again providing
tier one entertainment and a venue for large meetings. It’s
still operated by the Merced Theatre Foundation, which worked
so hard for its restoration to a fully functioning –
yet still historic – modern performance venue.
Holt says the tower upgrades will cost almost $40,000 –
all raised by donations from the community. That’s
something to be proud of. Ongoing operation of the theatre
requires continual support from donors and patrons.
How can you help?
• Become a Member
For as little as $50 per person, members receive advance
notice of shows and early ticketing to get the best seats.
You’ll also be kept informed of the theatre’s
plans for shows and updates to the building by reading their
newsletter and be invited to “member only” events.
• Participate in the “Take a Seat” Project
Honor members of your family by purchasing engraved brass
nameplates which are fixed to seat backs inside the auditorium.
Donations range from $500 to $1,500 per seat, depending
on their locations. Seats are available on a first-come,
• Participate in the “Pick a Brick” Project
Memorialize your donation with an engraved brick placed
in the sidewalk on Martin Luther King Way, viewable as people
walk to the theatre for shows. Bricks come in two sizes
costing $150 or $250 each.
• Subscribe to the County Times
Get the best in local news each week, delivered by mail
to your home for only $39 a year. A percentage of your payment
will be donated to Merced Theatre Foundation. To subscribe
call (209) 383-0433 or stop by the office at 2221 K Street
Forms for theatre membership, seat nameplates and sidewalk
bricks are available online at www.MercedTheatre.org.
Or, pick one up at the box office at 301 W. Main Street,
(209) 381-0500. Enjoy the shows!