Return Of The Flame Atop Merced Theatre

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 again.”

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, first-served basis.

• 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 in Merced.

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!


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